This is a guest post by Vincent Sevilla.
For those of you who’ve had direct experience in dealing with customer concerns, it’s safe to say that it has to be one of the most challenging careers. Customers have many demands, and they are always right as the saying goes.
It can also be seen as a thankless job, but the truth of the matter is that it is absolutely crucial that a business provides good customer service. This is because at the heart of it, it’s about building a relationship with the very people that keep businesses alive. By making customers feel like they are cared for, they will happily continue to patronize the business and even share their support to others.
If you are working in customer service and you want to be able to truly bridge the gap between your company and your customers, heed these advices.
Always Be Prepared
When a customer comes over to your desk or calls you for support, you have to be ready to answer their needs or at the very least have a process and the equipment on hand to be able to point them towards a solution.
Never make them wait. If you have to log on to a system or load a program to pull up a knowledge database or simply take out a pen and paper to jot down inquiries, do so before you engage your customer. It will be doubly frustrating for them if you make them wait only to get back to them without a definite answer.
You do not waste customers’ valuable time. Assume that they’re hurrying off to somewhere. If you do have to go through a lengthy process to provide the best answer and they have to wait, tell them immediately and give them the option to come or call back.
Pay Attention to Customers’ Needs
It’s not enough that you just hear out what customers are saying. You have to listen and take note of the important issues that they’re bringing up, and be able to understand what they want you to do to help.
They come to you looking for assistance in order to make their experience better or to fix a problem so you have to be able to provide them the right information. Do not immediately presuppose what their needs are. Gently guide them through identifying their desires with relevant open-ended questions if they’re having a problem articulating their issues.
If you believe you have a solution that is better than what they are asking for, suggest it to them and explain why that is kindly.
Once you’ve gotten a clearer picture of what it is the customer is looking for, you need to provide the answer as soon as possible. As mentioned earlier, you must not test the patience of a customer. That means no fumbling through your script or the processes outlined for your work.
You should also avoid giving them too many options to take if they are looking for just one solution, as that can just lead to confusion on the customers’ part. They want to be able to move forward with the guarantee that they will have their problem fixed or have a good experience because of your efforts.
Although it is virtually impossible to not make a single mistake on the job, you should still strive for perfection in what you do especially as a person working in customer service. You hold in your hands the hearts of the people keeping the company you work for afloat.
You cannot afford to sour their moods with incompetence, as making a mess of your responsibilities can lead to customers having a bad experience hand-in-hand with a bad impression of the business’ overall image. Once that happens, you can expect to lose customers. What’s even worse is that they might share their negative opinions of your company, and you end up losing even potential customers.
Take the Extra Effort to Help
It might be hard for some employees in customer service considering the stress that usually comes with the job, but seeing it as more than just a job can be the deciding factor that puts you a step above the rest. Have your customers’ well-being in mind, and keep it front and center.
Don’t just give them a curt response when they ask a question. Provide the solution, and guide them throughout resolving the issue so they get exactly what they want. Afterwards, you can suggest relevant ideas that will either make their experience better or prevent them from dealing with the same problems. Ask them if they were satisfied with the job, and if they need any further assistance.
Being in the frontlines in customer service is tough, but you have to remember that you have the very important duty of satisfying customers on a foundational level. If you are not up to the task, the business crumbles as people will look to others who will treat them properly. You need to let them know that you genuinely care.
About the author:
Vincent Sevilla is a marketing consultant for Affilorama and
Piton-Global, he also enjoys creating graphic and illustration designs.