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How to give great customer service: The L.A.S.T. method



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Hello. My name is Emma, and in today's video I am going to teach you a very, very important

thing for customer service. I used to work in customer service, and this is actually

one of the most important things I learned, and this is called the L-A-S-T or LAST approach.

So, to get started, let's talk a little bit about: What is customer service?

So, customer service is when you have customers, of course, and you're trying to make your customers as

comfortable and happy as possible. You're also trying to meet their needs and expectations,

and solve any problems or situations that they might have. So, customer service is a

huge category. There's many, many different jobs where you use customer service. If you

work in a hotel, for example, as a clerk, you know, in the lobby, as a bellhop, you

will be using customer service. If you work at a restaurant as a server, you'll be using

customer service, or as a hostess. If you're the manager of a store, you'll be using customer

service. If you work in a business or even in a hospital, you'll be using customer service.

So, pretty much any time you're dealing with people from the public and they're customers

and you're trying to help them, you're doing customer service.

So, there are many different problems that a customer might have. What are some examples

of some problems? Can you think of anything, a problem a customer might have? Maybe somebody

charged them too much for something, maybe they're in a store and the lineups are too

long, maybe a customer is at a hotel and they're very unhappy because the Wi-Fi isn't working

or their bed's uncomfortable. So, there's so many different problems customers might

have at different types of businesses.

In this video what I'm going to teach you is: What do you do when a customer has a problem?

Okay? So, a very easy thing to do when a customer has a problem is called the LAST approach.

"LAST", what does it stand for? Well, if a customer has a problem, the first thing you

should do is listen to their problem, the next thing you should do is apologize,

solve their problem, and thank them. So: Listen, Apologize, Solve, and Thank. We're going to

look at expressions we use to show we're listening, expressions to apologize, expressions that

can help us solve problems, and expressions to thank customers.

Okay, so the first step when a customer has a problem is to listen. So, the first thing

you should do is find out what the problem is. You can ask them:

"What seems to be the problem?" or "How can I help you?" Okay? Once they start explaining what the problem is,

very important that you look like you're actually listening and that you do listen. Okay? So,

you shouldn't look at your watch: "Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm." Okay? That's a bad idea. You shouldn't

look at the sky: "Uh, when is this person going to stop talking?" Okay? You shouldn't

roll your eyes. Okay? No, no, no. You need to show that you actually care about what

the customer is saying.

So, showing you're listening is very important. You can repeat back to the customer what they're

saying to show that you understand and to make sure that you did understand. So:

"So what you're saying is, you know, there's no hot water in this hotel.",

"So what you're saying is the Wi-Fi's not working and you're not happy with that." Okay? These are some

examples. "So what you're saying is _________." You can also say: "Let me get this right..."

"Let me get this right, what you're saying is that, you know, there's a problem at your

table.", "What you're saying is that you've been waiting for your food for a really long

time." So it's important to show that you are listening and you acknowledge what they

have said.

Okay. Now, sometimes with customer service you get a customer who's very angry, and maybe

they start swearing, they start using very bad language. Okay? So if this happens, very

important that you don't get upset. Okay? When this happened to me in the past, I would

actually pretend to be a computer. I would not take anything personally. I would just

smile and pretend to be a computer, and that's how I got through angry customers. So, if

the person is rude... You know, it's not right if somebody is saying something rude to you,

if they're swearing at you, or they're making you feel uncomfortable. So, be polite. Okay?

Smile or be friendly, and say:

"I really want to help you, but your language is getting in the way.

I understand you're frustrated. Please calm down so I can help you." Okay?

And really emphasize the fact that you're there to help them. Sometimes this doesn't

work, sometimes the person might keep yelling, keep swearing, and in that case you're going

to have to get your manager. But a good thing to do before that happens is try to be nice

to the customer and just remind them to use... To calm down and to use nice language so you

can help them. Okay? So now let's look at the next steps of LAST.

Okay, so after you have listened to the customer's problem, the next thing you do is apologize.

It does not matter if you didn't do anything wrong. Even if the customer is just totally

crazy and there is no problem, you should still apologize. Now, there's a special way

to apologize. You do not say it's your fault. Okay? What you say is:

"I'm sorry you've had a bad experience."

This does not put blame on anybody. You're not saying:

"We made a mistake", no. You're just saying:

"I'm sorry you had a bad experience."

Okay? So, this is a very important thing to do.

Don't take the blame. Just say: "I'm sorry you've had a bad experience."

After that, solve. Solve the problem. Fix the problem, make things right. So, how do

you do that? Well, if you know what to do... If you can solve the problem and you know

it's an easy problem to solve, you can tell them what you're going to do.

"Here's what we're going to do to help you." Okay? If it's a Wi-Fi problem, for example:

"Here's what we're going to do to help you. I'm going to send IT over to your hotel room to help fix

the Wi-Fi. Here's what we're going to do to help you." Okay? Now, sometimes there are

some problems where the customer asks you, they tell you the problem, you don't know

what to do. Okay? You have no idea how to fix their problem. A good thing to do is to

get your manager in that case or your supervisor. So, you can be honest. Okay? If you don't

know what to do, you can tell them: "I'm not sure how to resolve this situation.",

"I'm not sure how to resolve this situation. Let me check with my manager.",

"Let me check with my supervisor." Okay? So it's good if you don't know what to do, get somebody who does.

Finally-very, very important-you've now listened, apologized, solved, the final thing you need

to do is thank the customer. Okay?

"Thank you for letting us know about this situation.

We appreciate it. Thank you for helping..." Or: "Thank you for bringing this to our attention."

Okay? So, very important to thank the customer and end on a positive, friendly, note because

you want the customer to come back.

So, what are the four steps, again, to good customer service when a customer has a problem?

First you listen, next you apologize, then you solve, and last you thank the person.

Okay? LAST or: Listen, Apologize, Solve, and Thank will help you for most customer service

problems. It's a very good way to organize yourself and to help customers, and make them

feel comfortable and happy.

So, I hope you come visit us at www.engvid.com. There, you will find a quiz all about

Listen, Apologize, Solve, and Thank. You can practice your English using this quiz.

Until next time, take care.