Do you want to be an exemplary government employee? If YES, here are 20 best customer service tips for government employees that will make you stand out. It is a norm in some parts of the world, especially in under-developed countries, for those who work in government offices to display laissez-faire attitude when they relate with their customers because they feel that they are doing their clients a favor.
Ordinarily, it is not supposed to be so because whether public or private sector, customers are the reason why we are in business, hence they ought to be treated with respect and dignity. You might say that in any sector that the government decides to do business, they always have the monopoly, and no doubt marketing your goods and services in a business community where you have serious competitors can be truly difficult. That is why a good business person would do all it takes to keep their loyal customers.
If you have been active in the business circle or in the corporate world, you must have heard the cliché over and over again that ‘Customers are Always Right’. Technically, this might not be true, but for the sake of not losing your customers, you should always see things from their own point of view.
Even if they are wrong, wisdom requires that you don’t throw it at them that they are wrong. Being a business person, especially someone that interface with clients, requires that you apply tact and diplomacy when dealing with your clients.
Knowing your customers and what they actually want from your business is all you need to leverage on in order to become a successful customer service officer. If you work in any government agency, here are 20 best customer service tips for government employees that you can leverage on.
20 Best Customer Service Tips for Smart Government Employees
Create a Database for Your Customers (Sign – up to Customers Relationship Management (CRM) Software)
Knowing your customers is one of the most important customer service tips that you should consider. This is the first thing you should put in place if you truly want to know your customers. A Good CRM Software will help you to effectively manage your customers and you will be able to know them and what their needs are. The truth is that an effective customer service data base will help you get close to your customers and relate with them better.
When You Have the Opportunity to Interface with Your Clients, Deliberately Engage Them in Order to Create Relationship
Another very important customer service tip for government employees is to ensure that whenever you have the opportunity to interface with your clients, you must ensure that you deliberately engage them in order to create relationship with them. The truth is that if you can successfully create rapport with your customers, you would have succeeded in making it easier for you to solve their problems.
Create an Enabling Work Environment Where Your Customers Can Be Free To Express Themselves
Creating an enabling work environment where your customers can be free to express themselves is yet another important customer service tip for government employees. If you have ever visited some government agencies, especially in underdeveloped nations, you will noticed that the environment is not friendly and the employees are hash on their customers.
The truth is that in order for you to serve your customers better, you must be able to get feedback from them and getting feedback from them can only happen if your work environment is friendly and welcoming.
Always Be Original
If you work as a customer service officer with a government agency, one of the tips that will make you bring out the best when deploying your duty is to ensure that you are always original. There are customer service officers who in the bid to interact with a customer tend to sound fake or plastic.
The truth is that, you don’t have to sound fake or try to create an accent that you are not good at just to look sophisticated. In most cases, the customer will notice it and that might be a put off. You just have to be original and learn to relate with people at their level without losing your identity.
Go Out of Your Way to Attend Your Customers’ Special Family Functions
Another important customer service tip that a government employee can leverage on to serve his or her customers better is to go out of their way to attend their customers special family functions. It could be birthday parties, naming ceremonies, funerals, house warming parties or any form of celebration.
The truth is that if you are able to connect with your customers at that level, it will be easier for them to trust you. Please note that it might not be easy to attend special functions of all your customers, but you should try as much as you can to do it for your top 5 percent customers. They are the ‘Big Fish’ and they deserve it.
When Dealing with an Angry Customer, Ensure that You Allow Them to Fully Express Themselves
If you working as a customer service officer and as a government employee, you cannot rule out the fact that you would always come across angry customers. This is because people expect more from the government hence they get really angry when they get anything less. So, the first thing you need to do when dealing with an angry customer is to give him / her the opportunity to fully express themselves.
The truth is that if you give listening ears to an angry customer when they are venting their anger, it will send a message to them that you care about them and you are willing to proffer a solution. You will definitely escalate the issue when you interject at every interval when they are speaking.
As a customer service officer, if you aim to become successful in the area, you must always show empathy. That is one of the hallmarks of an effective customer service officer. As a matter of fact, one of the easiest ways to win back an angry customer is to show empathy when they are venting their anger.
The truth is that if you put yourself in their shoes, it will give you a proper perspective of how to handle the situation. When dealing with an angry customer, ensure that you look for opportunities to say words like “If I am in your shoes, I will react the way you are reacting”, “We are so sorry for the inconvenience we have caused you” “You have the right to complain” et al.
Never Talk Down on an Angry Customer
Studies show that government agencies usually attend to the highest number of dissatisfied and angry customers when compared to the private sector. So, one of the customer service tips you should consider as a customer service officer is never to talk down on customers them when they are expressing their anger.
If you want to quickly chase away your customer, then you can go ahead and talk down on them when they are un-bottling their displeasure for your services.
Be Quick to Accept Your Faults
As a customer service officer working in a government agency, if you notice that you made error in the process of carrying out your duty, one of the things you are expected to do to show your customer that you value their business relationship is to be quick in accepting your faults.
Nobody is above mistake and your customers will appreciate it when you accept your mistakes as against stylishly defending or covering up your mistakes or faults. So, it will not be out of place to clearly inform your customers that “I am sorry, I accept it that it is my fault, and we will proffer a solution”.
