It’s obvious, but often overlooked: to improve customer relationships, you’ll need to sharpen your customer service skills. No matter your staff’s talent or your product’s merits, customers are likely to remember when (and how) they’ve interacted with your company. Your customer service department is the company’s “face”, and the customer experience is largely defined by the quality and the skill of the support that department provides. Here, you’ll learn a few ways to improve your company’s customer service.
To improve in other areas, the customer service team needs the skills to manage customers’ needs and expectations. Look for skills such as patience, empathy, consistency, adaptability, communication, and work ethic. If you’re not sure if your representatives have what it takes, use business phone solutions to interview or survey your customers to get their feedback.
Improve Interactions With Customers
If your customer service team has the necessary skills, that’s great, but they’ll still need to relate to customers on a personal level. Try:
- Asking reps to find common ground, such as shared interests. Having a single point of understanding makes conflicts easier to overcome and humanizes the relationship between the customer and the company.
- Being an active listener. Rephrase and clarify customers’ statements to ensure that they’re understood. Reflect and empathize with their feelings, and customers will feel as if they’re being heard.
- Admitting mistakes, even if you find them before the customer does. This exercise restores confidence, builds trust, and allows you to refocus customers’ attention.
Ensure Representatives’ Engagement
Though your company’s employees may have the best training and customer service skills possible, it’s useless if they’re “checked out”. Improving employees’ engagement is a good way to ensure a great customer experience. A dissatisfied employee isn’t likely to step forward, so consider a survey or suggestion box to see what makes them tick.
Make it Easy for Customers to Give Feedback
No matter how diligent you are, it’s impossible to address every customer’s issue proactively. To learn about your customers’ experiences, you’ll need to make it easier for them to provide feedback. Whether it’s an email survey or an online form, allowing customers to voice their opinions makes it simpler to see where improvements could be made. Furthermore, customers will see that the company is focused on proactive, high-quality customer service.
Provide Online Support
Does the company provide support through online channels? If not, there’s no time like now to get started. When a customer has a problem or a question, they won’t want to spend much time visiting a location or calling the company. Time is a precious resource, and customers want fast solutions. That’s precisely why an online support strategy is so important.
Respond to Complaints
It’s hard to interact with an unhappy customer. As a business owner, it’s crucial for you to make amends and find solutions to customers’ problems. Respond to negative comments and reviews, even if the criticism is seemingly unwarranted. When representatives show their customer service skills, even the most dissatisfied customer may be convinced to give the company another chance.
There are two well-known yet diametrically opposed sayings in customer service: “The customer is always right” and “You can’t please everyone”. With the tips in this guide, however, it’s easier to make customers feel as if they’ve been heard while making them happy enough to come back.