We can all recall a time when we’ve experienced excellent customer service. These experiences are the perfect mixture of helpful and authentic character that make you feel appreciated. Unfortunately, we all can probably recall a negative customer service experience more easily. This is what we want you to avoid, when possible. These are the do’s and don’ts of customer service that will help your pursue those excellent experiences.
Anticipate Their Needs and Wants
Customers mostly express their wants, when they desire a product or service, but often leave out their true needs. When a consumer wants a product or service, they are really expecting a certain result from it. Whatever that desired result is will help you shape your customer service around achieving this with customers. If someone buys a piece of IKEA furniture, they need an easy to read manual that will help walk them through to the end result, the finished and functional piece of furniture. Without this essential information, the customer is bound to have a negative experience because of the frustration of trying to figure it out themselves.
Staying aware of the customers needs and wants will help you stay one step ahead of them. When you beat them to the next step, they see that you confirm that you are an expert in your field. This is the kind of customer service that gets people talking, in a good way!
Customers can sense when you are coming off as in-genuine. Everyone is used to interacting with people that don’t care about much more than closing the transaction. In contrast, when you show genuine interest, it will be noticed because its refreshing! Being selective about who interacts with your customers protects you from having to salvage a negative experience.
Although it may come as a learned skill, listening to your customers could lead to meaningful, loyal customer relationships. When they are complaining, hear them out and show sympathy. Laugh when they laugh and don’t be afraid to ask personal question that could lead to a greater understanding of your customer. Social media is also great tool to stay in contact with customers in a friendly, non sales-y manner.
Provide Answers and Deliver On Promises
Although you may have founded your business on a wealth of knowledge, don’t assume that it’s easy for your customer service staff to explain and answer questions the way you can. Customer service training is a must to have a cohesive brand voice. If a customer service representative doesn’t know an answer, people expect them to try their best to find out. The simple phrase “I don’t know” could cost you a sale or even land you with a bad review. Give your customers reason to trust your business by doing what it takes to make sure they are prepared for a good experience.
Restrict Or Deny The Customer
No one likes the word “no” because it feels like you’ve abruptly hit a brick wall. Though it’s not always possible or in your best interest to say yes, there are many other ways to explain your reasoning. Along with that, no one wants to hear about your “company policy”. It feels cold and unaccommodating when a different option or explanation isn’t given. They only see two things – what they want and that you won’t give it to them.
If there are common roadblocks that reoccur in conversation, come up with a simple script for your staff or customer service representatives that helps customers feel like they’re still getting a great service.
Below we’ll show you an example that shows the huge difference between a restrictive answer and an open one.
Question: “Are your stores open on Sunday?”
“No, I’m sorry.” (completely cuts off conversation)
“Our stores are open Monday through Friday from 9am to 10pm” (provides valuable information that helps them move forward at the next available time)
Generally, getting assistance with resolving an issue should not be more frustrating and problematic than the original problem. In today’s tech savvy world FAQ’s and chat bots work wonders. Systems that help you easily and quickly return an answer to customers will help alleviate your customer service team from answering every question and ultimately lead your customer to a better experience. If you prefer to use a actually staff online or over the phone, make it apparent how customers can reach customer service so that more fuel isn’t added to their fire as they try to navigate your website or phone lines.
Ignore Complaints or Feedback
Feedback should always be seen as a valuable, no matter its form. It’s better to freely get feedback than to have to pry it out of people. If customers are the heartbeat of your business, their feedback is the blood that circulates through it.
Let it be known that you are always open to feedback so that customers feel comfortable coming to you when they need to. Take these opportunities as an inside assessment of your business and how it is directly impacting people.
With more online tools than ever to help your customer service excel, theres no reason to be bad at it. Follow these top customer service tips so that people start spreading the word about the amazing experiences they had with your business.