The best 10 customer service techniques

How can we stand out when presenting a product to a customer or handling a complaint? Here are 12 tips to help you improve your service that every employee and company should know about:

1. Get training: Many people think that customer service comes “naturally. Customer service is far too serious and important a business to be left to chance; your employees need to take it seriously, receive the appropriate training and learn.

2. Listen carefully: The first customer contact is about what the customer has to tell us. They may be interested in a new product, or have a problem. We should always pay close attention, and listen calmly and attentively so that we don’t miss a detail.

3. Be human: We all like to be treated like people, so don’t speak like a robot. Always ask the customer for their first name and tell them yours, whether you are behind a counter or at the other end of the phone or online chat.

4. Apologize: While you are probably not to blame for your customer’s complaint, it’s your job to apologize. A company that apologizes cares about its customers. Don’t be afraid to say the words “I’m sorry” and show empathy too.

5. Communicate: Firstly, try to find out what the customer is looking for (ask questions politely if necessary) and then express yourself clearly and concisely. Don’t be afraid to repeat things if necessary. Speak the customer’s language.

6. Solve the problem: The customer needs and wants you to solve the problem, not make excuses or bombard them with technical explanations. Focus on finding out what they need and offer solutions (offer a number of alternatives if possible). If you can’t help them, find someone who can. Always look for a solution.

7. Be positive and polite: Customers like to deal with people who are polite and positive. Never forget to say goodday, and be cheerful. Show the customer that they are important and that you are happy to see them and be of assistance.

8. Know the product. There’s nothing more frustrating for a customer than discovering that you don’t have good knowledge of the product. It is your duty to be familiar with every feature of the company’s products or services.

9. Stay calm. If you have direct contact with customers, at some stage you will have to deal with an irate customer. In these situations, the golden rule is: stay calm. If you get angry too, the conversation may become heated and worsen.

10. Put yourself in their shoes. In the end, the golden rule of customer service is very simple: put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Show empathy and treat them the way Credit: game learn Kindly drop a comment. Thank you

 

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4 Keys to Acting with Empathy in Customer Service

What is empathy? It is something as simple but important as the ability to put ourselves in other people’s shoes. In the field of customer service, practicing empathy is vital to the success of our business and the image generated by our brand to the general public.

These are the 4 keys to acting with empathy:

1. Discovering what the customer actually wants

Customer services are used to assisting hundreds of customers every day. Among so many requests, it is very common to find a customer who sounds quite annoyed, and their protests may be concealing their real needs. Taking notes and acting with empathy is the key to finding the solution.

Thinking like that customer will help us analyze, first, what has happened. As soon as we act with empathy, they will cease to be and change their perception.

2. Considering what customers know and what they do not

A good way to find out what the customer wants is to ask oneself what they know and what they do not know. Many times we can take it for granted that the users we are assisting know the procedure or product as well as we do, but most times that is not the case.

That is why you have to ask yourself the question: “what information do they have, what information are they lacking?” Only then will we be able to know their real situation and provide them with a solution.

3. showing we want to help

Listening is the only way to find out what is happening to them and gather the necessary information to give our customer a logical answer. The fact of listening and our willingness to provide solutions to the user, is in itself a process that requires empathy.

4. Practicing empathy in any form

Do not think that empathy can only be “used” face to face or by telephone. Actually, we can also practice it via email, chat, or support sites (helpdesk).

The tone of voice is important but it is not everything. We can also choose the right words if we are communicating with customers in writing. Showing that the problem posed by the consumer has a solution is what makes possible the connection between the user and our organization. It is therefore important that we care to be empathetic at all times, especially in difficult situations.

 

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Four roads we call customer service

Road 1: I can learn from you and make things better

Road 2: You’re an important customer and I can bring empathy and care to this moment to strengthen our relationship

Road 3: I can teach you something and make things better

Road 4: Go away

 

If you call a company and they tell you that they’re not actually in contact with management. That all they can do is refer you to the front desk. They’re not there to learn anything from you. If you call a company that puts you on hold for a long time, you’re on road 4. The organization has decided that you are a cost, not an asset.

Road 1 customer service is pretty rare. It tends to happen with very small organizations, and that’s one reason why companies appear callous and stuck when they get bigger.

They don’t want to spend the resources to expose their decision-makers and creators to the people who actually use the product or service, so they build a moat around them. All they seek to learn is, “how cheap can we mollify customers?”

