*This is a collaborative post.
Customer service is a key aspect of running a customer-facing business. When you don’t put the time and effort into crafting a well-rounded strategy for customer service, you tend to face avoidable problems later on down the line and that’s obviously not what you want. It’s much better for you if you simply take the time to deal with customer service properly today.
There are no shortcuts when it comes to getting customer service right. And that’s why we’re going to go over all of the things that matter when it comes to mastering customer service and giving your customers what they expect from the businesses they use these days. Let them down, and it could turn out to be the reason why you lose customers to your rivals in the end.
There’s a lot to discuss and it’s important to remember that the nature of your business and the demographics you’re looking to sell to should all have an impact on the way you approach customer service too. With that in mind, read on now and learn more.
A Willingness to Solve Problems
First of all, you need to have a willingness to solve problems. It might sound obvious, but you’re going to be doing a lot of problem solving when it comes to running a customer service department. You’ll be surprised at the variety of different problems customers will come to you with. You’ll have to think on your feet and be willing to think outside the box at times. And you’ll want to hire people to work alongside you in customer service that have those problem solving skills and capabilities as well. If you don’t, your customers might be disappointed.
Be Patient with Customer Issues
Being patient is another skill that your customer service team will need to have. It’s not always easy to deal with customers and their problems. They’re not purposely trying to frustrate you, but that doesn’t mean that dealing with their issues won’t sometimes be frustrating. You have to be willing to just accept that and not let your frustration or lack of patience shine through. Learn to be as patient as possible and as willing to take your time to explain things in a way that they’ll understand as you can be.
Build a Team That Possesses Emotional Intelligence
When it comes to building a customer service team inside your business, one of the things that you really need to focus on is emotional intelligence. People with a high level of emotional intelligence are far better at dealing with people who are experiencing difficulties and who might be frustrated, and that’s often the case for people who are in need of customer support and are contacting your customer service team. So build a team of people who possess that emotional intelligence and know how to deal with people in the correct way.
Aim for Clarity When it Comes to Communication
When dealing with customer problems, you’ll have to do a lot of talking and explaining. You’ll have to explain why something happened or why it didn’t happen. Of course, at the end of all that you’ll want to make sure that your customers are happy with the answers they receive. One particular aspect of your approach to communication that’ll matter more than any other is the clarity with which you deliver answers and explanations; that’s the thing to focus on above all else. If you’re not clear, it’ll create even more problems for the customer.
Try to Hire Resourceful People
When you’re putting together a customer service team inside your business, one of the things you should look for is resourcefulness. You can really tell a lot about a person’s ability to succeed in a customer service job based on how resourceful they are. They need to be able to think on their feet and sometimes come up with solutions that go beyond reading a pre-prepared response. When you hire people who are naturally resourceful, you’ll ensure your team has what it needs to give your customers the right kind of help.
Ensure Good Product Knowledge
Ensuring your team has a good knowledge of the products that your business is selling will help a lot. There’s nothing worse from the customer’s point of view than a customer service rep who doesn’t even seem to understand the products or services of the company. How can they help customers properly if they don’t even know what they’re talking about or what the customer might be referring to? So make it mandatory for your customer service employees to understand these things before they have any kind of communication with your customers.
Get to the Point Quickly
Time management is an underrated skill in the world of customer service. When you’re able to get to the point quickly, you’ll deal with the customer problem a lot faster and you won’t waste any time. That means asking the right questions and pushing the customer in the right direction. Simply letting them talk and talk might not be helpful; instead you want to get right to what the problem is and what they’re looking for in terms of your help and support. You’ll deal with more customers and the entire department will be more efficient that way.
Offer a Live Chat Service
One of the things it might make sense to put in place is some sort of live chat service. This allows your customers to get fast and easy access to a member of your team who can discuss the problems they’re having with them directly. There are lots of very good live chat software options out there that you can start using and they’re easy to implement. If you want your customers to avoid having to wait around for help, this is one of the best ways to make that happen.
Learn from the Challenges You Face
Whenever you face problems and difficult challenges in your customer service department, you should try your best to learn from those situations. Even when things don’t go according to plan, there are things you can learn so that you can ensure your entire team deals with those kinds of situations better in the future. There’s always a lesson to be learned and that’s something that you should make clear to your entire team. Continual improvement and progress should always be the aim as it’ll ensure standards are continually rising.
People who are active listeners always tend to do better when it comes to customer service. If you can be an active listener, you’ll become better at understanding what each customer is trying to say and what they actually need help with. You have to be able to pick out the important information amid the many things they might be saying to you. Not every customer gets straight to the point so your active listening skills will really make a difference in terms of how easy it is for you to assist them.
Show Some Empathy with the Customer
Showing some empathy really can go a long way when it comes to working in customer service. You want your customers to feel like they’re understood and that you’re happy to help them with whatever problem they have. If you can’t empathize with the customer, they’re likely to have a less positive experience during that call and they might leave even more frustrating and feeling as if their problem wasn’t treated with the respect it deserved.
Keep a Positive Attitude
Keeping a positive attitude when dealing with customers is also important. If a customer feels like you’re being down and negative when they’re speaking to you, they’re not going to be happy about that. A little positivity and a helpful attitude really does go a long way when dealing with customers. It’s the same reason why you smile at customers when dealing with them in person. It’s a little thing but it means a lot and definitely plays a big part in shaping the overall customer service experience a person gets.
Finally, you need to make sure that you’re offering a real and human experience. You don’t want to expect people to talk to a robot or even a person who’s reading off a prompter. People feel like they’re getting their problem dealt with properly when they speak to a person who’s willing to listen and discuss things. They don’t want to be communicating with a machine or an automated response system. So if there’s one thing you need to get right at the center of your approach to customer service, this is it.
Customer service is something that matters more than ever and you can’t afford to overlook it. In today’s modern online world in which people leave reviews online all the time, the way in which you approach customer service will have a big impact on your reputation and whether other customers will be interested in working with you in the future.