For so many companies, customer service comes in the form of either a passing afterthought or a cripplingly detailed and out-of-date training manual. But treating this aspect of your business as simply an extra task to take care of is wasting a golden opportunity to boost your brand image, learn how your company can do better, and most importantly, keep customers happy.
Instead of turning to rote memorization to learn a list of policies, try instilling attitudes like the ones below in the culture of your customer service employees--and in your company as a whole--to create a better experience for everyone on both ends of the phone line, online chat, or email chain.
Positivity believes that the answer can be found, or a problem can be solved despite any obstacles. It’s the attitude that won’t let a customer hang up or log off without a resolution that truly addresses their issue.
By emphasizing positivity, you’re encouraging people to have pleasant interactions with often unhappy customers all while maintaining a desire to help. An approach like this is sure to impress and bring you word-of-mouth business.
If you say you’ll do something, just do it. It might not always seem so simple on your end, but from your customer’s perspective it should be.
Whether it’s a deliverable, a deadline, or a defined solution to a problem make every humanly-possible effort to keep your promises. Doing so will build a healthy reputation and cut down on complaints that need resolution.
There’s no reason you would blindly go into any other type of customer meeting, so why would you leave yourself ignorant when it comes to providing customers helpful service?
Whether it’s just you or a team dedicated to this function, invest in training. You can rely on already-proven methods, or develop your own. Whichever you choose, make sure it helps you maintain productive relationships, a positive company image, and a professional demeanor in all your customer interactions.
4.The Desire to Help
Most of your customers won’t have a problem that you need to solve. But when they do, it’s a chance to show off what a quality provider your business really is. That’s why every time a customer makes contact, you and your reps need to have a desire to help.
Demonstrate how helpful you are by earnestly listening and proposing solutions that go above and beyond solving a problem. By doing more than what’s required you’ll delight customers, who will in turn be much more likely to tell their network to give you a try.
It’s a well-known customer service lesson: when efficiency is emphasized over service, the customer and the company suffers.
Instead, be generous with your time. Actively listen to what the customer is saying. Tell them what you believe you’re hearing from them. Then do what’s necessary. If an issue needs research, schedule a time to get back to them with your findings. If you made a mistake, absorb the monetary cost.
Taking this tack is a short term sacrifice that will pay for itself in the long term with repeat business and quality referrals.
Customer service isn’t a drain on your resources. It’s an opportunity to help your company by helping the people who keep it in business. While customer problems are often stressful, employing these tactics can create a better quality relationship than if there were no problems at all.
About the Author: Jeff Reinstein is the Chief Executive Office of Premier Business Centers. He has helped the company grow from 9 center locations to more than 70 since he first joined the team in 2002.