No product or service is perfect and when there are faults it means that your company can expect an increase in customer service calls. So how will you handle them?
Too many organizations treat service as secondary to sales. After all, one creates revenue while the other only consumes time. But this isn’t the whole story. If your company neglects customer service it creates an undertow that erodes your company’s reputation over time, resulting in lost sales and lost clients in the long term.
To combat this effect it is vital that you create a culture of professional customer service to resolve issues quickly and prove to new customers and old that you stand behind your service and deserve their business.
Here are a few great ways to start:
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Sometimes what you say is secondary to how it is said. Strive to use positive phrasing and highlight positive actions in all conversations, even the difficult ones, to create a better impression. For instance rather than telling a customer, “Sorry, that color is back-ordered until next month,” you should try, “It looks like that color will be available again next month. I can place an order for you right now, or if you prefer another color we can have it shipped out tomorrow.”
Anyone providing customer service should cultivate a deep understanding of their product, service, and industry. Know the ins and outs, have the terms and details memorized, and position yourself as an expert. This will allow you to address the customer more authoritatively, recognize common problems or solutions, and avoid delays during customer service conversations.
Customer service is more effective when customer service representatives have something of value to offer your customers. Whether that is free shipping, a special discount, or some other benefit, the simple act of rewarding or recognizing frustrated callers can improve a decidedly negative situation.
Patience and Empathy
No matter how effective your customer service skills may be there will still be situations where a problem is not solvable, or where the customer is in fact at fault. Explain your policies in detail and be understanding, keeping the customer’s perspective in mind. They may be extremely frustrated or angry, and in these situations a healthy dose of patience, compassion, and empathy can do a lot to defuse the situation.
However, keep in mind that while patience, respect, and professionalism are mandatory in all customer service conversations, you or your employees should never have to deal with direct hostility, threats, or verbal abuse from callers. Your team’s dignity matters just as much as your customers’ or clients’, and your customer service training must reflect that.
When customers or clients need to reach you or your support team, are they able to? If you are having trouble covering the phones during the business hours of all your clients, you may want to consider investing in virtual receptionist service. You’ll receive consistent phone presence and your digital receptionists can enter the support item into your system for you or your team to quickly follow up on. Visit our homepage or give us a call today at (925) 627-4200 to find out more information.