Everything I Need to Know about Customer Service, I Learned from My Mother

Customer service tips from momMother’s Day has passed, and you bet this was supposed to be posted in time for Mother’s Day. But then it got me thinking, honoring them should transcend special occasions, after all, we learn from them every single day of the year. That said, we intentionally waited until Mother’s Day is over before posting this.
There is no doubt about it, our mothers are our greatest teachers. The saying, “Everything I need to know, I learned from kindergarten”, should be changed to “Everything I need to know, I learned from my mother.” And if we, as children, took our mother’s advice to heart, we would have no problems dealing with the world as adults today.
This holds especially true in the customer service industry. In this industry, extreme levels of patience, understanding and active listening skills are needed – very big traits our mothers have. We have rounded up five customer service tips you learn from your mother below. Let us know what you think!

1. Treat others the way you would like to be treated.

The Golden Rule that may not have originated from our mothers but they made sure to pass it on to us everyday as we grew up. This rule holds true even up today – you can never go wrong by following the Golden Rule with your customers, clients, co-workers and superiors.

2. Manners go a long way.

How many times have we been reminded to say, “Please”, “Thank You” and “You’re Welcome” when we were kids? There are a few things in life money can’t buy and one of them is having good manners. Always remember to extend courtesy towards customers even if they are irate or even if you feel they don’t deserve your respect. It might feel easier to answer a shout with another shout, but keeping calm amidst a very frustrating situation is a good way to handle things and not get blown out of proportion. Remember, it’s also not what you say but how you say it. Watch your tone of voice because customers pick it up.

3. When you are wrong, apologise.

Easier said than done, right? How many times has a situation gone from bad to worse just because an aggrieved party didn’t get a rightful apology? It might be hard to say “I’m sorry” but a simple, sincere apology goes a long way. Remember that in the customer service industry, even if it’s not really you who has made a mistake, you are representing the company or business. Own up to it and apologize right away, even if at the end of the conversation it turns out it wasn’t your mistake. Apologizing diffuses tension and appeases an irate customer.

4. Smile.

Do you remember how as children we were always told to smile when being introduced to people, when going up the stage to perform or when being photographed? It’s the same principle when we get older. We need to put a smile on our faces when we deal with other people. Put a smile on your face and a smile in your voice. Customers will notice it.

5. Have a good attitude. Be nice.

Growing up, we have always been reminded to be nice to people. We are taught to open a door for someone, help an elderly carry his groceries, return lost items, etc. Why is this so? Our mothers believe that little acts of kindness have a rippling effect – whatever nice thing you do for one can be passed on to another. In a customer service environment, offering a customer something they weren’t expecting or even asking, anticipating their needs and fulfilling it before they even think about it, have positive rippling effects. Your customer will only have good words to say about your company to other people. Your company will be seen in a good light. Experts have always said that it is more expensive to get a new customer than to retain old ones. Positive customer service satisfaction plays a big role in retaining customers!
And there you go. High fives to all mothers out there for teaching us our first lessons in customer service. You taught us well.