What Does Customer Service Mean To You?

I’ve been workin’ customer service jobs since I was in high school.

Since 14, I believe.

I’ve done whole lot too.

Worked in public schools, retail, offices, parks, recreation centers, bars/ restaurants, theaters.

Cleaned up facilities. Sold stuff (B2C). Cold called folks.

Promotional stuff (handin’ out flyers). Posted signage. Emailed over 500 clients a day.

Worked gruelin’ 15 hour shifts. Grindin’ it out for tips.

I work.

Super hard too.

Through all this, I’ve gained a ton of street smarts and an understandin’ of customers. And people, in general.

Besides workin’ a whole lotta jobs – I’ve also been on a bunch of job interviews. Probably over 75 in the span of 4 years. Not kiddin’ at all either.

And interviewers always ask me the question – What Does Customer Service Mean To You?

And that question should be a question that should stump you, but it’s real easy.

Customer service is problem solvin’ by bein’ as calm as possible. And doin’ it quickly as possible.  Basically, conflict resolution.

Cause problems will always happen.

Stuff will break down.

People will act crazy (cause they’re irrational and emotional).

You just act calm. And patiently address the problem.

And here’s the surprisin’ thing I’ve noticed – some customers you just can’t help. At all.

For whatever reason.

Maybe they don’t like you.

Maybe they’re too far gone, emotionally.

Maybe they wanna steal your money.

If none of your persuasive abilities work on the customer – then, sadly, that’s not the customer for you.

You can’t help every customer.

Just be nice. And find some else can help them.

Another vender. Another employee. Another store.

And, yes, you’re losin’ business.

But if you’re tryin’ to help a customer.And you’ve set rules, prices, guidelines. And they can’t meet ’em.

And you’ve tried your best to work somethin’ out – then, that’s it.

Point ’em somewhere else. To someone that can help ’em.

Just be nice ’bout it.

Later,

Jamual

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How To Handle A High Volume Of Customers (Patience Is A Virtue)

Restaurants jobs (or customer service jobs, general) are tough.

Why?

Cause things happen fast.

Anythin’ can happen.

Customers can fall. And hurt themselves. And blame you.

Co workers can fall. And hurt themselves. And – also blame you.

Fights can break out.

Blood. Guts. Wildness.

You name it.

… Again, anythin’ can happen.

So, how do you prepare for the craziness when problems arrive?

After 3 straight years – I’ve found that the best course of action is to —

Be calm at all times. 

Whatever happens. Whatever problems arise – keep your cool.

Be indifferent.

Calm, cool collected.

Don’t get mad, happy, sad or gloomy. Just be rational as possible. And fix the problem. And move on.

You’re in a fast paced environment.

Become the environment.

Go fast. Be calm in the face of craziness.

Doesn’t matter what the situation is.

Boss yellin’ and screamin’?

Be calm.

Customers way too drunk – flailing around?

Be calm.

You can’t stop a problem from happenin’

Problems are gonna happen, yes. But you solve it faster, by throwin’ your emotions to the wayside. And barrelin’ through ’em with brutal calmness. Like Batman in every movie ever.

In customer service (and I guess, business, in general) –

Patience really is a virtue.

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Calmness Gives You Power

My Marketin’ Strategy (Empathy – based)

Marketin’ and Advertisin’ are old games. Ever since the dawn of man, we’ve used ways to divert our desired person attention so that we can persuade them.

Cause, to me, that’s what marketin’ is.

You – as a marketer/salesman – follow what people are doin’ and you respond to it by givin’ ’em what they want. To the T.

All your favorites companies do it.

Apple.

Google.

Nike.

All of ’em. Some do it better than others, but that’s business, right?

I even do it at my job.

For example, my customers always point out that they like a certain type of gum. Or that they would like a mirror in the bathroom (remember I’m a bathroom guy).

So, what do I do?

I respond to their requests.

I buy tons of gum. And a mirror too.

I satisfiy their wants. And they tip me for it.  That to me is what marketin’ is.

Figure out what the person wants. And give it to ’em. Usin’ empathy.

I call it a customer first marketin’ strategy. Cause without the customer – you don’t make no moolah. At all.

This video by Gary V is the basis of all my “marketin’ strategy.”

My head exploded when I saw this.

Knowin’ your customer is the biggest thing that has helped make tips in the restaurant/bar industry. And is somethin’ I’m gonna take into other industries as well.

I know my customers. I remember lil’ details that they tell me.

What job they do?

Do they have a job?

Previous job?

Why did come to bar? Just to get drunk. Or to get girls? Or to chill?

What is it? What’s their goals?

So, I’ve read stuff like this in other direct response marketin’ books like the Dan Kennedy No B.S. series.

