Customer Service is an integral part of a large or small company. It is easier to retain a customer than find a new one. Without a good customer service, companies would lose clients to their competition, which is the last thing an organization wants especially in these tough times.
This article deals with presenting yourself in the best position possible to deliver superior customer service. These ideas are not new, but they are tried and true principles that will set you apart from others.
1. Be a Great Listener - Customers love to vent. They want you to physically feel the emotional angst they are going through at that moment in time when you pickup the call. A Customer Service representative needs to have the patience to listen to the issues and problems before jumping in with a solution. As a great listener you will immediately be a credible resource to the person on the other end within 30 seconds. Take the time to hear what they have to say before jumping in with your resolution. If you interrupt the flow of the information coming in, the customer will immediately sense you are not paying attention and become even more irate and ask to talk to someone else. Which is the last thing you want to have happen.
2. Phone Presence - As a Customer Service Representative, you will most likely be on the phone 90% of the time. Having the ability to speak articulately and pronounce words so that you are clear and easily understood is a crucial in this role. A representative that cannot get their point across to a customer when they need help will only frustrate them further.
3. Promote the Desire to Help - A Customer Support Representative needs to have the fundamental desire to assist others. To understand their issues quickly and provide solutions that will make them feel that the company cares about them, no matter what the issue is. If you do not have this basic character trait, then a customer support position may not be for you.
4. Dedicated Problem Solver - The reason you are in this position, is to listen to the problem being conveyed by the customer and offering solutions to those issues, quickly. Chances are, the company has given you the necessary training, knowledge and processes to fulfill this obligation. Your job is to execute the process based on the training and information you have. In addition, you will have a support system of supervisors and knowledge experts that you can draw from if needed.
5. Patience - Another important character trait that is difficult to master is patience and empathy. Having the patience to listen to the customer and work through each call is a critical factor to keep your own head when others are screaming at you over the phone. It is easy to get caught up in the emotions being forced upon you, causing premature burn out. Having the ability to be a calming influence can help relieve the stress the customer may be feeling at that time.
6. Communication - The art of Communication is a learned skill that customer service representatives need to become more aware of as they develop over time. It is easy to to tell a customer that you can help them because that is what they want. Telling a customer "No" is a difficult task, but can be done with respect and sincerity.
7. Sincerity and Honesty - a Customer will know when you are being truly honest with them or condescending. If you present the facts and your position in wanting to help them through the issues with best possible solution, they will be very appreciative of your efforts.
8. Do as You Say - Establishing trust is critical in satisfying the customer. If you are going to investigate and call them back, do it. Make a commitment and stick to it. It will become a principle that many customers will expect and know you will deliver on.