As consumers, we regularly measure our experiences by the quality of a company’s products, services, and customer service. Ironically, many companies forget that customer service often reflects how the world views their business. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s been stuck on the phone with a company for what seems like an eternity, trying to resolve a trivial problem.
If you run a business, there are many things you can do to help your team deliver great customer service to your customers. But perhaps the most important step you can take is to empower your team to be decisive. Don’t load them with predefined scripts and strict rules. Allow them to be real.
We’re fortunate at crowdSPRING. Our team is empowered to find out what is and isn’t working for our customers, to make customers happy, and to suggest ways we can improve what we do. It may seem like such a simple concept (and it is), but it’s not always widely practiced.
We’re very proud that in any given month, our customer satisfaction rating (customers who say they love their interaction with our customer service team) ranges between 96 and 98 percent. Anyone who’s been involved with customer service knows that’s a terrific result.
Here are five ways you too can deliver great customer service to your customers:
1. Be real.
No, really. I’m serious. We live in a world of boilerplate responses and automated phone calls. No matter how upset someone might be, they will always appreciate emailing, or speaking with a real person who acknowledges that they too, are real! Real life, human interaction goes a long way in Building great customer relationships. Personalize your emails, use your customer’s name, and be specific about what the situation is. The difference between sympathy and empathy to the customer’s problem.
2. Be flexible.
It’s important to have a general protocol for varying situations and how you’ll handle certain issues that may arise, but things are rarely black and white. It’s vital that everyone on the team can be flexible and is able to adjust to each situation. No two issues are exactly the same as there are always a plethora of variables to consider.
3. Be fun!
When someone is yelling or typing angry emails in ALL CAPS, take a breath and remember they aren’t mad at you. They are mad at the situation, or that their husband didn’t take the trash out, or they didn’t get that promotion at work. You have a chance to make their day better, and you can! Let them know you feel their pain, and don’t be afraid to have fun – make them your pal.
4. Be honest.
Level with your customers and they will appreciate your honesty, even if it’s not the answer they want. Honesty really is the best policy. You don’t like it when someone give you the run-around, and neither will your customers, so give it to ‘em straight. Site crashed? Bummer, but let folks know. You don’t know the answer to their question? Well, that’s not ideal, but let them know you will look into it and figure it out. Whatever the situation, you’ll find that people respond much better when they aren’t being fed a line.
5. Go the extra mile.
Just doing that little extra step can make a world of difference in the Is the purpose of customer service to change feelings?. If you know a customer is waiting for a response, log in on your off time and send them a quick reply. Whether it’s logging in 5 minutes early or staying late, those small things can make a huge difference. It’s about being available, anticipating the customer’s needs, and being sure to dot all of the i’s and crossing all of the t’s.
Do you have other tips you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
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