GUIDE TO PROVIDING EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER SERVICE
There may not be an exact recipe to ensure your team will know how to deliver exceptional customer service every day. The details depend on the size of your business, operations, your industry, and your product or service.
But there are always some key ingredients in the mix, even and especially as your processes evolve and improve over time. Here are some elements that are present in any exceptional customer service example. If you can weave these into your priorities, you’re setting a strong foundation.
ONLINE CUSTOMER SERVICE TIPS
- Provide excellent benefits and promotional opportunities in the form of occasional discounts or deals for your listings;
- Prioritize customers by quickly responding to their messages and phone calls in the most helpful and friendliest manner;
- Despite your challenges ensure customers consistently receive empathetic and personalized service;
- Ensure you provide fair and accurate pricing to customers;
- Build a great culture within your business and operations -a culture of respect, trust and communication for both employees and customers;
- Create practices and policies that put customers first every day and make exceptional customer service your new and continuing standard;
- Empower your staff and yourself with training and tools. Why not checkout free customer service courses or stories on Youtube or Coursera?
- Allow yourself and or your staff permission to be generous to customers.
IN PERSON/Online CUSTOMER SERVICE TIPS
Know your product
You must first be completely knowledgeable about the goods and services you provide if you’re going to be able to help and support your consumers.
You may then swiftly and easily assist your clients with any problems or inquiries.
Making clients happy can be achieved in large part by being aware of the most frequent inquiries from consumers and by being able to respond with correct, clear information.
Use your emotional intelligence
Customer service representatives need to be able to read others’ emotions, understand them, and choose the appropriate course of action. That’s because clients usually get in touch with your customer service department when they have a problem or an issue, and they might quickly become irritated or impatient.
Customers are responding in this way because they have an urgent need, not because they’re attempting to be difficult, as emotional intelligence enables sales representatives to see. They can then respond appropriately and empathically.
Be friendly and patient
Although it might seem simple, this advice is quite significant. Starting off in a kind manner can create a sense of shared humanity even through a screen when a consumer uses a chatbot or email to get in touch with you or your business.
Use positive language
Words have great power; they have the ability to make or break a conversation with a customer.
Positive language can help customer care representatives prevent the conversation from getting more heated and can reassure the consumer that you will be able to solve their problem.
Avoid just apologizing
When a customer has a problem, not even heartfelt apologies tend to make things better. Customers don’t contact your help desk or provide unfavorable feedback on surveys because they want to hear an apology; rather, they do it in order to have their problem resolved and prevent it from happening again. If you’d want, you can apologize, but you should put more effort into praising the consumer for their patience and trying to come up with a workable solution.
Active listening and hearing what the consumer is saying are actually two separate things. The need for the person who has contacted you to feel seen, heard, and served is at the heart of active listening. That means approaching each client encounter with the purpose to learn more, asking any clarifying questions along the way, and wrapping up with a concise summary so everyone is on the same page.
Solve for the customer’s needs
Providing answers for what your clients require is actually what good customer service is all about, not fixing issues for the company. Finding the quickest fixes for a customer’s issue or passing them off to another department shouldn’t be the focus of your customer service. This can entail making longer-term investments in customer success strategies as opposed to making quick fixes; the former is more difficult but results in a better customer experience.
One of the most crucial customer service abilities is clear communication. You can solve problems faster if you are able to clearly and simply communicate your answer to the customer. Nobody likes to converse with a customer care representative for any longer than is necessary; they just want to solve their problem and get on with their day.
Everyone will be able to communicate more successfully if everyone speaks clearly, explains without becoming mired down in the minutiae, and has a natural tone of voice. Additionally, your solutions to client inquiries should be simple enough for even newcomer customers to understand and act upon. Even if they’ve been with you for a while, your consumers simply lack the level of technical expertise that agents possess.
