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Being Assertive in Customer Service Roles

When people are being assertive in customer service roles, the outcome is direct and solution focused. Assertiveness allows you to develop a confident and straightforward approach to resolving problems and dealing with customers. These tips will help you become more assertive and improve your ability to handle customer service scenarios.

  1. DON’T MISTAKE ASSERTIVENESS FOR AGGRESSIVENESS

    Assertiveness is dependent on a steady balance of being direct while also considering factors affecting other people. By being solely forthright with a customer, and not considering their motivations, requirements, and emotions, you are simply being aggressive. Remember that assertiveness needs balance. Aggressive behaviour is all about winning, while assertive behaviour will seek to find a satisfactory resolution to a customer’s problem while keeping a direct, honest approach.

  2. THINK ABOUT SITUATIONS

    By taking the time to comprehend what is being said by a customer, you avoid looking as if you have made a rash or reactionary decision without thinking. Moreover, you will have better processing time allowing you to develop an assertive response that pleases you and your customer.

  3. USE ‘I’ STATEMENTS

    All assertive language uses ‘I’ statements. They describe emotional states and interests while ‘you’ statements might be perceived as aggressive and provoke a reaction from a customer that you don’t want. ‘I’ statements are less confrontational, but they maintain a direct, assertive stance.

  4. ALWAYS FIND A SOLUTION

    When you have to be assertive, it’s often because you cannot agree to a customer’s demands. As opposed to saying “no” to someone, try to achieve a different solution. Think about why the customer has had to speak to you and try to be empathetic. You might not be able to generate the outcome they pre-empted, but a compelling alternative will make a customer feel that they have had a constructive conversation with a person who understands their issue and values the ongoing relationship that has been established.

  5. TELL THE TRUTH

    Assertiveness relies on expressing how you feel. By using simple statements that clearly outline your opinion, you can use assertiveness to help communicate effectively with customers. Phrases like “I feel unsure about”, or, “it is a totally unacceptable situation for you to be in” are helpful to reassure customers that you understand their issue and can empathise with them. Expressing your true opinion about situations will make customers trust and respect you more.

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