Good Customer Service: Tips and Tricks to Step Up Your Game
No matter what kind of business you run, customer service is what will decide whether your company succeeds or fails. This is why it is imperative that everyone on your team--not just your customer service agents--are on top of their game with regards to their customer service skills. Here are a few tips to make sure every member of your team is set up to offer stellar service to every single person who interacts with your company.
Outfit Your Front Lines Properly
Your customer service team is where pretty much every interaction with your company will start. It is imperative, then, that you make sure they are set up with everything they need to do their jobs well. This means outfitting your phone reps with the best contact center software available so that fewer calls are accidentally dropped and so that callers can be transferred seamlessly between departments.
There is more to this than simply transferring a call to another line. You want your customer service reps to be able to send information about the call they're transferring to the recipient. You likely already know how annoying it is to have to repeat your issue or question to every single person you encounter when you call customer service, right? Make sure your own customers aren’t stuck with that same annoyance.
You should also outfit your customer service department with a live chatting option. As we dig further and further into our technological future, more and more people are eschewing phone calls in favor of texting, chatting, and emailing. Don’t force people to use your preferred method of communication. Meet them in their comfort zones!
Brush Up on Basic Skills
What is your definition of good customer service? In many customers’ eyes, it is you doing whatever they want (you know this because we all feel this way from time to time). And it is natural to want to do as much as you can to appease every person your company works with and for. Sometimes, though, what the customer wants is not something that you can give. What happens then? Does your team give up? Of course not!
One of the best definitions of customer service is this: give your customer everything they need and if you can’t, offer them a reasonable alternative. A good example of this is: the customer is demanding a refund for a purchase that has long passed the period of time your company allows for returns; the customer agreed to those terms at the time, but now they think the terms are unreasonable. What should your customer service representative do?
First: if the purchase is product based, is that product still under warranty? If so, then you can offer a replacement for free. If the warranty has expired or if the customer does not want a replacement product, you can offer them the amount of their original purchase in company credit. This way you don’t necessarily lose money and they get the chance to purchase something that will better suit them. If this still isn’t acceptable and/or the customer starts to become unreasonable or abusive, give your customer service department the authority to transfer the customer to a higher up. Never force your customer service reps to deal with abuse. Even if you pay them well, that is above their pay grade.
One of the first rules of improvisation is to always say “yes.” Agree to the moment’s premise and ask a question to keep the improv moving. Customer service is very much the same way. Always agree with the customer, even if they are very wrong. A good example is to say something like: “You’re right, that is a problem and I really want to help you with that.” Then offer a resolution to their issue. Another option is to say “I understand why you’re frustrated and I’m going to do everything I can to help you.”
The View from the Top
These skills are not just valuable for your front line customer service agents. They are important for management and other departments to remember and develop as well. Remember: everyone is the face of the company at some point. They should know to take that seriously.
Customer service always seems easy from the outside. The reality is that there is a lot to it. Outfit your team and make sure they are trained properly so that every customer and client is left with a good impression.