Road 2 and Road 3 can overlap. It’s entirely possible that the customer is upset or confused because they need insight or an explanation. By teaching them how to navigate their situation, you can improve satisfaction at the same time you rebuild a relationship.

Road 3 is often best done with the internet, with a manual, with a video. It’s a chance for the customer (who’s enrolled in getting their problem solved) to interact with a well-designed system that can teach them how to solve it. This can fall apart when the customer doesn’t actually want to learn, or worse, when the organization does a mediocre job of education.

Most customers don’t actually expect miracles, but they certainly expect more than Road 4.

Road 4 Go away. If they had guts, they’d just say so. If they had talent. They don’t want customers to stress them with any complaint or issue.

If you engage with customers, as a freelancer or as a public company, pick your road. Be clear about what it’s worth and what it costs. And then do that.

 

Credit : Seth godin

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7 Ways to Make Sure Your Customers Remember You

Providing top-notch service does not have to cost a lot, but it takes time and effort to create a memorable service experience for your customers. Here we have seven ways to ramp up the level of your service to ensure your customers remember you.

  1. Remember Them

Such a simple act that means so much, remembering a customer’s name can make the world of difference in your level of customer service. There is no end to the service points you can accumulate through this effort!

  1. Make Them Feel Special

Your customer is much more than a mere sale, so let them know their status whenever they come into your business. Remember their favourite products and let them know when a sale is coming up. Toss in a bonus once in a while to let them know how much you appreciate their regular business.

  1. Offer Respect and Courtesy

Your customer is much more likely to remember your business if you exude respect and courtesy every time they come in.  A simple “please” and “thank you” or holding a door open for a customer will go a long way in putting your company at the forefront of their mind.

  1. Show Authentic Enthusiasm

Customer service representatives should enjoy interacting with others. That enthusiasm should shine through with all your customer dealings, making all of your customers feel that you are honestly happy they came into your business.

  1. Provide Relevant Information

Customers may not always get the relevant information they need from your business, simply because they do not know the right questions to ask. Help them out in this regard by providing them with relevant information before they inquire..

  1. Find Ways to Delight Them

Proactive customer service is memorable customer service. Instead of waiting for your customer to come to you with a need, try to anticipate those needs and provide solutions that your customer can really use.

  1. Sincerely Thank them for their Business

Ask if there is anything else you can help them with before thanking them for that business. Customers remember appreciation and usually come back for more.

 

Credit: MEREDITH ESTEP

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How to Deliver a Positive Customer Experience Strategy

The type of customer experience you provide your customers will stay in their minds long after the sale. Positive or negative, it will impact the growth of your business and determine the success or failure of your enterprise. Here are 10 key points to consider when creating a positive customer experience strategy.

 

  1. Make Business Easier

Show your customers they come first with your business by making their transactions and issue resolution as fast and easy as possible.

  1. Maintain High Standards

Make sure everyone on your team is committed to maintaining the highest standard of service. The best way to promote the standard is by leading it.

  1. Make Them Feel Important

Your customers know you have many other clients, but nevertheless they like it immensely when you make them feel important.

  1. Hire the Best Customer Service Reps

Make sure the employees you hire fit right into the culture you plan to or have instilled at your company. If possible, talk to new people about your aims and let them know how you operate your customer service.

  1. Offer Understanding

Even when a customer is wrong, they should know that your business understands their position and wants to do everything possible to make them happy.

  1. Respond Promptly

Any company which fails to provide quick response to all client posed questions and problems, runs a high risk of losing to competition within the industry.

  1. Tell the truth

Customers have the right to be told the truth about your company, products, and procedures. It is wrong to mislead a customer, even if it is done in the spirit of service.

  1. Be Patient

Every customer service associate need to practice self-control and patience. Some customers are actually annoyed and frustrated while others tend to create a fuss over a situation.  All these conditions require patience and making them feel valued.

  1. Remain in Touch

The best way to improve your customer services is to remain connected with your customers. How can you do this? Social media is one way. Make sure you have a presence on the main social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn etc.

  1. Make a Lasting Impression

Studies have shown that a positive last impression can have as much of an impact as a good first impression. Always thank customers for their business and find out what else you can do to help before a customer walks out your door.

By creating and implementing a positive customer experience strategy you can move your business towards success and build satisfied, profitable, long-term customer relationships.

