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Workplace Etiquette: Customer Service

This guide will help you to understand and thrive in the workplace

What is customer service?

WHAT IS CUSTOMER SERVICE?
Customer service is the service you provide customers before, during and after a purchase. Customer service skills relate to how successfully you interact with the customer.

Who are your customers?

WHO ARE YOUR CUSTOMERS?
Your customers may be easy to define in a retail or hospitality environment. But remember that some companies or organisations have internal customers too.

INTERNAL CUSTOMERS
Peers
Co-workers
Bosses
People from other areas/departments
EXTERNAL CUSTOMERS

Walk-in customers
Vendors
Suppliers
Telephone callers
Other organisations

The why & how

WHY IS CUSTOMER SERVICE IMPORTANT?
Customer service is at the heart of any business. Excellent customer service enables a business to:

  • build customer loyalty
  • establish a strong reputation
  • generate more sales

HOW DO I DELIVER GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE?
Build good customer relationships by:

  • greeting your customers
  • listening to your customers
  • showing your customers that you understand their needs
  • knowing your product
  • following up on feedback, both positive and negative

Personal traits

If you work in a customer service role, some of the most important and sought after personal traits include:

 

Empathy
Do you understand how the customer feels and why? Put yourself in their shoes!

Communication skills
This includes both verbal and written communication. Are you able to communicate in a clear manner that is appropriate in any situation? An excellent communicator is also an excellent listener.

Patience
Your role is to serve the customer; don’t let your frustrations or prejudices impact your service.

Adaptability
No two customers are the same, so make sure you adapt to each individual customer or situation.

© Melbourne Polytechnic 2018

Useful websites

Other useful websites:

Australian Government 2017, What is good customer service? business.gov.au, viewed 29 January 2018, https://www.business.gov.au/info/plan-and-start/start-your-business/what-is-customer-service

State Government of Victoria 2021, Keep customers with customer service excellence, www.business.vic.gov.au, viewed 30 June 2021, https://business.vic.gov.au/business-information/marketing-and-sales/increasing-sales-through-marketing/keep-customers-with-customer-service-excellence 

Queensland Government 2016, Customer service, www.business.qld.gov.au, viewed 29 January 2018, https://www.business.qld.gov.au/running-business/consumer-laws/customer-service