There are people who believe that delivering proper customer service is very easy. It is more than smiling and giving what customers want. Great customer service does not end when they leave the store or hung up the phone – but also involves a great after-sales experience.
Working for the customer service department is a very challenging job. If you are having a hard time giving excellent service to clients, these tips may help you excel.
Smiling is a sign to customers that you are friendly and approachable. It is true when people say that a smile is infectious – you can even make someone’s day. There are days when you feel bad that you can’t even force yourself to smile, but being in the field of customer service requires you to. There are days when you really have to forget personal matters when you enter the workplace.
If you are working in a call center, did you know that a smile can be felt in the way you speak? Having a positive mood can also be heard in the tone of your voice.
2. Be Friendly
Smiling and being friendly always go together. Being friendly does not require you to have a personal relationship with a customer. Showing to customers the willingness to listen and help is enough to make them feel that you’re being friendly.
Giving rapport can also help in gaining the trust of your customers. There are companies who take customer’s personal data to know them better or placing a note on their account status to get a glimpse of what kind of customer they are.
You can also personalize your service by asking permission to call the customer in their first name, or to the name that they prefer.
3. Clear Communication
Effective communication is necessary for providing excellent customer service. Staff should pay attention to what the customer is saying by active listening. Make it a habit of confirming what the customer said, to make sure that you and the customer are on the same page.
Don’t just repeat the exact words of the customer. Practice paraphrasing, where you use different words having the same thought to confirm clarity.
4. Product Knowledge
Having product knowledge is not limited to the sales department alone. Customer service staff should also have complete information about their products and/or services, which will help to easily provide solutions whenever customer issues arise.
Getting familiar with products and services is not that hard. If the company has a knowledgebase program, always read updates and important product or service information. It will also help practice navigation, which makes obtaining information easier when needed. In case the company doesn’t have one, read product guides or manuals during your free time to gain product knowledge.
5. Creative Approach to Problem-Solving
Sometimes, the tried and tested ways to resolve a problem do not work. At times like this, situations may challenge you to think outside the box to provide solutions to customers. Together with product knowledge and analysis skills, you can be creative on how to solve customer issues.
It is also important to ask for the customer’s permission every time you would do a change or fix. This will ensure that the customer is also informed about the process being done to their item or service.
6. Respond Promptly
Some customers may not have the patience to wait for the appropriate solution. Any customer would prefer a faster turnaround time with their inquiries, especially when they are contacting for a fix on their issues.
The most common scenario that customers need to wait is when contacting a call center. Most of the time, callers have to wait before being connected to a call center agent. When they finally reached the queue, some agents would put them on hold. This makes customers feel more upset. Suggest to the company if there could be a call back option for callers who are in the queue for a very long time.
7. Promote Self-Help
The power of self-help is often underestimated by companies. Promoting this will benefit both the company and the customer. The business can attend to more clients, while the customer will save time and effort of visiting a service center or contacting the call center.
Provide helpful resources like referring to the company’s website for troubleshooting tips, or reminding them of the information that can be seen on instruction manuals.
In doing this, do not assume that all customers know the basic information about a product or service. Ask the customer if the instructions are clear, to make sure that he/she understood what you said.
8. Going for the Extra Mile
Small actions that will help the customer can make the service you have provided to be more recognized. Simple solutions like offering to send an e-mail for the instructions or calling them to check on the product or services availed can make sure that the company is focusing on the satisfaction of its clients even after the sale.
You can also turn product offering into going the extra mile. Some customers would prefer to purchase an item or service that goes along with it for a better experience. For example, you can offer a TV installation service to a client that would like to have their television mounted to the wall.
The real challenge in providing excellent customer service is when the solution is against the company policy. The secret to doing this is to choose the proper words to use in explaining it. Make the customer feel that you are there to help, and not as a person who works for the benefit of the company. Apologize to the customer and assure them that you would feel the same way if you are in his or her shoes.
Following these tips will make any customer feel that they are valued by the company. Staff should always remember putting the customer first, above anything else. Providing the best customer service will surely boost sales too, through word-of-mouth advertising and referrals.