Tips to improve customer experience

Speaking to a customer? Always speak in complete sentences. Don’t say, “Zip code?” Say, “May I have your zip code, please?”

  1. Let upset customers vent for a few seconds. And while customers vent, offer simple reassurances, like “Um hmm” or “I see.”
  2. Bridge into questions, like this, “To determine what has happened, I will need to ask you some questions.”
  3. Strive to respond to emails within 4 hours – and work to resolve issues in a single email response.
  4. Use “dead air” space on calls to explain to customers what you’re doing or to make small talk.
  5. Never say anything to a customer that you wouldn’t say to your mother.
  6. Stop saying, “My supervisor will just tell you the same thing I’m telling you.”
  7. Make it super-easy to reach a live person.
  8. Don’t make customers have to tell you what they already said to your automated system.
  9. Always explain why you’re transferring a client. It could be as simple as, “The best person to answer that question is Leon with our production team. If you hold for a moment, I’ll transfer you.”
  10. End calls (or visits) with a fond farewell: “I enjoyed talking to you, Lauren. I hope you enjoy your new duffle bag.”
  11. Get in the practice of offering customers options: “Our Pumpkin Spice lipstick is a limited offering, but maybe you’d like our S’mores winter color.”
  12. Hire people based on their positive, upbeat attitude, and then train for skill.
  13. Stop allowing employees to say, “What was your name?”
  14. Treat complaints as if they were gifts, and thank customers for their complaints: “Thanks for letting us know. We appreciate customers who let us know when things aren’t right.”
  15. Acknowledge customer concern, like this, “I realize this has been frustrating for you.”
  16. Politely probe to make sure you understand all of your customer’s needs. (Don’t assume you know.)
  17. Get comfortable with apologizing, even when the problem is not the fault of the company. This is a good approach, “I’m sorry for any frustration you have experienced.” Or “I’m glad to know I can get you back on track with a replacement.”
  18. Predetermine phrases you can use in the chat experience – phrases like “I’m sorry to hear about the damage to your tablet. Rest assured, I’ll do my best to help.”
  19. Check back with customers if they have to hold for more than three minutes.
  20. Listen to customers with the intent to understand, not with the intent to be understood.
  21. Meet needs customers don’t even express.
  22. Seek out customer contact. Don’t walk with your head down and don’t try to look busy so that customers won’t “bother” you. Hold your head up, make eye contact, and seek out customers.
  23. Get on the same page with customers by saying something like, “I can see your point on that.”
  24. Help customers right on social media, using Direct Messages, and don’t just tell customers to call your toll-free number.
  25. Don’t over-talk customers or interrupt them.
  26. Respond right away, even when you don’t have the answer. Always keep customers in the loop.
  27. Look for ways to make doing business with you easier. Try to come up with at least five ways to make the experience easier for your customers.
  28. Teach your employees how to defuse anger and create calm.
  29. Talk to your customers over social media.
  30. Record how-to videos and upload to YouTube and your website.
  31. Give employees constructive feedback on their service interactions.
  32. Serve your customers over chat.
  33. Give your employees praise for exceptional customer interactions.
  34. Instill a culture that realizes the issue isn’t usually the issue. The way the issue is handled usually becomes the real problem.
  35. Coach your employees always to be friendly and engaging.
  36. Stop saying the word “unfortunately”.
  37. Make customers feel smart and good, even if they ask questions your employees think are dumb.
  38. Stop saying, “There’s nothing I can do.”
  39. Instead of telling customers they are wrong, say something like, “I thought otherwise, but let’s take a look.”
  40. Provide quality assurance monitoring of all interactions, giving feedback to employees.
  41. Use QR codes on your packaging to give customers quick access to things like FAQ, ingredient lists, or how-to videos.
  42. Predetermine quick solutions for the top 20 issues your employees regularly encounter.
  43. Provide employees with refresher training annually.
  44. Don’t hide your toll-free number.
  45. Get rid of scripts and let your employees be themselves. Give your people talking points instead.
  46. Don’t try to prove customers wrong. You’re a customer service professional, not a prosecutor.
  47. Be specific with next steps. Instead of, “Someone from our Claims Department will get back with you,” try, “Our Claims Department will reach out to you by email within 3-5 business days.”
  48. Teach your employees how to convey empathy.
  49. Don’t argue with customers over small stuff.
  50. Stop saying “Sir” or “Ma’am” when you have the customer’s name.
  51. Be open to questions from customers – without a hint of annoyance or rush.
  52. Stop saying, “If you don’t calm down, I can’t help you.” This works better, “I want to help you, yet the language is getting in the way. If it stops, we can continue.”
  53. Update your FAQ regularly.
  54. Listen to a random sample of your calls (or your employees’ calls) and improve the things that make you cringe.

By Myra Golden

1 reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *