Providing the best customer service is easier than you might think.
It has been said, “The true test of a business’ customer service fitness is not when things are going right, but rather how they respond when things are going wrong.” Unfortunately, this is a sad reality, and one of the many reasons why companies have begun to take a closer look at the effects of great customer service in achieving their performance objectives. Providing excellent customer service is not as hard as it seems when a company has set processes in place designed to improve the customer experience. Here are ten simple actions a representative can take to deliver exceptional customer service.
- Get to know your customer: Personal interactions leave a lasting impression. Actively engage your customer to gain insight into their wants and needs. Address them by name to gain their trust, and thank them for their business.
- Take pride in your work: Do not take shortcuts. Providing excellent customer service is your opportunity to create a positive image of the company. Always do what is expected and not merely what is inspected.
- Respond promptly: Nothing frustrates a customer more than the feeling of not being heard or understood. Promptly respond either verbally or in written form to address your customer’s issue. In most cases, simply acknowledging that there is an issue provides the customer with a sense of relief.
- Acknowledge your mistake: Take ownership of your mistake. Do not play the blame game. Empathize with the customer’s feelings of frustration. A simple acknowledgement like, “That sounds frustrating,” can defuse the situation and calm the customer down.
- Own it: As a representative of the company, take the lead and personally commit to finding a solution that meets your customer’s needs.
- Provide a solution: Providing solutions to remedy the situation sounds obvious, but make sure your representatives have the power to provide solutions to remedy the situation. Retention of the customer is what you want, not being “right”.
- Personalize your approach: Be flexible in your approach to addressing the concerns of your customer. Be sensitive to your customer’s mood and adapt accordingly.
- Take the initiative: Proactively offer solutions that can improve the customer experience. Ask probing questions to uncover additional ways to assist your customer.
- Think long term: Each contact is a brick in pursuit of building the bridge to a lifelong customer. Think of ways to brand a positive experience on every call. By providing excellent customer service at every opportunity, you will ensure you do not give your customer an excuse to go to a competitor.
- Build a future: Involve your customer in the process for the life of the program. Solicit ways to improve the customer experience while on the call, and make sure the customer understands that you are partners with them and will fully support them through the span of your relationship.
Excellent customer service affects your existing customers and your future customers. Be willing to help your company raise the bar, and provide excellent customer service to both your internal and external customers. A positive customer experience increases your brand awareness and the chance that your customer will share their positive experience, either verbally or on social media.