Customer service is the bridge between a client and a company. The bridge can be stronger or it can burn, ending the relationship. The result depends on the quality of customer service a company can provide their present and future clients.
But the act of providing top-quality customer satisfaction does not end once the company gains the clients trust and money. It continues, and it becomes an important part of a business’ identity.
But what does a top-notch customer service really entail? What do you have to do to reach this status? Here’s a guide on what you, as a representative and the company you work for, can do.
As a representative:
- Listen to your customer. Listen to them and understand their story, request, or even their rant. Let them feel that you are paying attention. Active listening will work to your advantage.
- Be patient. On the note of client ranting, patience is needed. A customer would not be upset for no reason. Keep your calm and don’t antagonize them further. It won’t result to anything good.
- Put yourself in their shoes. Before doing or saying anything, imagine yourself being on the receiving end of what you’re about to do or say. Would you appreciate it or would you be hurt? Remember, we’re all customers.
- Make it personal. Don’t give generic answers or replies, because the customer will know and it will frustrate them. Call them by their first name and make them feel like they’re an important part of the company.
- Ask the right questions. When you’re trying to fix a problem for your customers, make sure you ask appropriate questions. This would result to solving the issue faster.
- Give clients the benefit of the doubt. Just because you’ve heard the same reasons a dozen times before, doesn’t mean that your current customer is not telling the truth. Don’t generalize your customers. EVER.
- Go the extra mile. If it didn’t take you long to fix the original problem, try to do something else for them. Something that would result to them being happier or more knowledgeable by the end of your interaction.
- Respond as soon as possible. If they sent you an email or if they’re waiting for a call from you, get back to them immediately. This is a way to let them know that you value their time.
- Update your clients. Whether you’re on a call with them or there’s an issue that they’re waiting for to be fixed, make sure you give them information on your progress. This will let them know that you really are doing something.
- Fix your mistakes. This could be your mistake or another person from your company, you have to do your best to fix it. Don’t give any excuses and do not point fingers.
- Keep your promises. There is nothing more hurtful for a client than expecting something you promised, only to be disappointed in the end. Don’t ever give them false hope. Best be honest with them from the get-go.
- Don’t confuse clients with jargon. You have your own terms in the office, but you should not use them towards your clients. They would not understand this, and they might end up frustrated and annoyed. Use simple words that they can clearly understand.
- Know everything you need to know. Your company sends updates every now and then, right? Read them. Understand them. So the next time a client talks to you about it, you would know exactly what to say, and not end up looking like a fool because they know something that you should but don’t.
As a company:
- Train your employees well. Training is something a company has to invest in. Arm your employees with proper product knowledge, how to handle customer complaint or an irate client, and most importantly…empathy. Make them understand that empathy is not just saying “sorry”. They have to mean it, they have to understand what they’re apologizing for.
- Build infrastructure that would help give great customer service. Supply your employees with tools and systems that will help them resolve clients’ concerns in a fast and efficient manner.
- Realize that your people will treat your customer the way they are treated. Treat your employees with respect and make them happy. In return, they will throw the respect and happiness around, more specifically, to their customers.
- Empower your employees to make customers happy. Make them value customer satisfaction more than handling time. Don’t make them compromise the quality of service they give clients by setting unreasonable time to handle the concern.
- Want to know what your customers think of your company? Ask them! This is pretty self-explanatory.
Trust is important in customer service. Actually, trust is everything in e-commerce. A client, or a prospect, has to trust a company in order to get their product or service. Here’s a list of things that your customer has to trust to convert to your business:
- Trust in themselves. They must believe they’re making the right decision by getting your service.
- Trust that the merchant is legitimate and legal.
- Trust the product or service is the one he/she needs.
- Trust that the product/service will be of the best quality.
- Trust that the product they would be receiving looks exactly like the one in the pictures on merchant’s website.
- Trust that the delivery of the product is guaranteed and on time.
- Trust that the business will continue to properly entertain them after the purchase for returns/exchanges/service/warranty, etc.
- Trust that if the product or service doesn’t measure up to expectations, then they will be able to return, exchange, or receive a refund.
- Trust that real people, and not just automated systems, will respond to inquiries.
- Trust that those people will be reachable by phone, email, or other means.
- Trust that the people in that company are capable of speaking in a language that the customer understands.
- Trust that every person in that company they encounter is courteous, amiable, and efficient.
So how can a company or a person representing the company build trust? With words. It sounds pretty empty doesn’t it? Considering we’ve always been told that “action speaks louder than words.” This is true. However, you can’t immediately “show” how capable and trustworthy you are to people, so you have to tell them in a very convincing manner. Here’s a list of trust- inspiring words/terms that you should exercise using, to garner confidence in you and your business:
- Authentic – It means real. Who doesn’t like something that’s real?
- Accurate – Because it’s hard to find trustworthy information in marketing nowadays, seeing this word and having details to back it up, instantly appeals to people.
- Ask – Knowing that you can ask, even if you don’t have to, inspires confidence towards a company and their people.
- Answer – Because what’s a question if there is no answer? So having this boosts the trust that the word “ask” inspires.
- Authoritative – We respect, admire, follow, and respond to authority figures, research, and information. Knowing that someone or something is authoritative is enough to create a feeling of trust.
- Best-selling – “Best-selling” means that a lot of people trust and respect a person or their product.
- Cancel Anytime – A safety net for people’s anticipation of buyer’s remorse.
- Certified – Most of the time, people don’t really care what’s certified, or where the certificate came from. As long as it’s certified!
- Data – Just the word data, even if there are no charts to back it up, makes us believe there’s a study for it and therefore can’t be wrong.
- Dependable – From a connotative standpoint, the word sounds like “deep,” “pensive,” “able.” These are words with trustworthy feelings associated with them.
- Earned – An honest statement proving ones worth. People feel good when someone else “earns” something.
- Factual – Facts are trusted, so if a claim is backed up by facts, then that inspires confidence.
- Guaranteed – This is a powerful word.
- Give – From childhood, we are told that giving is an act of kindness. Meaning, businesses who give are good and can be trusted.
- Genuine – It has the same meaning as “authentic” and “true”.
- Honest – Honesty breeds trustworthiness every time.
- Ironclad – This word combines “guarantee”, “strength”, and “integrity”.
- Integrity – It’s a quality that simply demands trust.
- Lifetime – This gives people confidence that they won’t have concerns about a certain product or service in the foreseeable future.
- Money back – Another safety net for customers.
- No Obligation – Obligations are scary for almost everyone. So using this term rid customers of this fear and in exchange makes them take a chance on you.
- No Strings Attached – This guarantees people that a company has no hidden agendas and won’t be fooling them into something.
- Privacy – Honoring a client’s privacy will make them trust you more.
- Protected – This makes clients trust that you have their backs in case anything goes wrong.
- Relate – In a nutshell, people like something or someone they can relate to.
- Refund – It’s just like “money back”.
- Results – People trust results.
- Scientific – Not a lot of people are into science, but one thing science guarantee is
- factual results.
- Satisfaction – Knowing that a client will be satisfied makes them trust a company that much more.
- Tested – It means something has been proven to be effective.
- Warranty – Who doesn’t like warranties?
Consistently providing top-quality customer support service is not an easy feat, but it’s one that is most rewarding. Choose your staff carefully. Be sure you have ones that have your company’s best interest at heart. Filipinos are known to be one of the best when it comes to outsourcing. With the best customer service providers, you are truly in good hands.
Sources: Live Help Now!, About Money, and Six Revisions, Jeremy Said