No business can make all customers happy all of the time. However, with a quality customer service team in place, you can provide your customers with the opportunity to be heard, to feel that their comments will make a difference and that their negative experiences will lead to a better outcome. Here are some tips to help you transform your business’s customer service tactics.
Personalize the Experience
Encourage your customer service reps to empathize when working with a frustrated or irate customer. A blanket apology can make the customer feel unheard, while an apology with specific reference to the problem at hand can lead to an open conversation. If the customer is upset, your rep can certainly sympathize with their frustration and irritation. However, a rote apology for the problem may sound like a scripted response that lacks sincerity. If the customer is confused, provide guidance. If your customer is frustrated, work backward to find out the last thing that worked. If the customer is angry, you may need to let them rant until they can define what’s frustrating them. Each situation is unique.
Can empathy be taught? The ability of your customer service reps to put themselves in the shoes of a frustrated customer may come with time. The key to developing empathy is the ability to listen. Consider providing personalized training that helps your customer service reps to reframe the customer complaint, restate the challenge, and help your customer get back to the last thing they understood before the problem got to be too much. Training based on the role can help ensure that you’re giving employees the specific tools they need.
Once the customer has been helped, consider offering a reward to maintain loyalty and compensate them for lost time. Even the most careful manufacturers and service providers can, on occasion, send out a dud. If your customer service reps determine that a product simply can’t be salvaged or a service provided was not worth the investment, work hard to generate a replacement with a bonus. Of course, you’ll replace the product and re-establish the full warranty. Can you incorporate a bonus item to enhance the purchase? Loyalty to a manufacturer can be rebuilt with great customer service, a sincere thank you, and a gift of value.
Buying has changed radically within the last 20 years. Customer service and customer support must change with it. Your customers will know quickly if your customer service reps truly care or are working off a script.
You might also be interested in this article: What Your Business Needs to Understand About Customer Expectations