For this lesson we’re going to focus on some simple things you can do, or what you can have your associates do, to quickly improve on your customer service skills. People use a bunch of different methods for getting ideas across. It is not just the words you say that people hear, there are other factors to take into account. Your body language is at the foundation of all communication. Before the human race could speak with their words, they spoke with their bodies.
It is through body language that the majority of what we say is translated and it is because of this fact that we must take extra care to deliver proper body language to our clients if we want them to feel satisfied with our service.
Here are five simple things you can do to improve your body language and therefore improve your customer service skills as a whole.
5. Keep eye contact:
The easiest way to insure the client knows you are paying attention to them and care about what they have to say is to keep eye contact with them as much as possible. Eye contact says: You’re the only person I’m listening to right now. It is the most overlooked aspect of body language and is easy to forget when you are trying to handle multiple things at once while talking to someone.
You want to try and make eye contact with them as you are speaking and while they are speaking. Don’t stare at them or they might feel awkward. Just try and keep a delicate balance between eye contact and no eye contact. Be friendly and not strange.
4. Cheat out toward the customer:
Theatre and film actors have an important body language tool that the industry can benefit from. It’s called “cheating out” and it basically means to face the front of your body to the camera or audience as much as you can without looking unnatural. This allows the camera to pick up all of the subtle facial expressions and nuances in the actor’s body language and just makes the scene better over all.
Cheat out as you are speaking to guests. Try and make sure you face them with the front of your body as much as you can. You don’t want to turn your back on them or stay turned in profile because that will tell them you aren’t interested in what they have to say. We’re always interested in what they have to say, so make sure they know that.
3. Direct with an open hand:
One of the more subtle techniques to use is to, whenever giving directions to someone, use an open hand gesture. If you point with an index finger or thumb as we do in our every day lives it can come off as rude at times and we want to avoid appearing rude at all times. Open hands are inviting, pointed fingers are dismissive. Your body language will be saying: allow me to show you the way or right this way, instead of: Yeah, just go that way and get out of my face.
2. Maintain good posture:
Posture is one of the most important aspects of body language. As far as communication goes posture is like a short cut to knowing a person’s mood. The best posture is similar to the military’s at ease position.
Keep your spine straight, your legs a little bit apart, and your hands behind your back. This will push your chest out and hopefully keep your chin raised. You never want to slouch or lower your chin as these give off the impression that you’re in a bad or lazy mood and don’t feel like helping anyone.
1. Make sure you smile:
Now, I know what you’re saying. Of course we smile! That’s the first thing we do! Well, I don’t know how many times I have purchased something at a store only to be ushered through the service line with little more than a passing glance and a grunt. Smiling lets them know that you are paying attention to them, it gives them the impression that you truly care and enjoy what you are doing.
Be careful to smile properly as well. Some smiles when done improperly will look forced and disingenuous and that’s the opposite of what you want. Smile with your eyes as well as your mouth. Raise your eyebrows in conjunction with your lips and try to show off your pearly whites. A good smile goes a long way in insuring their satisfaction.
Try implementing these tips in your next interaction and see how they work. You should notice a distinct change in the attitude and well being because you will be properly assuring them that you care about what you’re doing and what they have to say.