Credit: MIKE SANDY

 

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4 Common Sense Ways to Help Boost Your Customer Service

Effective customer service can help improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, increase positive word-of-mouth marketing about your brand and consequently can help lead to a boost in customers and conversions.

No matter the form your customer service takes, you can take it to the next level (and hopefully retain more customers) with the following strategies;

1. Extend empathy

The goal of customer service isn’t simply to fix a problem. It is also to provide a positive experience that will elevate the perception of your brand in customers’ eyes. Empathy helps you do just that by connecting with customers on a personal level. In doing so, you establish a human touch that no marketing or advertising campaign could ever match.

2. Practice patience

One of the most effective ways to boost your team’s capacity for patience is to train them to separate their personal feelings from the situation. As a customer service rep, it’s easy to feel like an angry customer is upset with you personally and this can put you on the slippery slope toward lashing out.

Team members should work to remember that the customer’s feeling don’t actually have anything to do with them as individuals. Doing so will provide the space necessary to remain level-headed no matter what.

3. Communicate clearly

Crystal-clear communication is critical for any customer service interaction, but it becomes even more pressing if the customer service experience isn’t happening face-to-face. Don’t assume you understand what the client is asking, instead, articulate your understanding of their problem and desired solution so you can make sure you’re both on the same page before moving onto resolving the issue.

You want to confirm that you’re both still on the same page. Don’t move on until you both understand where things stand.

4. Follow up effectively

It’s easy to feel like solving a customer’s issue marks the end of the interaction. But it’s important to follow up with customers afterward to see how they’re faring and to confirm that they aren’t experiencing any residual issues.

Doing so conveys to your customers that the investment you expressed during your interaction was heartfelt, and that your company remains committed to their experience. Even if nothing needs to be fixed, following up provides you with an opportunity to ask for feedback about how your customer service could be further improved.

Credit: Dan Scalco

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8 Customer Service Psychology Tips Based on Emotional Intelligence

1) Show Customers They Matter

All individuals desire to be accepted and valued by others (Esteem). Choose to give each customer your undivided attention and an earnest attempt to solve their concerns.

2) Answer Politely and Clearly

What you say is just as important as how quickly you say it. Use positive phrases and terms when responding and conversing with customers. Show them the respect they deserve.

3) Respond Quickly

When you respond to customer comments, questions, queries, and reviews, quickly, you show them that you care about their time and also provide the information or attention, they requested or required.

4) Provide Availability

Showing customers you are available to them via multiple channels, makes them feel a sense of belonging. When you provide the attention they want, when they want it, it creates a happy customer.

5) Identify Customer Needs

Identify what your customers need from you through keyword research, social listening, analytics, and focus groups.

6) Exhibit a High Level of Reliability

When customers know you will be there for them and they can rely on you, they feel a sense of security. They will feel like you will not let them down.

7) Offer Convenience

Giving customer convenience in every way possible is considerate, and customers love it (Love/belonging). Ask customers if they’d like home delivery etc.

8) Show Empathy

Presenting customers with an understanding of how they are feeling in any given situation shows you care. Show humanity and that you genuinely care.

Credit: Gaetano Dinardi

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Handling Customer Service as Your Business Grows

When a company is in its beginning stages, a small team can usually handle customer service without much thought due to the smaller demand for those services. But as a business takes off, customer needs will grow and change, and more active attention will need to be put into developing and implementing a smart client support program.

Here are a few key steps and ideas to consider to best prepare your company for growth

  1. Focus on being proactive not reactive

In the beginning stages of business development you don’t know exactly what type of problems your clients will face. And in order to figure out what type of assistance needs to be offered, you’ll need to experience a period of trial and error.

This is a valuable time for a company because, especially in the early stages you still have the ability to handle complaints and problem-solve with a small group of dedicated workers. Once a business grows, demand for support rises. Being proactive is what will keep your clients happy and your business running smoothly.

  1. Establish Reliable Customer Service work flow and processes

As your business grows, it is important to keep things focused and organized. A big part of this is establishing specific lines of contact for customer relations, such as creating different email addresses and phone numbers for different departments.

Make it easy for clients to contact you. For example, many companies utilize live chat features. Having these features readily available to users encourages them to contact customer service online as opposed to over the phone, meaning representatives can help multiple users simultaneously. This can increase productivity

  1. Seek Out Customer Feedback

While it may seem like a no-brainer, it is important to understand how your customer care procedures can be improved. Contact clients after they interact with your team to learn about their experience. A simple email questionnaire goes a long way in garnering useful knowledge about user perspectives. Plus, the customer feels like their opinions are valued and respected. It’s a win-win.

