Anyone in business, small or multi-national, knows the maxim “the customer is always right.” Well obviously, customers don’t know everything, but here’s the deal: you have to treat them as if they do. Very few companies can get away with poor customer service and still operate. In reality, you may have the greatest product, but when you are known for handling your customers with disregard and disrespect, the only thing you’ll have is less customers.
That said, you don’t have to kiss the ground they walk on either. But, follow these 6 basic tips and improve your customer service with ease. You’ll have them coming back for more in no time
1. Don’t hate the phone. In this day and age of social media, texting, email, and so on, customers still want to talk to someone. Make sure you (and your workers) understand how to “enjoy” the interaction of talking on the phone. Of course you have to fake it on occasion, but remember that person on the other end of the line is a potential sale.
2. Learn active listening. This is simply a way of listening to someone and giving feedback to them (essentially repeating what they are telling you) to elicit understanding. When you can offer proper feedback, the other person realizes they are dealing with someone who will try to help them. This reassures them you understand and care about their concerns.
3. Do not put people on hold. This only generates more anger and resentment. Do everything you can to talk to the person as soon as possible. If it’s absolutely necessary for them to be on hold, be sure to explain the wait and apologize for it.
4. Do not use automated messages. Similar to the above, pressing 5, then 4, then 7 to get a human on the phone increases stress on the customer. If you need an automated system, have it connect to an operator as quickly as possible. Talking to a human voice calms angry customers down quicker than the automated system does.
5. Give your customer service reps freedom. Take a note from Zappos; their customer service reps are allowed to send customers extra gifts, flowers, notes, and more. They also have a generous return policy. Did you know they also have some of the highest prices on the net? Seems they’ve found a way to increase revenue and keep people happy.
6. Have accurate software. What does software have to do with customer service? A lot. If you aren’t generating accurate information and sending out accurate invoices, your customers have a leg up on you. How can you break down information if you aren’t recording it properly? Making sure you have good invoice software helps your customer service reps handle difficult calls and help customers understand their orders.
There isn’t anything here that is rocket science, but sometimes we make the easy things difficult. Follow these basic tips and not only will you have repeat customers, you may have new customers. People talk, and referrals come on the back of great customer care. Good Luck!
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