Customer Service – When someone lands on a page searching for a product, they are most likely to come with questions to support their purchase. The availability of a human support, especially through live chat, reassures customers that they can trust the company. Apart from the presence of customer support, the mannerism and attitude of the customer service are very important. Now the challenge that organizations face these days is to improve the performance of customer service representatives. Though this objective can be fulfilled in multiple ways, improving communication habits is only one of them. Let’s discover these in this article.
What can personal qualities in a customer service personnel you think about? Consider the following:
1. Friendliness: The most basic and associated with courtesy and politeness.
2. Empathy: The customer needs to know that you care about their needs and circumstances
3. Fairness: The customer wants to feel that they get adequate attention and reasonable answers.
4. Control: The customer wants their desires and input to have an influence on the outcome.
Sometimes, hiring the right person for the customer service position is not enough. Organizations need to change the way they conduct their day to day business in order to create effective customer service representatives.
Here’s a list of tips to help you get started:
1. Treat Your Employees Equally. The whole purpose of “equal opportunity” hiring should essentially lead to equal opportunity incentives for all employees alike. Resist the urge to pump in greater economic benefits for high-level employees or else you would be compromising on honing the skills of the entry-level positions. Consider the real implementers, the customer service representatives of the organization as the drivers and propellers. Your job is to motivate them for better customer service and to get started, you can introduce a reward program.
2. Feedback, feedback, feedback! If there is one basic skill all organizations should exercise regularly, it’s feedback. Not ordinary feedback, you must care about giving constructive feedback. A dull and harmful feedback is equivalent to no feedback at all. A pat on the back or a gentle word saying “Good Job!” can become a good reason for your representatives to continue improving. Even if you have to point out their mistakes, do it through constructive criticism and see their motivation to improve skyrocket.
3. Respect, Respect, Respect! Giving respect to your employees must be your priority as it works as a powerful motivator. Use it abundantly! Lack of respect is an equally powerful depressor! Respect employees as individuals, regardless of their history with you. Respect and appreciation leads to engaged employees who want to travel the extra mile to impress their customers.
4. Train all personnel. Many organizations prefer to “over-train” higher-level employees and “under-train” lower-level employees, which should not be the case. As an organization, your responsibility is to groom every employee to their highest potential to achieve results. Teach management and leadership skills to all subordinates. Supervisors and middle-managers need regular management training to oversee critical operations and share operational knowledge effectively within teams.
5. Support Customer Service Personnel. Emotional support is rare, but much needed, to create a trusting and empathizing work culture. Some other support examples include replacing outdated equipment or tools, flexible work options, talk-through unfair criticism or pacifying disgruntled personnel. Gestures like these prove a point: you care for your employees. This is something that is not forgotten in a hurry.
6. Set an Example Be the center of admiration and inspiration for your team. Nothing demoralizes employees quicker than observing unethical behavior by senior management. Ensure all senior staff strictly adhere to the integrity and fairness model in place. Setting a positive example for your customer support can go a long way in improving customer support experience.
Top 7 Habits of Customer Service Representatives
Now let’s look at these seven desirable habits of customer service representatives. If you treat your customer support personnel right (as mentioned in the tips above) there is no reason for them to exhibit the following habits:
1. A Good Attitude
2. Appreciation for the good and bad within
3. Self Belief
4. A Vision to Make a Difference
5. An Open Mind
6. A Vision to not Stereotype People
How can you apply these habits in a customer support scenario? Consider these four examples:
1. In an online service providing environment, market your service by building a community in which you respond to your own threads as well as to others. As suggested by Eli Hodapp, the editor in chief of TouchArcade, “You may not realize this but every personal interaction, a reply to a question, a sharing of an idea, or confiding in a loyal fan is a memorable experience that you have created for that person.” Build a community that is loyal to you and to anything that you create in the future.
2. Listen to the customer and jot down a list of complaints. Group them into categories. Create responses like “Thank you for your suggestions. At this time we do not have time to change this feature, but thank you for bringing it to our attention.” Simple words that are supportive and kind can appease even the most difficult customer.
3. “You need to make yourself easily accessible, don’t HIDE from your customers.” – Josh Michaels. Respond with thank you notes and follow-up to make sure they are ok. This will create opportunities to convert a disgruntled customer into your product evangelist!
4. Focus on the customer needs. Customer Service Representatives can smartly detect an upcoming customer need and inform their managers. One such observation was based on the need for accessible applications for special needs individuals. This led the organization to build an app for visually challenged that was bound to change their lives forever. This act instantly built a community of fans! Create responsive services, especially those that make lives easier by listening closely to your customer.
Customer service is an art as well as a scholarly attitude towards consumer psychology. The best customer service representative understands and empathizes with the customer. Consider the following attitudes to adopt in your daily conversations with the customer. Remember, first impressions are the last impressions. Be mindful of the following:
People see you first and hear you second.
With these tips for organizations, managers and customer service personnel, you are on your way to exuding excellence in customer care.