Put Yourself in the Customer’s Place to Understand the Elements of Customer Service

One way to give great customer service to your clients is by putting yourself in their place. This is a classic move to create empathy. And it’s also easy to do because everyone who sells products or services is also a customer of something else. We all need to buy things—large things such as homes and cars as well as small things such as pencils and orange juice. We need things in order to live. So we are all customers. As a customer, what do you need in order to remain happy? This is the million dollar question.


The number one thing that everyone wants is to be spoken to in a polite manner, not just by the people who are close to us or the people we meet at work but also strangers whom we meet in everyday life—the bus driver, the mailman and yes, the salesperson or customer service representative of the company from where we buy things.

Politeness can include many things—greeting people with a “good morning” or “good evening,” smiling at them, asking them if there’s anything they need etc. At the same time, politeness also means not hovering! No one wants someone looking over their shoulder or asking extraneous questions which are unrelated to the purchase. So you have to walk a fine line between being helpful and being intrusive.


Although a “good morning” or a smile is generally a good idea, there are cases when it can backfire. And this is when the customer can tell that the person greeting them obviously doesn’t mean it. Many times, salespeople or customer service reps just go through the motions of helping customers when they’re actually wondering when their day is going to end so that they can get out of their workplace.

Customers can tell when politeness is fake. So if the salesperson or customer service rep isn’t really invested in helping them out and doing a good job, then no amount of politeness is going to cut it. This means that you need to hire people who are genuinely interested in doing a good job, not just earning a paycheck.