HubSpot found that 93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies that offer excellent customer service. Now, that stat is perhaps not all that surprising but it’s one you certainly can’t ignore. Customer service has a direct correlation with sales. Fail to deliver the very best for your customers and they won’t hesitate to shop elsewhere.
So, with today’s more informed consumers, it’s crucial you’re taking steps to ensure your customer service skills are as sharp as ever. Here’s a quick refresher.
- Don’t rely on a script
- Be positive
- Always be as knowledgeable as possible
- Use the right tools
Don't rely on a script
Customers can smell a script a mile off. If they start to feel as though you’re on autopilot, they’ll start to form a negative impression of you and your business. You might not even realise you’re doing it, especially if you’ve been working closely with customers for many years.
Make sure you approach each interaction with a customer as though it’s a conversation with a human (which it is!). Keep this in mind and you’ll find you’re forming a much stronger connection. Ensure you’re always actively listening and ask clarifying questions so the customer knows you’re trying to resolve their issue, rather than just trying to get them off the phone.
Using positive language is a great way to reduce any stress or tension that may be building in the conversation. Even if there is genuine anger on the other end of the line, always remain positive. Your language should focus on possible solutions to their issue, rather than any disagreement you might have with what they’re saying.
By speaking openly and positively, you humanise your business. Putting a voice and name to your business can reduce negativity and leave the customer with a more positive impression of you.
Most customers who have an issue just want to have their grievances heard. The best thing you can do is to empathise with their situation and try to understand where they’re coming from. Even a simple apology from your part can diffuse a situation and give someone the satisfaction they’re looking for.
Always be as knowledgeable as possible
There will be a series of commonly asked questions that you’re used to facing on customer calls. However, you can never fully predict what might be asked and the information you’ll need to have available at a moment’s notice.
You need to be an expert in your own products and services. If you struggle to answer a query, then customers might get the impression that you aren’t an expert in your field and their money would be better spent at a rival. If you can’t answer a question, make sure you direct the customer to someone who can or offer to get back to them the same day.
As with any skill, you can improve over time by practising. No matter how long you’ve been providing customer service, there are always things you can get better at. Plus, customer behaviour is always changing so what might have been a useful tactic in the past is now seen as outdated.
Run drills, design scenarios and have your whole team treat customer service as an ongoing skill they can improve at. Run workshops or invest in training to ensure that you’re doing everything in your power to deliver the best for customers.
Use the right tools
How do your customers want to interact with you? How many channels do you provide for them to do so?
Social media, chatbots, direct phone calls – all are possible avenues of customer service that you should be willing to provide. Some customers will want immediate answers on your website while others still prefer to hear the voice of another human at the other end of the phone.
Are you easy to contact by phone? How quickly can a disgruntled customer pick up the phone and be speaking to the right person in your business? If they feel as though their time is being wasted, they might not try to reach out again and will instead air their issues on social media.
You need a phone system that can easily connect customers with the right people, no matter the time of day. Call menus and simple transfers can make even the unhappiest of caller feel valued and help your team to get to the heart of the issue as quickly as possible.
For a closer look at how the right phone system can boost your business’ customer service, sign up to a free trial of CircleLoop today.