In customer service, things can occasionally become heated. A consumer may become angry and upset rapidly if they are dealing with a stressful situation and wanting to get it resolved as soon as possible. When you respond to them with your own heightened emotions, the issue only gets worse. The conversation can be steered back to a more polite area by treating everyone involved with the utmost respect.
In customer service, things can occasionally become heated. A consumer may become angry and upset rapidly if they are dealing with a stressful situation and wanting to get it resolved as soon as possible. When you respond to them with your own heightened emotions, the issue only gets worse. The topic can be steered back to a more polite area by treating everyone engaged with the utmost respect.
This is particularly important when dealing with customer service encounters online. You should make sure your customers are aware that it can take some time to resolve their issues. Customers who have contacted your business will feel more heard if you let them know you’ve received their message, are looking into a solution, and will keep them informed until you discover one. Do not let emails or chats go unanswered for an extended period of time.
While it could appear that this runs counter to not apologizing excessively, they actually complement one another. Customers will become irate if they believe that you are ignoring the true expense of a problem. After all, even if the problem wasn’t your fault, they undoubtedly came to you because it was frustrating them at work or in their personal life.
Acknowledging a customer’s annoyance or displeasure makes them feel heard and understood. When someone expresses dissatisfaction with something, it can be quite helpful to acknowledge that frustration so that they don’t also experience frustration from feeling misunderstood. They will be able to put their trust in you since they understand what is going on with them and why the issue exists.
Let the customer respond
Customer service representatives typically have a set amount of calls or issues to resolve each day, so it can be challenging to stay on the line while a client is speaking. However, allowing the consumer to answer might make them feel heard and offer them time to resolve any remaining questions or problems. The communication can be improved both ways, even if you merely check to see whether they understood what you just said.
End the conversation clearly
Not just calls, but also live chats, emails, and interactions on social media are included by this. Your customer should be aware of what has been done to solve their problem, why it occurred, and what will happen after the interaction with you or your staff. This is crucial to ensure that they understand what to do next or what to anticipate from you going forward, especially if you weren’t able to solve their problem during the initial conversation.
Reward yourself or your staff for going the extra mile
Creating a culture where customer service representatives are recognized for going above and beyond for clients might inspire other team members to follow suit. This doesn’t have to be a lavish and pricey incentive scheme; it might just be a simple thank-you or gift card for coffee to recognize a job well done.
This is especially more crucial on teams when the majority of customer service representatives work remotely or where the majority or all customer support contacts take place online. It makes the acts you want to highlight more visible and demonstrates to the entire team that when exceptional work is appreciated, it is rewarded.
Survey customers after their interactions
Do you want to know how your consumers feel after interacting with yourself or your team—dissatisfied or irritated? Simply ask them! Surveys of client satisfaction are essential for ensuring that your customer service meets expectations.
To prevent it from happening again, don’t forget to provide an open-ended feedback option in the survey so that clients can fully describe what went wrong during the chat. Respond if you’ve received unfavorable comments from customers in a survey. Thank them for being honest, then let them know what you’ve done to prevent it from happening again or why things are the way they are. By personally communicating with a dissatisfied customer, you can actually turn them into a solidly devoted one.
Stay open to learning
In any case, providing customer service is not a simple task. Dealing with irritated or even furious people all day can wear on you, and it’s simple to begin becoming defensive. But being receptive to consumers’ candid comments and listening to them can produce insightful data that can enhance the entire customer experience. This will enable you to make improvements that satisfy your clients and win their loyalty for many years to come while utilizing the input you receive.
Train your team and yourself
It’s important to provide ongoing training on how to provide better customer service. To keep your employees informed of any changes to products or services, stay on top of new features so they can provide competent support, and prepare for any changes to the way you conduct business, you should regularly train them (like if your whole team suddenly moves to remote work).
Additionally, you can use the responses from your client surveys to inform the training you offer when necessary. This will enable you to stay on top of any new problems and discuss them as they arise with the team. As a result of ongoing training, both your customers—who will be happier—and your agents—who will feel more prepared to handle the most difficult conversations—will have a better overall experience.
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