As more customers veer away from traditionally recognised priorities, it is becoming increasingly clear that the key to succeeding in business nowadays is to adapt quickly to ever-changing trends. Recent studies show that customer behaviour is largely dictated by the customer experience, of which effective customer service is the main driving factor.
Customer experience affects what a person thinks of your brand, as well as their willingness to continue patronising your products or services. Investing in effective customer service training programs can better prepare your workforce for the challenges ahead. A short class or course in customer service can impart the following essential skills to your team:
Most front-end representatives will be able to put together a list of the most common issues and customer complaints within their first couple of weeks on the job. As a result of hearing these same concerns day in and day out, many of them fall prey to the habit of tuning the customer out,presuming that they can ascertain what the trouble is based on context instead of hearing the customer out fully.
While it is an asset in customer service to identify what the issue is as quickly as possible, it is just as crucial to identify the problem correctly. Making assumptions about the customer’s concern before he or she has a chance to relay it can make for inefficient work, thus lowering the effectiveness of customer service.
Active listening entails making the customer feel both heard and understood, and reassuring them that you are attentive, by asking pertinent follow-up questions. With it, a customer service representative will be able to accurately pinpoint the issue and work on the proper resolution.
According to a 2017 report published by Microsoft called the State of Global Customer Service, about 1 in 3 people state that the most important aspect of customer service is discussing the product, service or issue, with a knowledgeable, friendly agent. Not only does a solid foundation of knowledge about the company’s products and/or services help the representative resolve issues more expediently; being aware of the product or service’s various weaknesses and shortcomings can aid them in better identifying what a customer’s specific concerns are.
All front-line employees should be given an in-depth orientation regarding any policies that directly affect customers, and they should be properly briefed with the information they need to answer common customer inquiries regarding the company’s products and/or services. It is ideal for these representatives to know the company’s products and/or services as though they also used them every day—this enables them to help customers in an authentic way, when they run into an issue.
Customers often won’t seek service until they’ve exhausted all options to resolve the issue on their own. By then, many of them can be exhausted, frustrated or irate; all they want is to get in touch with someone who understands how they’re feeling.
Empathy is a customer service soft skill that is just as important as the ability to solve the problem at hand. Empathetic customer service representatives can smooth ruffled feathers and defuse tense situations by making customers feel heard and valued. They make clients feel that they are speaking to a real, live human who has similar emotions and can relate to them on a personal level. Without empathy, a customer service representative may come off cold or robotic sounding, which will certainly turn off clients.
As stated above, many customers often feel pushed to their emotional limits when a product or service isn’t living up to their expectations. They can be irate by the time they reach out for assistance and are more likely to exhibit rude or hurtful behaviour.
Being the person that these people come to for assistance is not an easy job. Trying to resolve a customer’s issue can be extremely challenging when they’re also hurtling verbal abuse at you. The best customer service representatives can focus on the more pressing issues at hand instead of letting a customer’s sharp language get to them. They are able to stay on track, remaining objective throughout the exchange with the client.
Objectivity and empathy go hand in hand. Competent customer facing personnel understand that frustrated people can say things that they don’t mean because they are angry, and that they themselves have surely felt that way themselves at least once.
The Benefits of Quality Customer Service
The value of delivering exceptional customer service translates into tangible results that any company can benefit from. It improves customer retention and brand loyalty while also boosting your brand’s reputation, making your customer base more likely to recommend your company to their friends and family.
The numbers are undeniable: HubSpot Research states that 93% of customers are more likely to continue doing business with companies that offer excellent customer service by making repeat purchases. At the same time, a study conducted by the Temkin Group found that 77% of customers would recommend a brand or company to someone they know after having a single positive customer service experience. Invest in customer service training today!