We’ve all had less-than-stellar customer service experiences. What separates these bad experiences from the ones that leave you feeling seen, heard, and valued? Much of it comes down to some basic things that a customer service representative can do to help their customer resolve an issue and leave feeling satisfied.
- Customers want to be seen, heard, and valued. You can do that be treating their situation as unique and providing realistic, human interaction.
- If you want to go the extra step, take the risk and ask for feedback. It can provide valuable insight into what you can do better.
- As you create customer service strategies, remember that the most important thing is to be the customer service representative you would want to engage with.
If you’re finding you are having poor experiences with your customers or are looking to improve your customer service skills, try some of these simple techniques.
Make It Individual
No one likes to feel like they are just a number. One of the first things you can do to ensure a great customer service experience is to treat each interaction individually. Sure, having scripts can help to keep things running smoothly, but it will often leave your customers feeling like they were simply part of a flow chart.
There shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all solution. Each interaction you have with your customers will require you to treat them as individuals. Learning to be responsive rather than rote in your customer service interactions is paramount to achieving a consistently positive experience.
Many companies are now relying on automation to solve common problems or answer those questions that keep getting asked without using up the valuable time of their customer service reps. But when you do have the chance to interact with a customer, remember to be human. You are not a robot. Yes, you know the rules and the lines that you have to stay within in what you can promise a customer, but in how you interact with them, you should act like yourself.
Fundamentally, people prefer people who are genuine. Be personal and personable, though appropriate, with your customers. As you stay transparent and communicative with your customers, you will find they are more responsive to your solutions and more willing to compromise when they can’t get the solution they want.
It’s great to have a positive experience with a customer but it’s better to leave them saying, “wow, that was great customer service.” To have that ‘wow’ moment, start by always showing appreciation for your customers. Even if they are coming to you with a problem, you need to appreciate that they are choosing to spend their hard-earned money with your company, keeping you employed and your family fed. Appreciate their patronage and you’ll not only have a great customer service experience, you’ll also have a returning customer.
You should also get in the habit of always asking for feedback on the customer service interaction. This is the best way to know what can be improved and what you are doing well. It’s easy to get stuck in routine and regular feedback can help you continue to grow and stay away from that rut.
Whether it’s a simple return of an item or a complex problem, you should always have a strategy when you’re interacting with a customer. Your goal is to help them leave the interaction with a desire to continue spending their money with the company rather than going to a competitor. How do you do that?
Coming up with strategies for common customer service situations is a great start. This can help you avoid feeling stuck or panicked during the interaction and lead to a more natural conversation with the customer. You will enter every one of these situations knowing the handful of outcomes and will be completely prepared for each.
Give The Customer Service You Would Want
Finally, there’s one simple rule to live by: give every customer the customer service you would want to get yourself. Be conscientious of their feelings and their concerns. They have lives outside of the interaction you have with them and they may take something out on you, but as you stay aware of their individual needs, you will be able to identify the real problem and solve it.
Always be reliable. Only promise what you can for sure give to the customer. No one likes to be told something or promised something that turns out to be untrue or unrealistic. If you promise to call a customer back, do it. If you promise a refund, give it. give your word and mean it.
Along with being reliable, you need the customer to feel that they trust you and that is down by giving them reassurance. They are in a vulnerable position. They have likely already spent money or plan to spend their money. You have the answers and solutions to their problems. In that dynamic, they will need to be reassured that they’ve made or will make a good decision by choosing your company over the competitor.
More than anything, have empathy. Everyone is going through something and everyone has something that is weighing on their mind. Your interaction with them may just be another errand that needs to be run, but the better you can make that interaction, the better you make their day and that can make a huge difference in their loyalty to the company. Treat people how you want to be treated and you’ll see a return on that investment.