Excellent customer service is crucial to your business’ bottom line. Top-notch support captures new business and keeps valuable customers coming back to you. Being friendly and helpful, however, can be difficult at times when dealing with certain issues and clients. It is important to know how to deliver consistently excellent customer service, and what things to focus on to ensure a client’s satisfaction.
1. Think From The Customer’s Perspective: In order to ensure positive and productive communication with customers, the customer’s perspective must always be kept in mind. Consider tone of voice: a customer who is spoken to in a tone that is courteous, pleasant, and professional is much more likely to respond kindly and calmly.
2. Body Language: Even though you are speaking with a customer over the phone, body language matters. A customer service representative who chews gum or seems distracted during a conversation, projects an attitude that is careless and rude. Make sure that while speaking to a customer, you are attentive, sitting upright, and are not distracted by your surroundings. A customer can tell when you are engaged in the conversation, or if your focus is elsewhere.
3. Learn to read your customers: Customers don’t always feel comfortable telling you they cannot afford your product or service. When a customer starts hinting (or out right asking) about price, offer alternatives. Don’t assume the customer knows all that they need to know in order to make an informed decision. Make suggestions that can save them money. Most of the time the customer doesn’t know what to ask for and is relying on your expertise.
4. Don’t keep callers waiting too long: While being on hold is often a fact of life, many callers get very frustrated with being on hold for long periods at a time. Try to keep their time on hold to a bare minimum, and if you must, make sure to check in with them often to assure them that they have not been forgotten about and that you will be with them as soon as possible. Partnering with a call center can help your business to minimize incoming call wait times.
5. Don’t sound overly scripted: Avoid launching into a script right from the beginning of a conversation. Instead, try to establish a rapport with the caller and take time to ask leading questions and listen. Additionally, being polite is a must so always use “please” and “thank you” when speaking to customers. Be careful not to overuse “please” and “thank you” as this can seem patronizing and may annoy certain callers.
6. Treat callers with patience and respect: Above many things, most callers want to be heard and treated with respect. Callers will often hang up in anger if they believe you are not listening properly or treating them disrespectfully. Be sure to listen carefully while they explain their problem to avoid asking them to repeat themselves. Try to empathize with the caller’s request or issue before offering a solution.
It is important to note that all of these tips can be applied before the sale is complete. There is a common misconception that customer service starts when a customer has a problem. In reality, good customer service starts when you pick up the phone. Giving your client the best service possible will not only benefit the sale, but will lead to return customers in the future.