In our opinion, there’s absolutely nothing more frustrating than a poor customer service experience. Whether a customer has to deal with a frustrating phone order, an incomprehensible email, or repeating their personal information ten times to ten different agents, clients can lose interest in your brand due to poor customer service.
But to be frank, it’s actually not that complicated. In fact, the simple power of words and of course, attitude can make a huge the difference when it comes to making and keeping your customers happy.
At Creative studios, we believe strongly in the power of words to make our customers happy. And because client satisfaction is a measure of how productive and adequate a company is, we’ve put together 6 rules to follow when helping customers. Although these rules are not cast in stone, we believe that they are a great guide for any business that makes it their mission to provide great customer service every time.
We’ve all heard this axiom- listen twice; talk once. Never has a truer word been spoken especially in this era when everyone is quick to air his/her opinion without actively listening to the other party. The art of listening can also be imbibed when it comes to customers’ satisfaction. Listening is the very first step to understanding. Usually, everyone calling or emailing your customer service team has a problem to report — and if you don’t listen, you’ll never find out what the customer’s issue is.
Some customers might simply be riled and want to know that their grievance is being heard, and others might have issues you can quickly solve for them. Allow them to vent, empathize with their frustration and let them know you understand what they are saying. Once you’ve been able to calm their emotions, they’ll be in a more receptive mood for counsel, and you’ll be able to guide them toward a resolution.
Research shows that you’ll be more receptive towards a conversation when you think the other party is engaged in active listening, and ideally, every conversation with a customer has a positive takeaway. Therefore, ensure that you take the time to demonstrate that you’re actively listening on calls, emails, and chat conversations when you can’t show your customers. Respond to statements and questions to demonstrate your full comprehension, and repeat back what customers have said to make sure you both understand each other.
2) Pay Attention
A very vital aspect of active listening is paying attention. While multitasking is great for productivity, we should never lose sight of the fact that the customer you’re dealing with is your top priority at that particular moment.
If you miss the details of a problem because you were trying to sort out something else at the same time, and the customer needs to repeat themselves, they will feel ignored. Remember that listening goes beyond hearing what the customer has to say, it’s more about hearing all of what they have to say.
3) Don’t Interrupt
In our opinion, many client service reps fall short when it comes to this rule. The fact remains that we’re here to help customers resolve their issues at their own convenience, so whatever you do, don’t rush a customer off the phone.
You might think that you’ll achieve better results if you handle as many customer cases as possible within the shortest possible time. However, you should ensure you take extra steps and additional time to thoroughly and completely troubleshoot customer issues.
Organizations that invest in customers’ success achieve better outcomes — including happier customers and higher revenues. So the next time you’re on a call, take your time, listen well, and be polite, it might take longer, but you’ll likely achieve better outcomes for your customer, your team, and your company at large.
Studies have shown that apologizing and taking ownership of a problem is one of the fastest ways to resolve an emotional situation, even when it’s not your fault.
The truth is that you don’t have to assume the responsibility of an error to truly apologize. Saying you’re sorry for a technical issue doesn’t mean it’s your fault. It simply says how you feel about what happened.
Remember, humans want their feelings to be heard, understood, and respected. Apologizing for the challenges experienced by the client, even if it’s not your fault, will help him/her feel empathy and more willingness to collaborate on troubleshooting.
Whenever you are faced with the option of apologizing, remember this saying by Maya Angelou:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
The saying makes sense, right? You don’t apologize to a customer simply because you made a mistake, you apologize so they feel better about a bad situation and open up enough to allow you resolve the issue.
5) Focus on Solutions, Not on Blames
Whether it’s a system outage, a wrong invoice, or a miscommunication error, mistakes can happen on your company’s end, and it’s very important to apologize in those moments.
But when you’re apologizing or clarifying any backend issue that led to a customer problem — never, we repeat never, ever blame another department or another member of your team. Instead, focus on finding a solution that would solve the problem and prevent it from happening again. It will make you and your organization appear more professional and reliable.
6) Laugh, Smile and Have Fun
Pay attention to signals from your customer, and have fun with them when appropriate. Share jokes, laugh, and match their tone and style to make them feel comfortable and at ease.
If they’re smiling when they hang up, you’ve done a good job.