How to improve your customer service
1st Jan 2018
Customer service skills can often be taken for granted until you receive an irate customer or a complaint. If the customer becomes angry and the employee needs further guidance or help from management to resolve the issue, can they be at fault if they haven’t been trained effectively?
Customers and clients often don’t see the behind-the-scenes hours of training and practice required to provide the highest levels of customer service. As the business world becomes more sophisticated, more and more people are understanding that the fundamentals of improving and developing your business are communication. If you’re in a people business, if you don’t fully prepare the employees at the front line, you are potentially setting yourself up to fail.
Definition of good customer service:
- “Good customer service means helping customers in a friendly and efficient manner. It can set your business apart. Along with the knowledge and efficient communication, it is important to handle customers in a timely manner.”
Naturally, you’ve employed people who have the basic capabilities of dealing with clients and/or customers. Although, this does not always mean they all have the same levels of customer service skills. Some people forget that customer service should be enjoyable as well as professional.
When you’ve experienced helpful efficient customer service, you’re more likely to leave a good review or tell a friend about them. Here are a few customer service skills which are necessary for great customer service and extremely important for constant improvement:
Never forget the fundamentals of good business. Clear and precise communication. For communication to be clear, the employee needs to know what they are talking about.
This means that they are trained correctly and have the knowledge to explain or answer questions.
Customer’s needs can change with the market or with each customer depending on your business. It’s important that all staff members are trained and aware of the different needs a customer could have.
Even if they come to a problem they haven’t faced before, they need to be able to adapt to the situation, while maintaining their consistent patience and tone.
This could be a key area to show how resourceful an employee is, employee someone who provides solutions, not problems.
Ensure you have employed the correct person when you don’t need to hold their hand through every problem. However, this filters down to your recruiting process, are you asking the right questions or involving practical tests of real-life scenarios?
Anyone who has worked in Sales or with the general public on a daily basis will know the importance of developing thick skin. When a customer is impolite to you or is losing their temper, it’s important to stay calm and professional.
Maintaining a good attitude consistently throughout the day can be more difficult for some. A customer service advisor needs to be resilient and constantly maintain their professionalism.
Positive Language can make a significant difference for a lasting impression on your consumer. Here are some examples of positive language:
- “I’m sorry for the inconvenience you have faced”
This kind of positive language allows you to empathise with the customer while using positive words to try and resolve the problem in a friendly manner.
It’s important to understand what your customers are experiencing when they’re met with a problem. Gather feedback from customers to identify key areas which need improvement. This could be through surveys, either online or over the phone.
It’s important to record people’s satisfaction with their experience and any suggestions for improvement.
What happens when you experience bad customer service?
When something breaks down, let’s say your internet connection has stopped working. You dread contacting the company for help, you’ll be connected to one of the call farms overseas to help you diffuse the problem.
Firstly, you usually go through many automated directories asking you to choose 1,2,3 which correlated with your problem. Secondly, when you finally speak to a human it can be difficult to understand what they are saying in sometimes broken English. This is time-consuming and frustrating which can make your customer more annoyed.
This doesn’t make you feel like the valuable customers they portray when they are trying to get you into a contract at the beginning. BT’s call centres were ranked worst in the industry after complaints of Indian call centres.
Has anyone ever said, “I hope my internet breaks down so I can speak to said brand’s customer service?” I doubt it. Start wowing your customers. Understand your customer persona, learn what makes them happy, sad, excited to help understand how to improve your customer service.
Could your company policy cause bad customer service?
If you had a problem with your Apple device, you simply make an appointment with the apple store through online or telephone booking. There are no difficult conversations over the phone. You meet an Apple IT employee at your closest Apple store on a one-to-one basis. Although you may not be happy with the price to fix your device, you’ve received clear precise communication which is a far better experience. The price may not always be helped, which is why good service can almost cushion the blow.
Controversially, Live Chat Now suggests that a person’s character is more important than their technical knowledge. This could be dependent on the company’s customer base. Do they want fast resolutions with little empathy or do they resonate better with someone who has a bit of character providing a better overall experience?
No one wishes something will break down, but when it does, ensure they are not dragging their heels to face your customer service. Review your customer service policy, is it helping your employees resolve people’s issues or queries rather than hindering. Asking 10 security may be beneficial in the bigger picture but all customers don’t even remember their passwords that were set 4 years ago. Think about the customer journey, what meets regulations but is also a good customer experience.
Think about the overall customer service experience, how do your customers get from problem to solution in the fastest and most efficient way?
Customer service roles are vitally important to maintaining a good reputation even when things do go wrong with the odd product or service.
If you’re an experienced customer service advisor or are seeking other roles in the business support sector, please contact our business support Senior Talent Advisor at firstname.lastname@example.org or view all jobs here.