In the business world of today, we hear one thing all over that the key to good business is happy customers. Sayings like “the customer is always right” have even become a catchphrase. Apart from this, don’t you think that all these are just words without any practical application? Customer service is in a dire state today. Businesses are only looking to make more money and milk their customers as much as they can without heeding to their problems. Companies just lure in customers with attractive offers and sweet words but this stops once associated customers become another cash cow for these organizations. It’s high time that this changes. The reason behind this is that consumers are becoming more and more aware, and when they don’t get proper service and response from their service provider, they have the simplest solution to switch, and this consumer behavior can be devastating for a business in the long run.
What should customer service be like? How to interact with customers? These are the question that even big brands with millions of customers are sometimes confused with. In simple terms, a service is something that you do for someone else. When you go to a restaurant or a store, you are getting a service. When you go to the bank or the post office, you are getting a service. When you start a business, you will also be in the service industry. The thing is, you are not just selling your products or services. You are also selling yourself.
Good customer service is essential to get more people to buy from you and to leave a positive impression of the company on the client base. For example, RCN is a top-rated internet service provider with thousands of reviews, and most of these reviews sing praises for RCN customer support. This gives an idea that even if your product or service lacks somewhere, strong customer service is that pillar that can support your consumer base and make them stick to the company.
Where is Current Customer Service Lacking?
Customer service is not rocket science. It’s based on a few principles, which if followed correctly, can do wonders for your business. The basic thing that most customer service teams lack is understanding the customer’s point of view. They just take it as another task or a regular day at work. Instead, if the customer service teams put themselves into the shoes of the customer that they’re talking to, it would become a lot easier for both the agent and the customer to have a productive conversation and reach a positive outcome regarding the resolution.
There are a few key skills that are necessary to provide a good customer service experience to the customer, so that not only do they become loyal consumers for your brand but the positive word of mouth brings in more customers, which in turn means more revenue for the company. So, in a sense, good customer service also acts as a free marketing tool, and what better marketing than authentic reviews and positive word of mouth?
What are the Key Customer Service Skills?
Let’s take a look at some key customer service skills that can boost your ratings and make your customers happy.
One of the key customer service skills and the one which most customer service teams lack is empathy. Empathy is hard to find in real-world scenarios. To make it simple, empathy in customer service means understanding the situation your consumer is going through. How else will you understand the problem, let alone fix it, without putting yourself in your customer’s place? Understand your customer’s emotions and point of view, first. Most of the time, you are going to be dealing with frustrated customers, angry ones, and those who are upset. It is your job to understand that they are not upset with you, but with the service. Listen to their concern, apologize and build up a conversation. Listen to key points from your customer and work towards a better resolution and don’t mix it up with sympathy. Your customer doesn’t want your sympathy. He’s here because he wants his problem fixed.
The core skill behind positive customer interaction is good communication. You need to be able to communicate clearly in order to get your message across to the customer in a proper and polite way. This means speaking not only clearly and audibly, but also writing clearly because, in customer service environments, you don’t know the medium through which a customer is going to interact with you. Thus, good communication skills should include good speaking skills and clear writing skills, so, no matter the medium the customer is using, he gets the proper answer to his query. You also need to be able to understand what is being said to you. One more important thing is that you need to be able to listen to the customer clearly, because without clearly listening to the customer’s query, how are you going to provide an accurate solution?
The world of technology is constantly evolving and so are the methods of customer service. In the past, the most common way of getting hold of a representative was through calls. However, in today’s time, it has changed quite a lot. Now, customers interact through e-mails, text messaging, and social media in order to get a quick response and to skip long wait times. A good customer service team should be adaptable to work with all these tools and provide the necessary assistance required to customers through these mediums. That means your team should have better communication and writing skills, plus they should be well-equipped with the tools on which they are working in order to provide a seamless and positive customer service experience.
One of the major aspects of customer service is to solve customers’ issues and answer their queries. How would a representative do that if he doesn’t know about the product or service he’s assisting on? Good product knowledge is the key to provide better and well-versed solutions to the customer and a rep who wouldn’t know about their own product would just end up making the customer even more frustrated. Obviously, no customer would like to be transferred between different departments and at the end reaching the same conclusion. So, training of representatives should be conducted periodically in order to make them knowledgeable about the product or service on which they are going to be assisting the customers.
Customer service is the lifeline behind any successful business or organization. That is why your customer service team must possess all the necessary skills that are required for a positive customer experience. We have only mentioned a few of these core skills, although there are many others as well that can help your customer service teams grab the attention of the customer and make these interactions memorable.