A key to building a business in any industry is being able to create a good relationship with your customers. As the people who are interacting with your customers on a daily basis, your customer support team are your relationship builders, and their role on a day to day basis could be the difference between winning or losing business.
There are no set rules to developing a great customer support experience, but it’s the little things that count. Being attentive to each and every person you speak to and showing a positive, helpful and friendly environment will guarantee that customers leave with a great impression and shows that you care about everyone using your business, no matter how big or small their contracts. Providing that positive experience will more often than not see customers investing further in your organization, or recommending you to their person network which is invaluable.
Great customer service is putting yourself in your customer's shoes. It’s critical to ensure the person you are speaking with understands that you care about them and you are concerned about what they are going through, rather than just looking to palm them off onto another team member. The best customer interactions occur when a customer feels that they are being listened to and understood, no matter the size of the problem.
Nancy Friedman of Telephone Doctor outlines the three most important things that a customer representative should do and should avoid. In her video entitled “Excellent Customer Service Skills” Nancy talks about the impact of empathy and enthusiasm, as well as the negative effects of Apathy in your business.
We will now take a close look at Nancy’s Top 3 Tips.
Demonstrating to a customer that you understand and being aware of, and sensitive to, their feelings and thoughts are critical. We are all human and react to human emotions, so when we are treated in a way that doesn’t cater to those emotion, we immediately disconnect mentally. How many times have you sat through endless recordings while trying to gain customer support from a large corporation only to grow to hate the company more with every minute that passes?
Empathy is an essential service mentality and it’s a key building block in creating a great customer support experience. During phone conversations it is easier for well-oriented customer service representative to show empathy because they have the benefit of using perfect tone of voice to make understanding easier, but we live in a world where most of our communication comes in the form of email and live chat messages, so we need to adapt.
Some tips on how to show empathy include:
Listen – Active listening is the most effective way to show empathy to customers. When talking to customers, focus is very important. You have to listen with purpose and let the customer feel that you are the most reliable person to talk to.
Focus – When customer starts logging their issues, focus is very important. Don’t be afraid to paraphrase if you feel like you don’t fully understand the situation. Focus on the main issue but keep listening to every point that the customer is trying to say.
Sympathize – Even the customer is telling the whole story of his/her life, whether it’s related to the service that your company provides, it is important that you sympathize, sometimes clients make dramatic introduction before telling the main issue. When you sympathize to customers, they begin to become comfortable and you conversation will go smoothly and will end up nicely.
Offer Help – Once you heard the entire story and learned what the issue is all about, it’s time for you to offer help. Let the client feel that you are ready to help them resolve their issues the best way you can.
The last thing anyone wants when talking to customer support is hearing the person they are talking to sounds like they don’t want to be there. Being able to bring an observable high level of energy or interest to a project situation makes a huge difference to the customer. People who are truthfully enthusiastic don't discriminate between their activities, instead they tend to bring high energetic and passive of emotions to whatever activity they’re doing.
Ways to be Enthusiastic include:
Acknowledge - The initial opportunity to put your enthusiasm on display is to acknowledge your customer. Enthusiasm makes it easy for you to reach out to your customer and it can be shown by the tone of your voice and by the positive words you say to your customer.
Provide – Whether you have the information or not, always provide assistance. Avoid saying negative words such as “I’m sorry, we don’t have that” or I’m sorry, I am not trained to assist you in that matter”. Great customer service is always finding a way to help and not telling what you can’t do.
Appreciate – Most customers like being appreciated. Thank you is the most used and common word and it is very powerful to show to customer that they’ve been appreciated. Appreciating customer is like telling them they are very important.
Apathy is indifference and lack of emotion and caring. A customer agent should not show traces of apathy as this would affect to the quality of service they are offering to their clients. Apathetic attitudes and bad attitudes are just similar when it comes to customer service; they both cause negativity in the workplace and to customer relationship. Avoiding apathy is leading you to be more professional customer service provider.
How to Avoid Apathy:
Define the cause – Defining the cause of an issue is one effective way to avoid apathy. Once you become aware of the cause, you will eventually become interested on finding a solution. Apathy sometimes a result of cluelessness and it becomes worst if you keep on believing that you don’t have any idea rather than finding a way to discover it.
Be perspective – Always learn how to weigh things and situation. A great customer representative should always compare, analyze and judge fairly based on the situation.
Be self-motivated – If you feel good about your job and you love what you are doing, you strive to achieve more and do better. Company culture is one of the most important things to motivate employees and that includes staff in customer service. A great company motivates its people that start from the heads to the staff and it will be contagious.
By following these basic tips, you will be on the path to providing exceptional customer success and taking your business to the next level!