Put Yourself in Your Customer's Shoes

If we talk about customer service in terms of shoes, your customers' shoes are the ones that carry all of the weight. You cannot truly understand your customer experience or how your customer feels without putting yourself in his shoes.

The basic rules of customer service are clear to almost every business these days: Say please and thank you. Understand the customer. Try to personalize the conversation. But are these rules enough? Most businesses face a surge in customer service requests because they fail to understand their customers and achieve what they want.

As humans, we all tend to expect more than we say from a business or a person. When your customer is talking to your customer service representative, she wants the agent to understand and listen beyond the words. she wants the agent to be in the same situation and then give a resolution accordingly.

There are many different channels of customer service and communication these days. Businesses that want to excel in their customer service should focus on all these channels and gain the maximum out of them. Let's go over these different modes of communication.


Phone, no matter how old, remains the number one mode of customer service. A phone call provides an authentic, one-to-one conversation that customers need. When a customer requires reassurance, the phone is the best way to communicate.

Forrester did say that customer service through phone is seeing a constant decline in popularity, using it as an escalation from other modes of communication. However, we are still not where we can exclude or side-line phones entirely. Until that happens, hold tight to your phones and help your customers with the reassurances they need.


Texts are the fastest and most accessible form of communication with customers. Most people have their push notifications on for texts. For businesses, leaving texts with important information, like order status, order delivery, and reminders, can prove to be very useful for both the customers and the business. Businesses can also leverage text messaging for surveys involving one word or numerical answers. This form of review makes it easy for customers to reply.


Email is efficient and can be read/written at any time on any day. Emails can also be customized and changed to obtain the maximum benefit from the platform. Most customers prefer email because they can read and respond to them in their own time. For businesses, emails allow them to showcase their creativity and innovation while making sure that their brands are remembered and appreciated.

Self Service:

Self-service is another mode of customer service that is becoming extremely popular. Customers no longer want to wait for a response or pick up their phones and dial. They would instead go to the company knowledge base and solve their problem on their own. Businesses leverage this option by curating and maintaining their knowledge base with all of the latest hacks for products and services, along with the FAQs that customers demand the most. Self-service also reduces the number of unnecessary calls and emails to customer service representatives.

Social Media:

Social media is all the buzz right now, and companies are using it as an opportunity to interact and solve customer queries in a quirky and fun way. Many businesses also have dedicated Twitter accounts to answer and respond to customer service questions and suggestions. Having a social media presence helps businesses stay in the customers' reach and also create a better brand image.

Live Chat:

With automation and machine learning taking over, it is sure to leave a mark on customer service as well. We now see a live chat option on almost every website and app. Some connect to a live human agent, and some operate with the help of chatbots and automated responses. Having a live chat option ensures that your customers get all the answers they need in one step and do not have to shift to a mobile phone or come back at a later time.

According to Hubspot research, 62 percent of customers prefer email, 48 percent prefer phone, 42 percent prefer live chat, and 36 percent prefer the "Contact Us" form on websites. Messengers are also growing in popularity, with 21 percent preferring Facebook Messenger. Ten percent prefer Twitter to communicate matters related to customer service.

So how does the business put itself in its customers' shoes?

Many things contribute to excellent customer service, and while having a presence on every communication channel is essential, handling those channels right and understanding how to make the most out of them is crucial. There is no shortcut to customer service; it's all about your approach and the way you come across. That is what helps the most.

Here are a few basic rules that can be applied across all channels:

Be Polite.

Listen and then answer your customer. Let them speak and respond in a way that helps them believe you understand.

Listen to Your Customers.

Customer service can never be done right if you do not listen to your customers. Your customers have something important to say, and listening to them and comprehending what they want can lead to higher levels of customer satisfaction.


Put yourself in your customers' place. Ask yourself how you would feel, how you would react? Then try and answer their questions in the same way that you would want if you were at the receiving end.

Share Information.

Share all the information you have. It might be pretty; it might not, but never set up the wrong expectations. You would want to know the complete truth if you were in your customers' place, and they deserve the same.

Set the Right Expectations.

Tell your customer proactively what you are doing and how you will go about solving their issue. Tell them the entire process and help them understand the time it will take. This proactive behavior helps customers stay in the loop.

It is essential that customers feel happy with the company. According to American Express, a happy customer, on an average, tells 11 people about the excellent experience; an unhappy or angry customer tells at least 15 people about his negative experience with the company. A happy customer is equal to a happy and prosperous business.

Niharika Gupta is a technical writer at CallCenterHosting, a provider of contact center services and solutions.