The customer service you provide is one of the most significant factors in whether a customer makes a purchase and chooses to use your company again. For your company to be successful with its customer service, you need to think about your customers and your customer service representatives.
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- Knowledge and Training
You can’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to customer service because every customer is different and has his own unique needs. It’s the same with your employees – some will require a different training approach than others.Start by explaining to all your employees your company’s standards, so they know the level of service that you want to reach. Allow your employees the flexibility to adapt these standards to the situations they experience, so they can better serve each customer.
- Make It Personal
No customer wants to feel like just another caller, but that’s exactly what happens when they hear the same stock phrases over and over. Remember that your employees are not robots, and you don’t want them simply reading off generic responses. Your customers will appreciate a personalized approach far more.When customers contact your company, you want them to feel like they’re visiting their local mom-and-pop store or their favorite coffeehouse. That means your employees need to make customers feel like they care and want to provide the best experience possible.
- First Contact Resolution
Make it a goal that your employees properly address every customer’s issue on the first call, so there’s no need for any follow-up calls. Not only does this result in fewer calls to handle, it’s also important for customer satisfaction, as no one likes calling in multiple times about the same issue.It’s also hard on your employees when frustrated customers need to call in multiple times, because they need to deal with the negativity. Keep in mind that if there’s a problem with your first contact resolution, it may be an issue with another department, not necessarily your customer service.
- Invest in Technology
Instead of the traditional training class, why not try gamification? This is when you replace that traditional training with training that uses video game mechanics.Gamification is a great way to attract new talent and reward your current employees. It makes the workplace feel more fun and less like a job, which can boost productivity.
There are plenty of other ways you can use technology to improve your workplace. Voice biometrics is an excellent way to add an extra layer of security by confirming a person’s identity through voice and social media is a necessity for both marketing and customer service.
- Manage Complaints
Everyone likes praise, but complaints can be a huge help in finding ways to improve your business. Give the three-times rule a try – if you hear or read something negative about your customer service three times, you pay particular attention to that area and take corrective action.Don’t just delete negative comments and complaints on social media. This frustrates the person who made the post and can make the issue worse. Instead, propose a resolution or politely ask to continue the conversation in private.
The next five items are strategies customer service representatives can implement to maintain a positive attitude, helping them to better serve your customers.
- Don’t Take Anything Personally
You can’t get offended easily when you’re in customer service. People are often already upset when they call in, and people get more brazen when they’re on the phone. Keep in mind that the issue a customer has isn’t with you personally. This can be easier said than done, but stay relaxed and don’t remember that even if someone calls you a name or acts superior, they don’t even know you.
- Control Calls and Your Mood
Letting your emotions get the best of you on a call never helps. You won’t be thinking rationally, so it will take you longer to handle the problem. If you respond to the customer’s anger with anger of your own, the customer could also never use your company again.When you’re stressed, take a break to cool off. Find something that has a calming influence on you. It may be a lucky charm of some sort, a small plush toy you got from a dear one, a family photo or a breath of fresh flowers or (if you work from home) the scent of one of your favorite candles that will improve your concentration and mood. All these can serve to remind you there are far more beautiful and calming things in life than an angry customer.
- Balance Your Work and Private LifeCustomer service can be a stressful job, but when the work day is over, leave all that behind. Forget about anything that bothered you during the day and enjoy your personal time. Have fun with your family and friends, go out and enjoy yourself.
You may want to keep a family photo in your work area to remind you of who will welcome you at home and why you’re doing the job in the first place.
- Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
It’s unhealthy to sit around all day, so get up and stretch your legs whenever you get the chance. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Swap out junk food for high-protein snacks. Take exercise classes that help you relax, such as yoga or meditation.
- Be Confident and Honest
Once you’re fully trained, you’re already halfway to delivering high-quality customer service. Now, all you need is confidence in what you tell customers. That comes with experience.Purge the phrases “I don’t know” and “I’m not sure” from your vocabulary while you work. This gives customers a poor impression of your company. Instead, connect the customer with someone who can help, but also find out how you can handle the issue next time around.
Customer service doesn’t need to be difficult. Companies just need to set the right standards, empower their employees, and offer adequate training. For customer service representatives, it’s important to live a healthy lifestyle, manage stress well, and keep a cool head.
Sandra Moncada is a cycling enthusiast, who frequently escapes to hang out with her literary and movie heroes. She is vitamin D’s biggest fan, who is passionate about meditation, Pilates and beating stress. When she’s not floating in the ocean or her outdoor pool, she loves to write about lifestyle improvements, self-development and stress-relief methods.
You can connect with her @SandramoncadaOh
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