Join Jeff Toister for an in-depth discussion in this video Focusing on customer needs, part of Customer Service Foundations.
Outstanding customer service is defined as service that exceeds your customer's expectation. That makes it important to learn your customer's needs, so you know how they want to be served. And by learning your customer's expectations, you give yourself the opportunity to exceed them. Of course, every customer is a little bit different. They have different personalities, different situations, and different expectations. Part of delivering outstanding customer service is focusing on the unique needs of each customer you serve. Customers have two types of basic needs, rational and emotional.
A rational need is the specific assistance a customer is requesting. For example, a banking customer might need answers to some questions they have about their latest statement. A hotel guest might need to check in and be assigned a room. A retail customer might need help finding a specific item. An emotional need is how the customer wants to feel about the service they receive. When customers experience a service failure, they almost always experience negative emotions. These emotions often need to be validated, soothed, and empathized with for the customer to feel good about their service experience.
Let's say a customer calls technical support because their computer isn't working. The rationale need is to get the computer fixed; however, the customer may also experiencing several negative emotions. They could be anxious because the computer malfunction is preventing them from getting important work done. They might also be frustrated because they spent 30 minutes trying to fix the problem on their own before giving up and calling technical support. They could even be embarrassed because they weren't able to fix the problem without someone else's help. Outstanding customer service requires us to take care of both our customer's basic needs.
Just fixing that customer's computer won't be enough to provide outstanding customer service. The technical support rep must also try to help the customer overcome their negative emotions and feel better. Once you identify your customer's needs, the goal is to find a way to exceed them. This isn't always easy to do. Some customers are more difficult to please than others. Sometimes your ability to go the extra mile is limited by a lack of time, a lack of resources, or even a problem that's beyond our control. Over the next few videos, I'll show you some techniques you can use to learn your customer's rational and emotional needs.
You'll also be introduced to tactics you can use to go the extra mile and deliver truly memorable service by exceeding your customer's expectations.
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- What is outstanding customer service?
- Identifying your customer
- Creating a customer service vision
- Enhancing likability in person, over the phone, and via email
- Actively listening to customers
- Going the extra mile
- Taking ownership of problems
- Diffusing angry customers
- Using data to evaluate and improve your customer service<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.