As a follow up to my post last week, “The Reasons We Take Communication For Granted,” I want to share a funny story that builds on why communication is so important in our repertoire of skills. I recently saw a connection in my LinkedIn network add “Customer Service” to their profile of skills. I had a good chuckle out loud (I know, I felt horrible after) but the reason why I laughed is because this person is not good at customer service whatsoever! To think this person thought they were good at customer service and added this to their public profile brings to light how sometimes we can blinded by our own ignorance.
Then the light off: the reason I thought this person was bad at customer service was simply because they are a poor communicator. The best customer service experiences I have had and the reason why I believe someone is good at customer service is because they are good at communicating when I’m being served by them. They are an effective two-way communicator – they listen and speak well.
Society takes no prisoners in bad customer service situations. Positive customer service is mandatory in all customer service industries now a days because if consumers have a bad experience, social media and other potential customers hear about it on a very far-reaching scale. I’m sure as you’re reading this in fact, you’re thinking of all the bad customer service experiences you may have had that you may have also shared on social media. Those times where the customer service agent was just lousy – they seemed uninterested in helping you; they were annoyed you asked for help; they couldn’t help find what you were looking for; they weren’t resourceful; or they just seemed pre-occupied. In all these instances, these customer service agents whom we’ve all unfortunately ran into, were bad communicators as they couldn’t communicate effectively at the time with you as the customer.
When you really think about, all industries encompass some form of customer service. All organizations have to ensure their front facing employees, not just customer service agents, are great with people, are effective communicators and have a memorable (hopefully positive!) experience with their clients or customers.
This is a good lesson for all readers. Do a personal check and ask yourself:
- Am I an effective communicator?
- More importantly, do the people around me (friends, family, colleagues) think I’m a good communicator?
- Do I get my points across clearly with the people I communicate with daily?
- Am I taking the time each day to work on being a better communicator?
- If not, how can I work to improve my communication skills like the other skills in my ‘toolbox?’
Don’t underestimate the value of communication in your customer service toolbox. It may just be the reason why you are sought after for speaking roles; why you are tapped for a promotion; why people come to you for advice…. or whether you are endorsed on LinkedIn (or not).