Credit: home business magazine

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How to Handle Customer Complaints

Complaints happen every day. When a customer complains, it is usually for a good reason or genuine concern. They usually have made a purchase that did not meet their expectation a product, service, or maybe a combination of the two.

In the customer service industry, we cannot avoid complaints. We must take care of the customer by listening to the complaint, and resolving it, to ensure a happy customer. Fewer than half of unhappy customers will bring a complaint to your attention. Those who never say anything will tell an average of 6 other people about their bad experience. Customers want to know someone is listening and they are understood, and they are hoping you are willing to take care of the problem to their satisfaction

Here are five strategies that will help you handle a customer complaint in a smooth and professional manner:

  1. Stay calm:When a customer presents you with a complaint, keep in mind that the issue is not personal; he or she is not attacking you directly but rather the situation at hand. A person who remains in control of his or her emotions deals from a position of strength. Choose to be the “professional” and keep your cool.

 

  1. Listen attentively: Let the irate customer blow off steam, do not interrupt. As the customer vents and sees you are not reacting, he or she will begin to calm down. The customer needs to get into a calm frame of mind before he or she can hear your solution or anything you say, for that matter.

 

  1. Acknowledge the problem: Let the customer know you hear what he or she is saying. If you or your company made a mistake, admit it. If you did not make a mistake and it is a misunderstanding, simply explain it to the customer: “I can see how that would be incredibly frustrating for you.” You are not necessarily agreeing with what the customer is saying, but respecting how he or she perceives and feels about the situation. An excellent phrase for opening up this particular conversation would be, “So, if I understand you correctly…” By repeating to the customer what you think you heard, you lower his or her defenses, and win the right to be heard.

 

  1. Get the facts:After listening, take the initiative in the conversation. Now that the customer has calmed down and feels you have heard his or her side, begin asking questions. Be careful not to speak scripted replies, but use this as an opportunity to start a genuine conversation, building a trusting relationship with your customer. To help you understand the situation, get as many details as possible.

 

  1. Offer a solution:This happens only after you have sufficient details. One thing to keep in mind, know what you can and cannot do within your company’s guidelines. Making a promise you cannot commit to will only set you back. Remember, when offering a solution, be courteous and respectful. Let the customer know you are willing to take ownership of the issue, even if it was out of your control. Take charge of the situation and let the customer know what you are going to do to solve the problem.

 

Credit: Lorri Freifeld

 

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4 Brilliant tips for dealing with angry customers

It is normal to have angry customers but how you deal with them is what is crucial. Here are 4 brilliant tips for dealing with angry customers

  1. There is Power in a Name.

Addressing your client with “I’m sorry ma’am,” for example, sounds a lot more formal and much less sincere than “I’m so sorry, Monalisa.” Once you use a name, you’re suddenly speaking with a real person; a client who has a job and a life and a legitimate reason behind his or her frustration, rather than a faceless “ma’am.”

  1. Smile When You Talk

Donning a pleasant expression immediately helps your voice convey friendliness and openness. Staying straight-faced, on the other hand, immediately removes that kindness from your voice. You can easily hear more of a strain indicating that you don’t really want to be talking to this person right now (which, no matter how true that may be, isn’t how you should want to come across).

You’ll probably feel silly, and in the cases of angry clients, you might have to fake it but forcing a smile does wonders when it comes to calming someone down.

  1. Connect With Your Audience

It is about picking up on the tone, knowledge and personality of the person you’re talking to. Some customers have high technical knowledge; some need high-level explanations. Some need extra reassurance that things are going to be OK; others don’t want to waste time unless you can offer a solution on the spot.

This kind of mirroring can help you connect better with your clients; they’ll feel more like you truly understand what they’re saying and that will help them be more open to your assistance.

  1. Hit the Mute Button

Often, clients are looking to release their frustration. It’s not exactly fun to be subject to it; but it is part of the job. But giving the client full rein over the conversation for the first few minutes helps him or her get out those frustrations, blow off some steam, and eventually, be able to focus on getting to a resolution.

Talking to a dissatisfied client will never be easy, but by using these techniques to put your customers at ease and show them that you want to help, you’ll get to a resolution much quicker.

Credit: Avery Augustine