We’ve now reached the fourth and final part of our series exploring Digital Transformation in Customer Service. So far in the series, we’ve + Read More
Customer service is often cited as the most important factor in customer satisfaction. It’s why we’re here to talk about how your customer service team can give your customers a positive experience, no matter the circumstance or query. If you want to make sure that your customer service skills are up to par, then this article will help point you in the right direction.
In order to live up to the standards set by today’s consumers, you need customer service skills. Customer service is all about helping to resolve your customer’s issues and questions and providing a positive customer experience that satisfies their needs.
The qualities of strong customer service are not something that can be taught in one day, but rather they require time and patience from both employees and management alike.
The purpose of improving and honing customer service skills is to not only meet your customers’ needs, but to exceed their expectations. To do that, it’s important to have strong communication and interpersonal skills – because the more satisfied they are with how an agent handles any issue or problem, the less likely they’ll be to gripe about bad customer service in their lives – and in this day and age, on social media. More on this next…
Customer service is important for a number of reasons. For one, customer service is essential to provide a positive brand experience. By creating a positive environment, customers are more likely to buy from you – and buy again. In other words, it can have a massive impact on your bottom line from first-time buyers and repeat customers.
As we mentioned before, when done correctly, good customer service can also lead to positive word-of-mouth advertisement which can drive a lot of sales. In fact, word-of-mouth marketing is estimated to drive 13% of all consumer sales .
Customer service is crucial for ensuring that your experience with any given company is positive in all respects; from the moment you interact on social media, phone calls, emails – you name it. In fact, an email marketing expert may be able to use automated tools such as a sequence of emails that ensures that customers are instantaneously getting the right help when needed, which in turn increases brand value in the minds of customers. There are also various customer service software that you could consider to make your agents’ jobs easier and more efficient.
Customer service is the first point of contact for your customer and sets the tone for how they will view your company. The most important customer service skills for a positive customer experience are:
Being patient is super important when it comes to customer service. When a customer has a problem or is dissatisfied, they may be in distress and the agent needs to handle them with compassion. Be patient with them; don’t jump straight into any conclusions about their problems but rather hear them out. Failure to do so might make the issue go unresolved for even longer.
Be empathetic while respecting each individual’s needs: do not take on too many tasks at one time but also try not to leave any of these issues unattended as well (you want to provide quality care).
Empathy starts with understanding the situation, which might require your agents to take a step back and ask what’s going on. You may have to wait on a customer before moving forward in order to find out more information about their problem or complaint.
Recommended reading: Here’s why the experts think empathy is the key to customer experience
3. Give your full attention
Give them your full attention: don’t multitask during this time because it will show that they are not important enough; also try not to walk away from them unless absolutely necessary (but make sure you let them know why).
4. Solve issues – fast
One thing customers love is getting help as soon as possible – so be fast when solving the issue – but do so without any errors. This means double-checking everything while working quickly until completion of a task. Avoiding mistakes can mean saving energy on correcting mistakes that could have been prevented. Using technology such as a chatbot on your website (that deals with the most common issues that customers face) can help with the ability to solve issues fast.
Another thing to consider is to record videos that explain in detail common solutions to problems. This is an ideal way for visual learners to follow along and solve issues they’re facing (without any further input from your side). If you do follow through with the tip, ensure that your videos are hosted on reliable video hosting platforms to ensure fast and immediate playback when your customers need them.
If you want to take things to the next level (and it makes sense for the product you’re offering), you can also use a video conferencing software to really help your customers find the right solutions to their problems.
5. Have the ability to communicate clearly
Communication is key in customer service. It’s imperative that you can effectively articulate your thoughts, feelings, and ideas to the person on the phone or at your desk so they really get what you’re saying – sometimes what you’re trying to say and what the other person is understanding are not the same thing.
The best way to do this by always being mindful of customers’ emotions – mirroring them if needed – and show empathy when possible. You might ask a question to help them feel better or reiterate their point for clarity.
6. Really listen to what customers are saying
The best thing you can do for your customer during this process is always listen to them and make sure they are heard at all times – even in instances where it doesn’t seem like what they’re saying makes sense or seems unimportant. Too often people feel unheard when having conversations with other people because there’s so much that needs to be said on their end, but no one ever listens.
It is an unfortunate reality that customer service skills are not the best in every industry. The truth is, if you take your customer’s complaints seriously and do what you can to resolve their issue quickly and amiably, they will be back for more. If not, they’ll go elsewhere for a company with better customer service skills.
At this point, it’s important to keep in mind that your customer service agents don’t have to be in the same physical space to be trained on delivering a better product – they can also be working remotely. Here are some tips on how to improve your customer service skills:
1. Conduct a survey or poll
Conduct a survey or poll with customers to get the customers’ thoughts on the quality of your customer service skills, products, and services they have received from you.
If their feedback is positive, then it will go a long way in making sure that new potential clients feel confident about contacting your company for help.
If not, then there may be problems within your customer service department that need addressing before moving forward with any further expansion plans. Measuring your customer service success is also important to get the right feedback and adjust as needed – in fact, one would say it’s crucial if you’re interested in delivering the best experience for your customers.
2. Use reviews sites
Use reviews sites like Yelp. or Google+ Local Reviews Page to see what people are saying about you as a company and how that impacts your business overall.
This will give you a good idea of what customers are thinking and feeling about your company. It may even be worth going on the reviews site to thank people for their feedback, or respond to any issues they’ve had with your business in order to show them that you’re listening.
3. Always work on and improve active listening
If you work in customer service, then it’s important to always be improving your communication skills. One of the key skills in communication is actively listening to what is being said. What does this mean? It means to really listen and not just hear what the other person is saying. When you do this, it will make for a better experience for both of you. Here are some tips on how to improve your active listening skills:
When it comes to customer service, it can often be tempting for your customer agents to jump into solving problems without taking a moment to decide what the best approach is. However, if they do take a moment to come up with a plan of action, it will make their interactions more enjoyable and satisfying for both parties involved.
The first step to creating a positive customer service interaction is asking what would make this person’s day better, and then doing that for them. It is important not only as customer service representatives but also as human beings that we take the time and energy necessary when interacting with another person in order to create a positive experience together – whether it be one minute long or ten minutes long.
It might seem simple, but it can have a huge impact on the way they feel about your company and personal brand – which in turn will often translate into more purchases, reviews, etc. Keep these tips in mind to ensure that your customer service skills lead to a positive customer experience – this will in turn lead to the right financial freedom as your business becomes a well-oiled, positive-experience machine.