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Make good first impressions last with talented customer service employees

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We all know employees like this: They have been with the company for years and know the business inside and out. Everyone in the building loves the employee and they give a great first impression on the phone and in person.

Excellent customer service personnel can be the difference between a good and great small business. (None of us hire bad people for those positions, right?) Here are what business owners or managers should expect from someone in customer service.

They must be prompt

Often, these folks are the people who open the doors in the morning. If a business opens at 9 a.m., that doesn’t mean 9:05. Customers have other things to do and will grow weary of a place that fails to value their time.

They must be thorough

Taking messages, for example, is more than saying, “Bob Smith called this morning.” Why did Mr. Smith call? Does he expect an immediate call back or can his issue wait? It’s never rude to ask the nature of someone’s business when they call.

They must be polite (but not cheesy)

It doesn’t take much effort to say “Good morning” or ask how the visitor or person on the other end of the line is doing. A little friendliness can take the edge off a frustrated customer. Coming across as fake will do just the opposite, sending that customer to the welcoming arms of a competitor.

They must be curious

An employee that practices good customer service uses their downtime to help other departments with their projects, all the while learning a little more about what the organization does. They must have a natural curiosity and desire to do more than just their job description.

They must be cool under stress

Customer service representatives and receptionists often deal with people at their worst, especially when they think they didn’t get their money’s worth from your company. The best among those employees find a way to have that person walk away with a positive impression. Business owners and managers need to recognize employees who turn frowns upside down and retain customers.

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