Childcare Customer Service 101

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By Jackie Barnes

There are thousands of books, courses, and articles written to improve basic customer service skills. Today is one of those days I was reminded why.

Here's a few tips.

Make the 1st words out of your mouth, "I am sorry." This is not a legal plea of culpability. It is an expression of regret over the negative experience had by someone else.

Never pass up a perfectly good opportunity to keep your mouth shut. God gave you 2 ears & 1 mouth for a reason. Listen. As Covey says, seek first to understand THEN to be understood.

Watch your body language. Unfold those crossed arms. Make eye contact. Open yourself up literally & figuratively. Now is not the time to multitask. Studies show that if you give a complainant your undivided attention, you will spend less time in the long run with a more successful outcome than had you tried to finish your paperwork & answer an email while dealing with the problem.

Take notes on the issue. This speaks volumes. The issue is important enough for you to write down. An additional benefit is the need to get to your office where you have pen & paper which helps escort an irate customer away from the traffic flow of others.

Outline a plan of action. Follow the plan & follow up with the person to demonstrate success BEFORE they follow up with you.

And finally, as a mouse might reflect upon their relationship with Tigger Charles the cat, never, ever, make someone mad who has the power to eat you alive. This translates to a preventative approach to customer service- don't hack 'em off in the 1st place. Apart from humans, the whole animal kingdom lives by this concept. Certainly those of us with opposing thumbs can manage to grasp this fact.

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