Competing on price isn’t the most powerful way to build a permanent business in today’s challenging environment. What matters the most is the kind of customer service and satisfaction level that your organization is providing to the customers. Customer service is the base of any organization. It is all about taking care of customers before, during and after a purchase and hence is considered as the most important part for nurturing the ongoing client relationships.
What customers care the most is about their satisfaction after purchasing a product/service. There is a direct relationship between customer service provided and the kind of satisfaction the customer gets after consuming those services. So keeping a customer satisfied should be the compelling priority of any organization. These days businesses are focusing more on being customer centric by providing them with the kind of products and services they want. But is this all about being customer centric? Is it just about sufficing customer’s needs? When customers share their story, they’re not just sharing the pain points but are actually teaching you how to make your product, service, and business better.
According to 2012 Global Customer Service Barometer “26% of consumers have experienced being transferred from agent to agent without any resolution of their problem.” This creates a huge amount of discontent in the mind of customers. Your customer service team should possess soft skills and should be well trained to efficiently communicate customer issues. Soft skills include positive attitude, active listening, strategic questioning, and empathy, along with the ability to build rapport. Soft skills help agents in addressing a challenging call and ensuring that the customers leave with a good impression of the company, no matter how critical the problem was. In our previous blog we discussed about how customer satisfaction acts as a key business metric wherein we have thrown light on the importance of customer satisfaction. So, now let us discuss about various customer service skills that your team needs for winning a customer’s trust:
Be an active Listener: Active listening is the key to effective customer service. Through this skill, customer service agents can respond effectively to the needs of the customer. Active listening requires complete focus on hearing the words that the customer is speaking, depicting the meaning of those words, and then responding in a positive manner that shows your understanding towards what the customer is saying, and considering the same to be important. Active listening is the only method to uncover the information that is critical to customer satisfaction and to gather such information, starting with open-ended questions could be a suggested step. Avoid interrupting the caller before he completes as this would cause frustration which will make him feel as his voice is not being heard. Lead the issue and guide the caller to a conclusion where both of you are completely satisfied.
Be Composed: A customer service agent who is loaded with call quota might often feel rushed and may spend less time on each call which in turn would make the customer furious. This shows the recklessness of the agent towards completing his quota without showing interest towards customer queries. There might be a situation where an irritated customer needs to be vented even before the problem has been identified, or a situation where the customer has zero knowledge of the product/service and the agent has to educate him from the beginning. Always remember that word of mouth is a great method for spreading awareness, therefore if “one of your customer has developed a bad impression towards the company, he will bring 7 more dissatisfied customers.” If you deal with customers on a daily basis, be sure to stay patient when they come to you stumped and frustrated, but make sure to figure out what they want — they’d rather get competent service than be rushed out the door!
Be positive: Being positive may sound silly but your ability to make changes in the conversational patterns can truly go a long way in creating satisfied customers. More significantly, developing positive presentation skills are essential to ensure good rapport during each customer interaction. Language is the most important part of persuasion, and customers judge you and your company based on the kind of language that you use. Here the idea is to embrace customers, offering exceptional service with each touch point.
Be a competent resource: Great Customer service requires your agents to be competent. A customer service representative must understand how to balance their time along with being attentive. They should be customer-focused and should provide them with first call resolution in order to fulfill the requirement with high reliability.To attain a high level of first-call resolution, an agent must be well-trained on the product, company processes, and on-the-job tools, as well as on the soft skills that help them communicate genuine care for the customer.
Be the right closer: A customer service rep should know how to be a right closer. This means that the rep was able to end the conversation with confirmed satisfaction of the customer. It is important to determine if and when a customer believes their needs have been or will be taken care of. Agents must take the time to confirm that every issue has been completely resolved and make sure the customer agrees that everything is “right” before ending the call.