Insights from a Customer Service Agent

5 Things I learned about working in Customer Service at a Grocery Store

Working in customer service is no easy task, and making sure the customers always leave happy is much harder. When I started as a customer service representative 3 years ago, I was told to just smile and be polite and everything should pan out with every customer. But that’s not always the case. Here are the 5 things I learned from working customer service at my local grocery store.

1. Know your Company’s Policies:

You should never go into customer service expecting to just wing it. Every company, no matter what it is, has its sets of policies to abide by. Those policies help keep the company’s mission, vision and values while still aiming towards satisfying its customers. Not all policies are strict rules, some policies help guide us on how to leave the customer feeling like they were treated fairly even though they may not leave happy.

2. Be prepared for Anything:

When you realize that every day will be different, your day will go smoothly. As I said earlier, working customer service is no simple task. You will deal with different people with many different personalities. Over the years I’ve had some of the nicest customers but then there are those who will yell at you because they are not getting what they want. I’m certain that not all customer service jobs will have the same types of encounters but it is always best to keep an open mind and be prepared for just about anything. Always remember that you are there to serve the customer!

3. Ask For Clarification:

Most people come to customer service knowing what the problem was and knowing what they want to gain from the call or visit to the customer service desk. You can’t always assume that you know the best way to take care of a customer because every customer has different needs and ways to ask for what they need. Sometimes asking questions is the best way to go but sometimes asking too many questions may irritate an already upset customer. So, just get a feel for what the customer wants and try to take care of the issue while still following your stores policies and procedures.

4. Be clear with the Customer:

Not only is asking for clarification from the customer important but also being clear with them is an essential part of customer service. It is always a good idea to repeat the problem back to the customer. That way the customers feel like they are being heard and you know exactly what you are dealing with in order to take the necessary steps to solve the issue. Another thing to remember is that you do not want to leave the customer wondering about what is going on. Keeping the customer informed through the process improves the overall customer experience.

5. Know when to Apologize:

It’s important to understand we are representing the company, what it stands for, and that customer satisfaction is the goal. When I first started working customer service, I took every problem that the customers had as a personal issue. I would get irritated whenever a customer came to me upset about a certain issue because that often meant that I had to apologize to the customer for any inconvenience that they may have experienced. The customer’s anger may not necessarily be caused by us but it is our job to deescalate the situation and help to the best of our ability.  An apology may not entirely solve the issue but it will give the customer a sense that they are being understood and that you will try your best to help.

Final Thoughts

Over the years of working in customer service, I have learned many concepts that can be applied to my personal life. Not only have I gained some insight on effectively dealing with the public but also how to interact, communicate and deal with all sorts of people outside of work including those closest to me.