In the world of customer service, communication, body language, listening skills, and facial expressions convey a great deal about how we want to help a person. Organizations invest significantly in training employees, yet some don’t always retain all aspects of the training. Customer service is simple. When we think about it, the art of customer service can be summarized by saying, “treat others just as we want to be treated.”
Treat Others Just as You Want to be Treated!
Customer service does not have to be a series of instructions. We already have the skills we need to be a great customer service representative. Consider this: when we exhibit kindness, care, compassion, patience, and respect, we have demonstrated a perfect model for customer service! Jesus said in Luke 6: 31, “treat others just as you want to be treated.”
Turning Adversity into Opportunity
When an unhappy customer comes in and expresses their frustration on an individual, it is imperative to recognize that they are not upset with the customer service representative; they are upset with being inconvenienced. Often, the problem has occurred due to miscommunication or an issue that can be remedied quickly. The customer wants someone to listen to their concern and resolve the issue. It is important to remember that the customer service representative is an extension of the company. Adverse situations can be transformed into opportunities to foster customer loyalty by adhering to the principle of “treating others just as we want to be treated.”
Acknowledge and Listen to the Customer!
Empathy, sincerity, and an apology can quickly shift a customer's mindset. By placing ourselves in their position, we gain a different perspective. The customer wants someone to see and understand their point of view and when the representative does this, the customer gets the satisfaction they are wanting and needing. Also, maintaining a positive tone, sustaining eye contact, using proper body language, actively listening, and summarizing the problem or issue back to the customer all signal that their concerns are heard and acknowledged.
Transparency and Honesty
Working with the customer is key in identifying a solution. Equally important is transparency and honesty. Many problems arise when a representative provides inaccurate information or promises the customer something they cannot deliver. This can further infuriate the customer and make matters worse. No matter what the situation is, honesty from a customer service representative says a great deal about the person and the organization.
I am Always Glad to Help You!
In my experience, when faced with a challenging situation, I implemented these principles and 95% of customers left with a renewed perspective of both me and the company. It is also interesting to note that many would apologize for their outbursts. This is another opportunity to reinforce my commitment to them by saving, “I completely understand. I would have been upset as well. Always feel free to come to me. I am always glad to help you.”
Kindness, Care, Compassion, Patience & Respect
Consider this: Kindness is “the quality of being generous and helpful.” Care is love that provides the things a person needs. Compassion is a sympathetic action shown to others. Patience is “the ability to wait, or to continue doing something despite difficulties,” and Respect is “admiration felt or shown for someone.” When we demonstrate each of these characteristics, we are treating others the way we want to be treated, offering an unparalleled customer service experience!
As college educators, we know that teaching adults is vastly different from teaching children due to several key factors. It's important to recognize and address these differences so that we can effectively teach in the college classrooms of today. Doing so will help us to better engage and retain our students, but more importantly, enable us to maximize student success and help them reach their academic goals.
One of the first things we need to understand is that adult learners bring life experience to the classroom. Even more so at the graduate level, adults come to the table with a wealth of life experiences, prior knowledge, and skills. They have a more extensive knowledge base to build upon compared to children. Effective adult education acknowledges and respects this existing knowledge and should try to leverage it in the classroom to create rich learning experiences. Also, adult learners are more likely to be intrinsically motivated, meaning they want to learn for personal satisfaction and growth, which is in contrast to children who are primarily motivated by external rewards. Adults often choose to learn or seek a degree because they see a direct benefit or relevance to their lives, careers, or their interests. In contrast, children may not always grasp the immediate practicality of what they are learning. Therefore, assignments and projects that make a real-world connection really help to draw them into the learning experience (Baumgartner & Merriam, 2020). Another key aspect of adult motivation to learn is self-directedness. Mature learners are more likely to take ownership of their learning process, set their goals, and decide how to achieve them. This autonomy should be encouraged and supported in your course design and assignment selection. Consider giving them options and customizing assignments based on career-related projects or work in the community. Active learning solutions tend to be very well-received in this regard.
Adult learners are quite diverse and have distinct learning preferences, needs, and backgrounds. College educators should provide a variety of learning opportunities to accommodate a diverse range of preferences while also recognizing differing cultural backgrounds. A very important point to consider about adult learners are the unique challenges they face outside of the classroom in pursuit of their degree. They often have busy lives with work, family, and other responsibilities and this necessitates that we, as instructors, engage them with empathy, compassion, and flexibility, recognizing that they may need to balance their studies with other commitments. Since students have a wide range of choices in higher ed’s competitive marketplace, by engaging them in this way we can increase retention and persistence.
