Due to its front line nature, bad customer service can severely damage the reputation of your business. It does not matter if you are working for a global player or in a cosy little sidewalk café in the countryside. Customer service matters, regardless of the size and location of your business.
To start out, there is one thing you should never forget when working in customer service: it is people you are dealing with; individual beings, each with their unique personality, temper and mannerisms. Hence, you need to be aware whom you are talking to and in which situation and adapt your approach accordingly.
This may not seem a very easy thing to do. However, by internalising some of the key elements which constitute excellent customer service, you will be able to find the right approach at the right moment and consequently provide customer service that not simply satisfies, but delights.
Below are a few things to keep in mind:
• Effective communication: Using powerful questioning techniques and positive language will help you elicit the information you need from the customer in order to positively address his or her requests or effectively solve the problem at hand.
• Empathy: Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. This will help you build and maintain rapport.
• Attentiveness: Listen closely to what the customer has to say. It will help you identify the customer’s needs and challenges as well as common interest.
• Respect: Show your customer that his or her concerns matter to you and are taken seriously.
• Patience & Professionalism: You are quite likely to encounter challenging situations and difficult and demanding customers at some point. Learning how to effectively handle angry or demanding customers and how to deal with complaints and objections will greatly reduce the stress level on both sides and will enable you to constructively work towards a solution.
Exceptional customer service will not only make your customers happy, it will also enable you to establish long lasting relationships with your clients which will help your business flourish.
If you could do with some formal training, have a look at Kwintessential’s “Introduction to Customer Service” course. It will equip you with the essential skills required to deliver outstanding customer service throughout the service chain.