Customer service is “the ability of knowledgeable, capable, and enthusiastic employees to deliver products and service to internal and external customers” (Lucas, 2011). Generally, customer-focused organizations concentrate on ensuring that the internal and external customers are given superior services with uttermost respect while addressing their needs. When serving customers, how a staff relates to the customer and other stakeholders in the organization matters a lot, as this forms the core of how the customer may rate the organization and the overall satisfaction levels. This relationship is mainly shaped by the interpersonal skills a staff possesses as well as how he/she applies them in handling customers and colleagues. Interpersonal skills refer to goal-directed behaviors that can be used in face-to-face interactions, thereby leading to desired state of affairs by influencing how people relate (Hayes, 2002).
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Suitable interpersonal skills
The following interpersonal skills will be pivotal to be successful at the new position at PackAll organization. First, active listening and paying attention to the tone voice will lead to better understanding of the customer or other people’s messages, hence one can make accurate and informed decisions regarding the situation. Without these skills, one can easily rush to wrong decisions or misrepresent the inferred message. Secondly, showing respect to all people will reduce conflict, increase participation, and help in getting information and accomplishing team tasks. Thirdly, delegating duties or queries that one does not understand in a caring way (magnetic transfer) involves taking the customer to the right person for assistance. More so, avoiding interrupting other people when they are busy and when it is an urgent matter seeking to be excused and then explaining how the current task is more urgent can improve quality of interactions.
Additionally, it is important to apply diagnostic skills to understand what has happened in a situation and then coming up with a solution, as well as applying what should have been done differently to secure better outcomes the next time. Further, intervening and making contributions that can assist others in their difficult situations will contribute to better services within the organization. Finally, remembering to thank customers for being served, as well as controlling emotions in difficulty situation and responding positively can make the communication to be easier and comfortable.
Questions for supervisor and customer advise
Upon taking the new position, the following questions will be appropriate for the supervisor. First, what is the best way of handling difficult questions from difficult customers? Secondly, which is the best way of referring customers in case you are not in position to solve their case? Thirdly, what are your expectations in this position? Additionally, please advise the right ways of handling customer rejections. Lastly, how does the company manage to sustain and improve its customer satisfaction levels? If a customer asks for a service that PackAll does not provide, it is good to respond in the following ways. First, one can take the opportunity to advise the customer to try on the alternative or complimentary service that the company offers. Moreover, if the customer is not convinced to try any of the related products, he/she can be referred to an affiliate company that offers that product, as this may offer opportunity for cross marketing. Finally, one can refer the customer to the right place where that service will be found, as this may improve the image of the company as having supportive staff.
The following are some of indicators of United Booksellers’ service culture. First, the company is customer-centered and focuses on the needs of the customers by offering high quality services and a friendly atmosphere. Secondly, the company promotes customer-friendly systems and stresses on its relationship with customers by ensuring that its facilities are nice, and the efficiency and helpfulness of the employees is notable. In addition, the company values creativity, loyalty, and can goes an extra mile to serve its customers by ensuring that each store has its own coffee shop where patrons can relax and read. More so, the new customer care position is an extra effort towards forging better relationship with customers and providing excellent services. Lastly, the company greatly values training for its staff so that they can serve customers better, by ensuring that the organization’s 3,000 employees have undergone extensive training before they are allowed to interact with customers.
Employee contribution to organizational culture and service expectations at United Booksellers
As an employee, one can contribute to the organizational culture in the following ways. First, the managerial staffs can use their decision-making and strategic direction to shape the overall culture of the organization, therefore influencing how people work together (Heathfield, 2011). Secondly, through interactions, rewards, or punishment for wrongdoing, other employees can learn the appropriate culture of the organization. By fostering norm of discipline, good work ethics, and accountability, one can significantly contribute to the success of the organization’s culture. Lastly, an employee can develop commitment by encouraging people to move beyond the contractual commitment to emotional commitment, by which they develop a strong sense of loyalty to the organization, its customers, and clients (Gennard & Judge, 2005). As a customer, one would expect to receive excellent service from United Booksellers because the efficiency and helpfulness of their staff is exceptional, the company has high quality services that are provided in a friendly environment, and above all, the company has a coffee shop where one can relax and read.
Gennard, J. & Judge, G. (2005). Employee relations. London: CIPD Publishing.
Hayes, J. (2002). Interpersonal Skills: Goal Directed Behaviour at Work. NY: Routledge.
Heathfield, S.M. (2011). Culture: Your Environment for People at Work. Web.
Lucas, R.W. (2012). Customer Service Skills For Success. 5th Edition. NY: McGraw-Hill.