Deliver Service in More than 140 Characters

In our electronically driven world, it is easy to lose sight of the strength of superb customer service. We talk in sound bites. Tweet in under 140 characters.  Text in code. But what is this doing to our relationship skills? Are we short-changing ourselves by not practicing the basics of relationship building in our every day interactions?

The reality? There isn’t much choice but to participate in our ‘short-hand’ style world. But we do have a choice in how we treat people. Here are a few things to help keep your interpersonal skills limber.

  • Make a good first impression. It is proven that first impressions matter.  We get about 10 seconds to make our mark. Make sure you pay attention to how you present yourself.  Make the recipient of your impression feel important and comfortable with a smile, positive body language and eye contact.
  • Be appreciative of people. Take the time to thank people for their time in a meaningful and thoughtful way.
  • Write thank you notes when you can. Whether you send your note by snail mail or electronically, make sure you make an effort to confirm your gratitude.
  • Be helpful.  Ask leading questions to help you to uncover what they really need from you and then fill that need.
  • Be reasonable.  Give people the benefit of the doubt and be trusting.
  • Ask for feedback.  Take a few minutes to ask people how they are doing and what they think about your services. Take their suggestions to heart and improve whenever possible.
  • Do the small stuff.  Take a minute to go the extra mile when answering a question, directing someone or assisting them with completing their task.

Taking a few minutes to slow down, ask questions and show thanks is really the foundation for any successful relationship.  We live in a crazy paced world, but there is a true appreciation for solid customer service that ultimately builds long-term loyalty.