But I didn’t understand it till I used my active listenin’ skills to understand other people. Cause that’s how I interact. I focus all my attention on the person – tryin’ to figure ’em out. And try to give to ’em want they want.

The second chapter of Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People – says, “The only way I can get you to do anything is by giving you what you want.” 

That is the foundation of my salesmanship.

Hell, our next President has done it extremely well.

He heard the voices of Middle class Americans that lost their factory jobs due to bad trade agreements. And used that passion to win that Presidency. Amongst other factors too.

All he did was listen to main concerns of voters (economics – jobs) and spoke ’bout it.

He gave ’em what they want.

This strategy has helped me up to this point too. It’s powerful…

… So in closin’ – just remember …

… It’s always the customer first!

Peace,

Jamual

 

Why You Should Work in Customer Service — At Least For A Little Bit

(The 3rd business post in two weeks — jeez — I must like this stuff… Anyway, let’s get into it).

Alright, I know you saw the title. And you’re thinking …

Customer service? That sucks!

But wait it isn’t that bad. You just need to find the right place to work.

For example, don’t work at fast food places. That’s a bad decision to make.

Why?

Cause those places have terrible hours, pay their employees horribly, and take too much time — your most valuable asset.

Instead, I highly recommend working in bars and upscale restaurants — if you want some fast cash. And little time investment.

What’s So Freaking Good ‘Bout it?

Reason Number One — Social Skills

Whether you’re a waiter, bartender, or barback, your social skills will improve. I guarantee it. Cause that’s how stuff gets done in this business.

Communication.

If you can’t communicate, you don’t make moolah. And then you die. Cause moolah is oxygen. Well, at least, to me it is.

There’s gonna be times when you’re gonna find yourself talking to two customers, one co worker, a pretty girl. And your boss. All at the same time.

And if you don’t know how to effectively communicate — you’ll perish.

When I first started my job, as a bathroom guy, I would easily talk to 50 – 100 people a night. Passing out paper towels, selling candy, gum and cologne.

It’s high paced, high volume. Wild nights — filled with booze and druggies.

At first, I’ll be honest; I was overwhelmed at the start. Cause the nightlife scene can go really fast. Too freaking fast.

But after a couple months, I got the hang of it. And noticed a major difference in how I interact with people.

I was confident. Chatting everyone up. Guys, girls. You name it…

… Even job interviews became easy for me. Like a lotta times, the interviewer would be more nervous than me.

Seriously, one time, an interviewer was literally shaking his butt off, while he asked me questions off his clipboard.

Across from him, I was calm, cool, and collected…

…That’s the power of 50 – 100 social interactions for 3 days per week. It’s like nothing to me now. Like riding a bike.

So, if your social skills are lacking – customer service jobs are the way to go.

Reason Number Two – Fast Money

Everybody loves moolah, right?

And if they don’t – they’re freaking lying.

Me? I love the dough. Even better is that I love making it fast. That’s the thing with fast food jobs. You’re making cash slow. Slaving away for 40+ hours a week for a 250-dollar check. Waste of time.

I make that in two nights. And have extra cash left over to spend on whatever I want.

Protein shakes, kombucha, shea butter –  stuff that I love.

And the other cool thing, is that if I move, I can definitely get another restaurant job anywhere I go cause they’re pretty much everywhere. 

Reason Number Third — Business Sense

So, I’m not a business guy. At all. But I do understand it cause of the books I’ve read. Trump books, Robert K, Brian Tracy books etc, etc.

As well as my Ebay trainin’.

When interacting with customers little thoughts and quotes from those pop into my head. Like one sales book preaches appearance, appearance, appearance.

After reading that, I started wearing a full suit at work. This was a good idea cause it increased my tips my 20%.  20 freakin’ percent!

Another thing I read in a Brian Tracy book was the use of active listening skills. Which I already have cause of my improv background.

My active listening skills are used to understand my customers, co workers, as well as my bosses. It’s probably the best skill if you wanna appear down to earth and relatable to people.

Cause I always hear from new customers, “You’re a chill guy, Jamual“.

Or, “You’re not annoyin’“.

To me, the reason I hear that is because in sales books they say people gotta like you to make a sale. And that’s what I try to do. That’s probably the core of my “sales strategy” – don’t be annoyin’.

The only thing bout customer service jobs is that sometimes you get wild people. And you have to deal with their craziness. So, you need a immense amount of patience and like dealin’ with craziness. And your good.

I know when I’m older, like ten years older, I’m gonna look back on my experiences and really smile about the skills that I learned being a customer service professional.

Later,

— Jamual

P.S. I’m on twitter. It’s rockin over there!