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Professional Introduction In Customer Service
Guest articles > Professional Introduction In Customer Service
by: Viganesh Kumar
Since the start of my career, I have seen the changes and evolution of customer service skills. However one skill has not changed and still remains in our customer service scope. It is Professional Introduction.
Professional introduction defines the image of an organization and sets the welcoming greetings to be in standard order. Whenever we discuss professional introduction, we only limit its scope to handshake and choice of words. Is it so?
Few years back when I was working as HR Manager, suppliers tend to fix appointments for our organization strategic plans. I have notice that one of the labour agent suppliers shall never be punctual for meetings and appointments. Whenever my staffs rang him up to locate his whereabouts, he will never attend to the calls. However he will be super-fast whenever his payment is prepared. I noticed his behaviour continued for the next few meetings. After three months, I decided not to renew his contract with us after obtaining another labour agent supplier. The new labour agent supplier acts professionally and communicates effectively for the benefit of our organization.
Another incident occurred at a popular hotel in Johor. When we entered the main entrance, the bell man did not greet us and his expression showed that he clearly snubbed us away. The bell man continued talking with a security guard and his poor attitude prompted me to inform his superior. What happened to the formal introduction greeting in the hotel by placing the right hand on the left chest? It is extinct or complete ignorance by several employees that do not understand the term ‘professional’?
One of the key vital tips is being punctual when meeting our customers. We do
not want our customers waiting for us as every tick of time means business. It
is suggested that being 10 minutes early before the appointment shall provide a
comfort zone. It also provides you an opportunity to freshen up and apply light
make up to enlighten your personal grooming. Apply a light fragrance or perfume
and avoid strong ones as it might create discomfort with your customer. Ensure
that your phone is in silent mode to avoid interruptions during the meeting.
Receive your customers with warm and courteous feelings. If we are sitting when
the customer comes, stand up to greet him. Our body language should indicate
that we are always receptive with acceptance. Always ensure that you had
established eye contact and paint a beautiful smile to greet your customers. You
should offer handshake as a sign of greetings and bonding relationship. When you
offer handshake make sure it is in the right angle with your thumbs are 90
degrees and other fingers joined straight. One or two pumps should be sufficient
and greet the customer’s name with title. As you hand shake, nod your head in
acknowledgment and your upper body lowered a bit to portray acceptance. If the
customer has come to your workplace, bring him to the designed meeting room.
Offer him a seat and ensure that the main person be seated in front of you for
easier discussion. Exchange business card by holding the tip of the business
card in both hands. The business card you receive from your customer should not
be kept in your card holder or wallet immediately. Place the business card on
the right of you for your view and form of respect. Once the customer is
comfortable, offers him refreshments such as tea, coffee or bottled mineral
water. If the customer prefers bottled mineral water, provide it with an extra
glass so that customer can pour accordance to his needs. If you have any forms
of gifts to give to your customer ensure that it is acceptable for the customer
to avoid the perception as bribe. Besides than that, ensure the gift objects are
acceptable to customers and do not hurt their feelings as different race may
have different taboo on several items. For example it is prohibited of giving
clock to Chinese as it marks a symbol of dead or funeral. Once the meeting is
over, accompany the customer till he reached the lift or exit door and thank him
for the allocated precious time.
Thus we can summarize that professional introduction is not only about handshake or greetings but it requires the right attitude, dedication, sincerity and etiquette which was clearly missing from initial labour agent supplier or the bellman. Whenever I discuss about professional introduction in my training's, it seems an easy meat for the participants but when I asked them to role play it, definitely there are areas to tackle. Throughout the years professional introduction has remained the same but most of us simply ignore several tiny aspects that differentiate between quality and moderate customer service. Train your employees the importance of professional introduction as it shall provide the first impression when meeting a customer.
Viganesh Kumar, a HRDF approved consultant, trainer and lecturer in the fields of Management, Operation and Hospitality. A Human Resource Strategist with distinctive career and has provided consultancy & training for over than 200 organizations in various industry.
View his complete profile.
Contributor: Viganesh Kumar
Published here on: 04-May-14