Learn how to provide great customer service with the L.A.S.T. method, which emphasizes the importance of active listening, apology, solution, and gratitude. Suitable for all customer-facing jobs, this approach can help you build stronger relationships with customers.
In this video, Emma teaches a very important thing for customer service, which is the LAST approach. She explains what customer service is and the problems customers might have. Emma also provides examples of expressions to show that you are listening, apologize, solve problems, and thank customers. The last step is crucial, which is to thank the customer and end on a positive, friendly note, as it encourages customers to return. The four steps to good customer service are to listen, apologize, solve, and thank the person, which help to organize yourself and to help customers.
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
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.
Providing good customer service is essential for every business. A business that provides high-quality customer service can establish a positive reputation, increase customer loyalty, and generate more sales. Using appropriate expressions indicate to customers that they are valued and respected. They can create a connection between the customer and business, demonstrate empathy, help diffuse tension, and build trust. The L.A.S.T. approach is a proven methodology for customer service. It stands for Listen, Apologize, Solve problems, and Thank customers. By listening carefully to customers’ needs and concerns, apologizing when necessary, solving problems, and thanking customers for their business, businesses can improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. Failure to provide good customer service can lead to a loss of customers and revenue, damage to the brand’s reputation, and a negative impact on employee morale. Therefore, it’s crucial to prioritize customer service and strive to provide excellent service at all times.
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