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Definition of Customer Relations

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Customer relations, or customer service, is the front line between an organization and its customers. How customers are initially greeted and treated can influence their decisions to do business with your company. Effective customer relations strategies include listening skills, oral and written communication, analytical and problem solving skills and teamwork based on the organization's commitment to meet customer needs while making customers feel welcome and valued.

Initial Contact

First impressions may not always be accurate, but they do create a lasting influence on customers. Friendly greetings and a sincere interest in customer needs creates a basis for solving problems and meeting customers needs.

Positive Impressions

Customers expect to have their concerns addressed quickly and efficiently. Customer relations staff must be knowledgeable and courteous. Bad experiences stay with customers; front line employees can make or break customer relationships.

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Listening Skills

Listening skills help customer relations staff determine how to approach each customer's needs and meet their expectations. Using listening skills to identify problems and determine how to help and calm irate customers can establish customer confidence.

Effective Communication

Customer relations depends on effective communication. Problems can escalate when communication fails. Communicating clearly verbally and in writing can prevent misunderstandings and misinterpretations of information by customers and coworkers.

Problem Solving

Problem solving and analytical skills support customer relations; the ability to listen, interpret and act appropriately when addressing customer needs is essential to successful customer relations. Knowing when to escalate customer concerns to the next level of customer support staff is an important aspect of problem solving.

Teamwork

Working together to meet customer needs establishes excellent customer service and provides learning opportunities for customer relations staff. A customer relations department counts on support from all employees and departments when necessary.

Follow-Up

Follow-up can help re-establish customer confidence after resolving major problems. Calling customers to ensure their satisfaction lets customers know that they're valued.

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