But if the reason why your customer is angry is not your fault, then there is no need accepting it as your fault; you just have to handle it diplomatically so that your angry customer can take it in good fate. As a matter of fact, there are ways you can handle an angry client and they will accept that they are wrong and even apologize to you.
Proffer Both Short and Long Term Solution
No doubt, as a customer service officer that works for the government, you would always come across challenges that might not come with a holistic solution, hence a customer might not be satisfied. If the situation that made your customer angry can be solved instantly, then by all means solve it.
For example, if a client bought an application form that is supposed to come with a brochure from you that is sealed in a pack, only for the client to storm your office to angrily complain that the pack does not contain a brochure as stated in the pack.
You do not have to tell the client that you are not the manufacturer of the product; all you need to do is to simply apologize and replace the brochure without delay. That is a short – term solution, the long – term solution is to ensure that you lodge the complaint with the manufacturer of the form via your reporting hierarchy so that they will always double check their products.
Ensure to Send a Thank You Text or Mail to an Angry Client for Patronizing Your Business Within 48 Hours of Settling the Dispute
Another customer service tip that a government employee is expected to deploy when carrying out their duty especially when they come across an angry customer is to ensure that they do a follow up to be sure that the customer is ok with the solution provided and also to thank them for patronizing their business, and you should do it within 48 hours of settling the incidence.
The truth is that if you can successfully do this, then you stand the chance of making the customer a lifetime loyal customer and they are likely going to help you get more customers to your business.
Develop Thick Skin
No doubt, if you work in any government establishment as a customer service officer, you will always receive insults especially if the government is not living up to the expectations of her citizens. So, one of the customer service tips that you should leverage on is to ensure that you develop thick skin or else you will go crazy or depressed.
Of course, it is not easy to keep your calm when you are being insulted, but you have no option than to be calm and still respective hence the need to develop thick skin.
Understand That Every Customer is Different
Another important customer service tip that an employee that works for the government should consider when carrying out their duty is to work with the knowledge that every customer is different, hence they should be treated differently.
The truth is that if you treat all your customers with one template, you will end up losing more customers than you will keep especially if they have options (alternative service providers or products). To effectively attend to a customer, you need to quickly observe their temperament within the first few minutes of relating with them so that you can know the template to use in attending to their needs.
Never Make Use of Foul Language
One of the tips that you should leverage on as a customer service officer that works with the government is to ensure that you never make use of foul language. As a customer service officer that works for the government, there are times when you will be tempted to make use of foul language, please by all means try to avoid it.
The truth is that you are the face of the government and an ambassador of your agency and anything you say or do will either promote the organization or give the organization a bad name. Perception is very important in business so ensure that you don’t give room for wrong perception of your organization hence the need to lead with positive language and reactions at all times.
Be Active When Listening to Your Customers
Another tip that you must not take for granted is to ensure that you practice active listening. As a matter of fact, active listening skills is a major requirement for anyone who wants to work as a customer service officer. With effective and active listening skills, you will be able to better understand your customer’s complaints and be able to proffer customized solutions.
One of the ways you can show your customers that you are listening to them actively is to ensure that you repeat some words they say when communicating with them. For example, when they are a calling a number, if they say zero, you too should say zero et al.
Keep Your Tone Under Check
Keeping your tone under check when attending to customers as a customer service officer is one important tip that you should not take for granted when working as an employee of the government. The truth is that there are times when you will be tempted to yell at your client either when you attend to them physically as walk-in customers or via the phone.
Your ability to keep your tone under check in the face of provocation is one of the hallmarks of an effective customer service officer irrespective of whether you work for the government or in a private sector.
Be a Proactive Problem Solver
Another effective customer service tip that an employee that works for the government should consider is to ensure that they are proactive problem solver. As a proactive problem solver, you will be able to solve your customers challenges before they ever arise. With that, you can be rest assured that the customer will always come back to you since they know that you can give them solutions to their problems.
Always Dress Smart and Smell Good
Dressing smart and smelling good is yet another important tip that a customer service officer should consider. If you work as a customer service officer especially in walk – in – centers where you are meant to interface with customers, it is very important that you always dress smart and also smell good.
It is a fact that when you dress smart and you smell smart you would have succeeded in boosting your self – esteem and self – confidence. Please note that this might not work for a call center agent that only relates with his or her clients via the phone.
If You Don’t Have a Solution, Admit It
Another important tip that you should consider if you work as a customer service officer is that if you don’t have a solution, admit it. No body is an island of knowledge, hence there will be a time when you won’t have a solution to all your customers complaints.
When such situation arises, it will not be out of place to admit that you don’t have a solution at the moment. But you must ensure that you promise to get back to them as soon as you get a solution and escalate the compliant to your supervisor or unit head. If you go ahead to give them a timeline, it will even make it better. Note, it is better to admit that you don’t know than to give out false information.
Be Active on Social Media
Lastly, another very important tip that you must not neglect if you work as a customer service officer for a government agency is to ensure that you are active on social media. The truth is that in this era where every thing happens on the social media, you will be out of touch if you don’t have an active presence on social media.
It is easier and most preferred for customers to reach out to their service providers via social media platforms when they have further compliant after being attended to. As a matter of fact, there is hardly any serious 21st century business or company that does not have active social media presence simply because they know the power of social media especially as it relates to engaging their clientele base. Some of the social media platform you should start with are twitter, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.