Can you relate to the following statement? “Not every customer service experience is a pleasant one.” Unless you don’t have cable, a cell phone, or never tried to return a product, you can probably relate to a bad customer experience all too well.
The reason that great customer service is so elusive is because it’s not something that just happens organically. It’s a process that needs to be cultivated and built through training and experience.
If you have ever taken it upon yourself to improve your company’s customer service, you probably found out quickly that the solution always lies in the customer’s experience.
What is Customer Service?
Customer service is the ability to satisfy a customer by offering a spectacular product or providing excellent services that meets or exceeds their expectations, creating raving fans.
The first step in this process of creating raving fans via your customer service is to hire the right customer service reps. When you do hire, look for one essential trait: do they have the ability to be a people person?
8 Ways to Turn Any Employee into a People Person
What exactly does it take to turn any employee into a “people person?” Try these 8 proven ways to turn your customer service representative into the people person you know will resonate with your customers and prospects:
1. Practice Patience
No customer is the same. You never know what someone is going through in their life that may be affecting their mood.
Your customer may have received a promotion at work, so they’re in an amazing mood. Or they may have had a fender bender on the way in and may not be in such a great mood.
You’ll come across customers that may be irritated, happy, concerned, and full of questions or all the above. In any situation, patience helps the employee and the customer. Taking the time to work with the them to understand the issue they’re having and the attention they need from the company will help to improve their experience. Outstanding customer service and attention to detail will beat out quick customer service any day.
2. Clear and Concise Communication
When communicating, you want to make sure your customers know exactly what you’re talking about. Keep your communication simple so everyone can understand. Use terminology that the everyday person understands.
You can’t assume your customer has the same knowledge and background that you do. After all, you’re a product specialist. Allow the customer to ask you questions. Doing so confirms that the customer is satisfied and they’re leaving with the information and satisfaction they desired.
3. Be the Product Expert
Be the experts on the products or services your company offers. You don’t have to be the creator of the product to understand it from the inside out.
Put yourself in the consumer’s shoes and consider how they would use it on an everyday basis. Learn to guide your customers when they do experience issues or problems. The best way to relate and understand a problem is to understand how the product works.
4. Be Available
Frustration mounts when customers need help and they can’t get hold of anyone. Creating a good customer service experience is ensuring your customers can get help from an employee when they need to.
Putting in the extra effort to provide early morning and late evening coverage lets customers know you understand their time is valuable. Offering other methods of communication, such as text, chat, or email offers customers additional channels of communication. Although not every company can staff 24/7, there are affordable options available, including partnering with a call center.
5. Admit and Understand
Don’t be afraid to admit that there may be an issue. Acknowledge the customers feelings and work to understand where they’re coming from. Calling out that the customer is having a problem isn’t a flaw itself; it demonstrates honesty and gains the trust of the consumer.
When a company owns up to a problem they caused and offers a solution for it, they create good customer service.
6. Be the Calming Presence
When something goes wrong, people get upset. Most of the time, consumers don’t call because they love the product. They call because they’re not happy.
When interacting with an upset customer, be the calm person who stays cool under pressure. Your ability to understand their frustration during chaotic situations can be a calming influence on others.
Don’t let these situations affect your mood, personally or professionally. Your job is not to continue to escalate a situation; it’s to de-escalate it calmly and professionally.
7. Provide Feedback
Any feedback is good feedback for a company. It’s important to know the good, the bad, and the ugly. You can learn and grow from listening to customers’ opinions about your products and company.
Customers must have access to an outlet to offer their views. Phone, email survey, or a contact link offers customers a channel to voice their concerns. They can even share opinions on social media pages.
All of these mediums offer invaluable lessons to help your company recognize the touchpoints and skills that may need improvement.
8. Create a Community
Customers feel valued when they’re treated like they are a member of a community. Bring them together for events, webinars, or social media live streams to offer to promote communication between your company and your consumers.
Over time, people start building relationships, allowing your company to acknowledge that you cherish your customers.
Take Advantage of These Tips
No matter how great your company is or how amazing the product works, one thing is for sure: customers remember the direct interaction they have with you and your co-workers.
Customer service and relationships should not be left to chance. Customer service is an attitude, an attitude that is learned and cultivated over time. By incorporating these tips, you will improve communications and enhance customer service.
At AnswerNet, we recognize that customer service is at the heart of every successful business. If you don’t have the number of employees needed to answer your phones in a timely manner, or if they don’t meet the criteria of a people person, AnswerNet can help.
Today’s answering service representatives aren’t just answering phones, they provide meaningful communication, ultimately becoming an extension of your company and your brand. If you’re interested in learning more about how AnswerNet can help you improve your customer service, contact us today.