Great customer service is what makes a business unique. It is possible to replicate products and services, but how you interact with your audience will ultimately determine the success of your business. This affirms the importance of great customer service.
The most important question to ask yourself is: How does the caller feel when they hear me? Are they satisfied with the results? Regardless of how you approach their problem or request, it is most important that they are pleased with your customer service.
So, how can you guarantee a customer’s approval of their experience with you? Certain aspects will determine your effectiveness and ultimately decide whether they will come back to you in the future.
The first and most important thing you can do is to identify yourself. Customer calls can be overwhelming in numbers, resulting in shortening of phrases and even a robotic sense of answering the call. Take a moment to introduce yourself. Answer the customer’s first questions (which they subliminally asked by contacting you): Who are you; what is your position and authority? As simple as it may sound, an introduction does make a big difference to the customer and gives them a place to start their conversation.
Speak to Them
The conversation doesn’t stop there though. It is just as important to continue to speak clearly throughout the conversation. Use proper grammar and no slang. For instance, say “yes” and “no,” not “yeah.”
Sometimes, it may be difficult to discern the gender of the caller. You have to be cautious when utilizing “sir” and “mam” until you are certain that you know the gender of the person you are talking to.
One of the most difficult things to master is avoiding the use of technical jargon. While you may be an expert in the field, having addressed these issues many times before, assume this to be the customer’s first experience with your product or service. In other words – speak to them, not above them. You want your customer to feel confident that their situation is understood and that they too properly comprehend their problem.
Because your interaction is limited to conversations over the phone, context delivers a very powerful message. While words will affect the context of your message, it is your tone that can say just as much about you. In all cases, maintain a consistent tone.
Don’t get frustrated, and do remain calm. Ask of the customer, don’t demand, especially when putting them on hold. If they say no, don’t do it. As a helpful hint, avoid snacking while talking. You want your customer to know that they are the center of the world right now. This is impossible if you are sidetracked with another matter.
Your speech is only half of the conversation. In order to deliver the best customer service, you must be able to listen even better than you talk. What is the customer saying? What is it that they really need? Is there an underlying problem?
Not everything they say is going to be in the words they use. Some things may be hinted at or even reflected in their answers. Listen to what it is that they’re looking for and address that particular issue.
“I’ve called you before, and the problem is back.” Consider that you know they have a problem, but the additional fact is that this problem has happened before. This means that the previous solution isn’t necessarily going to “fix” the problem this time. Not only will you have to seek out a solution, but you’ll need to ensure that it is the proper long-term solution.
This leads to the particularly important crowd pleaser of following up. If there’s an issue that is dealt with for the moment, it is good practice to check in and make sure that the solution was successful. Customers become more responsive if you simply take a moment to check up with them and make sure that the problem has been solved for good, whether or not they had an issue during the follow up.
With that in mind, when leaving a message, be sure to keep it short, simple, and to the point. You don’t want to consume an excessive amount of their time with unnecessary information. It’s good to make sure they know that their relationship with your business is valued, but you don’t want it to become a burden either.
Be a customer service representative who helps customers not only to be pleased with the service but to share your business’ unique ability throughout their own networks.
About the Author
Wayne Baumgartner is a small business owner who takes care of customers using old fashioned customer service skills and specializes in one industry -headsets! http://headsetsdirect.com