Consider your course design and content. Are your materials and content relevant and up to date? Mature students are more likely to engage when they see the immediate relevance of what they are learning. As mentioned previously, since our students often bring personal experience to the classroom, good instruction can build upon this knowledge and encourage peer-to-peer learning and collaboration (King, 2017). Also, students appreciate constructive, specific feedback and assessments that help them to gauge their progress and show where improvement is needed. Timely feedback is also crucial because it allows learners to make adjustments before the next assignment, increases efficacy, and builds confidence and motivation. When students do not receive both specific or timely feedback, they begin psychologically disengaging from the course and feel helpless, which leads to dropped courses and even transfers to other institutions. Lastly, in most cases, it’s best to avoid hiding future week’s content, rather allow students to see all of the material and assignments so that they can plan how they will approach their studies and balance it with outside obligations. Doing so both reduces anxiety and supports student autonomy.
The differences between teaching adults and children necessitate a unique approach to higher education. As instructors, we should recognize and respect the diverse backgrounds, motivations, and learning preferences of our students and allow that to inform how we teach. Ultimately, this student-centered approach creates a learning environment that fosters student success, confidence, and critical thinking, which ultimately helps them achieve their personal and professional goals.
My Personal Wake-Up Call
During the early days of the pandemic quarantine, like many of you, I found myself confined to my home. At first, it seemed like a welcome break from the daily commute and office hustle. However, it didn't take long for me to realize how stressed I truly was prior to the worldwide call to hunker down to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
For years prior, I had been keeping a fast pace of meeting deadlines, networking, and working on my professional goals. Because this was my norm, I hadn't noticed how my anxiety had silently crept in, subtly affecting my well-being (poor sleeping habits, weight gain, and minimal quiet time). It wasn't until I was forced into a slower pace of life that I recognized the toll it had taken on me.
The Anxiety Awakening
As the weeks turned into months, I found myself grappling with heightened anxiety levels as a frontline worker supporting employees, clients, and community members through the emotional and cognitive challenges that accompanied the pandemic. It was a relentless battle, and my body was sending unmistakable signals. My sleep was disrupted, my heart raced, I persistently gained weight, and I couldn't shake the constant feeling of unease.
It took nearly six weeks of gardening and small DIY projects around the house to finally bring my cortisol levels under control. It was during this period of going through the same crisis that my clients were experiencing that I realized we all need to take a closer look at just how overpowering stress and anxiety can be even when think we are “handling it.”
Prioritizing Mental Health for Professional Success
My experience taught me a valuable lesson: stress and anxiety can manifest silently, impacting our personal and professional lives. As a clinician, I can't stress enough the importance of prioritizing mental health. It's not a sign of weakness; it's a fundamental component of our well-being. Just as we tend to other areas of our healthcare; physical, dental, and vision, we need to tend to our emotional and cognitive well-being.
In order to effectively manage workplace stress and anxiety, it's essential to begin with self-awareness and recognition. This involves paying close attention to both the physical and emotional signs that indicate stress and anxiety might be taking hold. These signs can vary from person to person but often include symptoms like muscle tension, an increased heart rate, irritability, or difficulty concentrating. By recognizing these signals within yourself, you can take proactive steps to address them. If you are unable to reasonably regulate your stress response with these techniques, seek out professional help through your employee benefits program, community resources, or private practitioners.
Schedule short breaks throughout your workday
Mindfulness and Meditation
Healthy Lifestyle Choices
Time Off and Vacation
Set Realistic Expectations
Remember that managing workplace stress and anxiety is an ongoing process. It's essential to develop a set of strategies that work for you personally and to prioritize self-care to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Success at work is not just about climbing the career ladder; it's about nurturing your mental and emotional well-being along the way.
In today's fast-paced digital landscape, where businesses are constantly vying for online visibility and consumer attention, having a strong grasp of digital marketing is crucial for career advancement and business success.
Get Hands On Experience!
One of the most effective ways to validate your expertise in this field is by earning a digital marketing certificate. Amberton University offers both an undergraduate and graduate level certification. With built in certifications into the program such as Google Analytics 4 and HubSpot Digital Advertising and others, you get hands on experience with leading digital marketing tools, applications, content and more.
How to Thrive in the Digital Marketing Arena
First and foremost, a digital marketing certificate provides you with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in the digital marketing arena. You'll gain insights into various aspects of digital marketing, including search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, and analytics. This comprehensive understanding empowers you to create and implement strategic digital marketing campaigns that can drive tangible results for businesses. Moreover, digital marketing is an ever-evolving field, and earning a certificate demonstrates your commitment to staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies, making you a valuable asset to employers or clients.
The Future of Digital Marketing
In fact, ZipRecruiter.com (2023) states, “The job outlook for digital marketing professionals is slightly better than the average profession. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job demand in the overall field of marketing should increase by 10% by 2026. That increase is above the average for all careers.” With such an in demand field, the needs of the workplace for trained and skilled digital marketers is vast! So check out the Amberton University certifications in Digital Marketing today!