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Avoid the Rut

By Paul Macdonald


Customer service is all about solving someone else’s problems. It’s the start of a relationship that can last for a long time with recurring experiences driving revenues, profits and employment longevity.

It all starts with the customer service representative (CSR) that answers the phone. A CSR can be a powerful, challenging and rewarding job. It’s powerful to know that a CSR has the means to return normalcy to a customer’s daily routine. It’s a challenge every day to exceed customers’ expectations for a myriad of reasons. It’s rewarding when customers and employers show sincere appreciation for the efforts of a job well done. Not just anyone can excel as a CSR; it takes a special personality, attitude and regular coaching to succeed.

It’s long been said that the more experience you have, the better you become at whatever it is you’re doing. That is not necessarily so with customer service. In fact, the more you do this job, the harder it is to remain good at it. When answering 30 to 50 or more phone calls a day, it’s hard not to fall into the “CSR rut.” The CSR rut happens when a CSR becomes hardened, speaks in a monotone and is uncaring of customers’ needs.

Working in customer service is almost always negative and can get depressing listening to others complain all the time about their failed appliances. A seasoned CSR will unconsciously anticipate the conversation, often rudely interrupting the customer to get to the bare necessities and complete the call. When this happens, CSRs put their needs before the customers, inverting the fundamental foundation of customer service: solving someone else’s problems. Some customers will respond to the CSR’s rude behavior, some will ignore it and some will just not do business with that company because of their experience with that CSR.



 Read the full article in the Members Only section

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RRetailers, Servicers, Suppliers: A Call for Industry Participation

For more than 75 years, the North American Retail Dealers Association has been the voice of independent appliance, electronics, bedding and furniture retailers. Through education, representation and a host of benefits, NARDA has worked diligently for all retailers.

Here’s how you can help both the industry and your own enterprise: NARDA is now moving forward into new areas and seeks volunteers that can give an hour or less each month to help guide the association. Please indicate your interest and you will be contacted and given more information.

Your name:

Contact number:

NARDA also is asking you to identify the areas in which it can assist you and your business. Whether it is legislation, education, legal services, publications, repair service or cloud-based services, please indicate which issues are most important to you. The very best suggestions will receive a $100 gift card.

Please express your willingness to volunteer and suggestions to

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North American Retail Dealers Association
222 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2100
Chicago IL 60606
Phone: 312.648.0649 or 800.621.0298 (US Only)
Fax: 312.648.1212

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