While many struggling companies fall short of supplying excellent customer service, thriving companies have figured out how to consistently provide the highest level of customer care. Ensuring customer satisfaction is so important to retaining the business of existing customers and attracting new customers that it affects a company’s level of productivity, its intrinsic team building efforts, and its sales figures.
Since customers are essential for a business to flourish, customer service plays an intrinsic role in company operations. Consequently, companies of all sizes and in all sorts of industries make an effort to take good care of their customers.
A small business may dedicate a few staff members to handle customer’s problems, while a mid-sized or large business may have an entire department dedicated to helping answer customer’s questions about products and services, such as incorrect pricing, defective products, or shipping-and-handling problems. Meanwhile, companies that have insufficient resources to manage their own in-house customer service operations can outsource their customer service needs to an inbound call center to still provide their customers with first-rate assistance.
3 Ways to Upgrade Customer Interactions
1. Develop essential people skills.
While CRM software will help your customer service team quickly sift through customer data to take care of any issues, the most essential talent isn’t based on technical ability, but a mastery of soft skills.
While every person in your team has their own personal way of relating to people, with some asking plenty of questions while others showing good listening skills, here are 5 soft skills they should become adept at using:
- 1. Showing empathy for the customer’s concerns.
- 2. Demonstrating patience with the customer’s limited understanding of technical issues or the company’s policies.
- 3. Proving adaptability in talking to different types of customers.
- 4. Displaying consistency in abiding by company rules while working to assist the customer.
- 5. Explaining the company’s products, services, or policies in a knowledgeable way.
2. Improve the customer experience.
It’s not enough for agents to be good listeners and demonstrate the right combination of soft skills. It’s also important for them to clearly communicate what steps they will take to resolve the problem. Additionally, the customer service rep has to be proactive in following through on promises about resolving the customer’s problems if these need some time to sort out.
3 .Enhance the quality of the interaction.
It’s not enough for a customer service rep to efficiently and mechanically grasp the customer’s problem and work out a logical solution. It’s also vital to add a touch of personalization to the conversation, or, to put it another way, to humanize the interaction.
There are numerous ways of building customer rapport quickly and easily:
- 1. Identify shared interests.
- 2. Listen, without interrupting, to allow the customer to feel heard.
- 3. Add empathizing statements after listening to a customer’s complaints. For instance, “I can see why you consider the hidden fees unfair. It’s often difficult to notice them since they are in small print at the bottom of the order form.”
- 4. Admit that the company made a mistake if that turns out to be the case; for instance, apologize if the issue is about a defective product or an order that was never shipped out.
3 Ways to Improve Customer Service Efficiency
Efficiency is necessary when running a customer service department because a faster response rate will ensure that as many customers as possible have a chance to get help when they call or line up at a customer service counter.
1. Automate routine procedures.
Many tasks can be automated, like routing complaints to the right agents or locating the right person in the department best equipped to handle the technical details necessary to resolve the problem.
2. Simplify Information access.
It’s unreasonable to expect every customer service rep to know about every detail of the company’s products services, procedures, or policies. Still, with the right information at their fingertips, they can quickly answer customer’s questions with confidence. An easy-to-search database will allow them to quickly pull up the information they need on their screens and convey it to the customer.
3. Provide customers with self-service options.
Since only a few problems customers have are unique, it’s easy enough to create a web-page with answers to frequently asked questions. By simply having options for self-service, the volume of demand on customer service agents can be reduced.
In summary, to build better relationships with customers, work to resolve their issues as quickly as possible by training customer service reps with a variety of soft skills and outfitting them with the computer-based tools necessary to efficiently serve customers.