How to Improve Customer Service
What is Customer Service?
Customer service is the provision of service to customer before, during, and after a purchase. This makes it an important part of the value chain of clients. Each industry requires different levels of customer service, but in the end, the idea of a well-performed service is that of increasing revenues. The perception of success of the customer service interactions is dependent on employees "who can adjust themselves to the personality of the customer. Good quality customer service is usually measured through customer retention. Customer service for some firms is part of the firm’s intangible assets and can differentiate it from others in the industry. One good customer service experience can change the entire perception a customer holds towards the organization.
Principles of Good Customer Service
The key to good customer service is building good relationships with your customers. Thanking the customer and promoting a positive, helpful and friendly environment will ensure they leave with a great impression. A happy customer will return often and is likely to spend more.
To ensure you provide the best customer service:
• know what your customers consider to be good customer service
• take the time to find out customers' expectations
• follow up on both positive and negative feedback you receive
• ensure that you consider customer service in all aspects of your business
• continuously look for ways to improve the level of customer service you deliver.
Customer Service Skills and Characteristics
People-First Mindset Good service reps value human connections. As managers value their agents, so should the latter display care for the customers they’re interacting with. They must have the capacity to stay empathetic no matter the situation, understanding that customers are regular people juggling everyday responsibilities—pretty much like them.
Excellent Problem-Solving Skills A typical day for a customer service professional involves a lot of problem-solving. From simple inquiries to complex billing issues, agents will be tasked to solve customer concerns with a smile on their faces.
Flexible and Adaptive Not everything goes according to plan. Sooner or later, customer service agents will encounter a case they may not be prepared for. The more flexible ones will thrive in this fast-paced and ever-changing environment.
Good Organizational Skills Support agents with good organizational skills have a solid grasp of the company’s customer service processes. They know exactly what to do once they get a ticket and every step after it. Hence, they don’t easily get confused and fold under pressure.
Detail-Oriented When a customer service representative is attentive to details, you’ll likely save a considerable amount of time doing rework due to human error or doing unnecessary client correspondence.
Patient When you’re getting yelled at or treated rudely by customers, it’s easy to lose your cool. But not if you have the patience to deal with it. How your customer service reps handle such situations can spell the difference between pacifying an irate customer and losing accounts.
Ability to Work Under Stress A lot of job applicants underestimate the amount of stress a customer support agent may encounter on a daily basis. Due to the nature of the job (think complex queries, long lists of support tickets, etc.), stress can easily creep in and is normally a part of an agent’s day.
Friendly and Respectful Yes, you can be professional and friendly at the same time. When looking for answers, many customers prefer to interact with a human rather than a machine. Make sure you have support professionals who treat them with respect, and not some numbers on a spreadsheet.
Possesses Industry Knowledge When customers reach out to your support team, they’re expecting to speak with someone who can give answers. Agents don’t necessarily have to be subject matter experts. But with a fair amount of industry knowledge (think automotive industry), they’ll be able to learn about specific products, services, and processes faster than those who don’t. They must have a fair idea about the latest trends in customer service and their respective industries.
- Learn to empathize with your customers.
- Use positive language.
- Improve your technical skills.
- Communicate clearly.
- Understand customer needs.
- Seek and promote customer feedback.
- Set and communicate clear service standards.
- Delight your customers by exceeding their expectations.
- Capture and share examples of great service.
- Create easy and effortless customer service.
- Personalize your customer service.
• Timely attention to issues raised by customers is critical. Requiring a customer to wait in line or sit on hold sours an interaction before it begins.
• Customer service should be a single-step process for the consumer. If a customer calls a helpline, the representative should whenever possibly follow the problem through to its resolution.
• If a customer must be transferred to another department, the original representative should follow up with the customer to ensure that the problem was solved.
In conclusion, "When you assume negative intent, you're angry. If you take away that anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed" - Indra Nooyi
The development of individuals as customer service provider determines how far an organization can go in sustaining its client. To build good customer relationships you need to:
• greet customers and approach them in a way that is natural and fits the individual situation
• show customers that you understand what their needs are
• accept that some people won't want your products and concentrate on building relationships with those who do
• help people – even just letting a customer know about an event that you know they're personally interested in is helpful
• continue to keep customers aware of what's in it for them to do business with you.
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