While many would not expect it, one of our core responsibilities as an inbound call center in Toronto is growing businesses and increasing sales. The truth is, customer service is crucial when it comes to boosting sales. Good service can satisfy customers and create company loyalty, while poor service can send customers fleeing to competitors. Any growing business needs good customer service. In fact, there are specific skills that are particularly important for keeping current customers and attracting new ones.
Here are the ten customer service skills that every inbound call center and growing business should be using.
One of the most effective customer service skills is simply being accessible and available for your customers’ needs. When people have a question or serious complaint, they want to be able to speak to someone immediately. When they cannot reach your company, they can feel unappreciated, frustrated, or like they paid for very poor quality service. Customers want to have their voices heard by your company and have their problems resolved quickly. This is why 24/7 service and using a variety of methods and platforms that can provide service on your customers’ own terms are crucial. Great customer service does not matter if your customers cannot reach you when they need to. Being open and available is essential.
Even in the digital age, customers still widely prefer being able to speak directly with another person. While automated voice response systems are often used in customer service, they can be frustrating and ineffective for dealing with customers’ issues. They also have an impersonal and cold touch. Using live customer service representatives, who can speak directly with your customers and can respond quickly and efficiently to their concerns, is important. Not only is it what your customers want, but it can also help provide a human “face” or “voice” to your company.
While many might believe that good customer service treats all customers the same, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, good customer service is treating every customer as an individual, taking into account their needs, questions, complaints, and history with the company. Customer calls should be prioritized based on importance. Not only is this more efficient, but it allows you to tailor your response and approach to each customer. Important calls can also be quickly resolved, reducing the chance that your customer takes a drastic action like swearing off your company for good. In addition, prioritizing customers can be used to create brand loyalty and foster relationships. Giving special attention, benefits, or incentives to your most valued customers is a great way to keep them coming back.
In this day and age, using call center services in Canada should also mean that you’re providing customer service using a wide range of technologies. For many customers—particularly those with smaller issues or questions—emails, live chats, and other digital platforms are the preferred means of communication. These types of communications also free up your phone lines, meaning that you can provide faster and more efficient service. Call centers now have access to a wide range of technologies that make them uniquely capable of providing the most efficient customer service possible.
Managing Time with Each Customer
Every customer deserves to have your full attention. Your goal as a customer service agent is to solve an issue or answer an inquiry. However, as much as you need to make that customer feel like they have your full attention, that attention does have a time limit. Managing your time with a customer is closely linked to managing their expectations. Once you have exhausted all possibilities with a customer and have done your best to solve their problem, it’s time to move on. You have to know when you have met your customer’s expectations even though they may feel otherwise. It’s a difficult balancing act, but understanding that you have other customers who need just as much attention means you can’t get too caught up on any single call.
A big aid in helping customer service agents better communicate with customers is their knowledge of the product. If an agent is able to understand the product as well as someone who uses the product everyday, then they are much better equipped to solve any customer issues. This knowledge can be best obtained by simply using the product or by reviewing or requesting product information that details how the product works. Training by management should also be a point of emphasis.
This seems like a no brainer, but complete honesty can be an agent’s best friend. Being completely honest about what you as an agent can and can’t accomplish sets clear expectations. Customers can then continue the call knowing where the limitations stand. Although customers like to push as much as they can, honesty let’s them know that there are boundaries to what can actually get accomplished during their call.
Working Under Pressure
Customers can be really demanding. They have a problem and they want you to solve it right away. Behind that, customer service agents feel pressure from their management to perform. Management is also pushing for satisfied customers and they expect their agents to make that possible. In this pressure-filled environment, the best agents come out thriving. They are able to handle the demands of the customer while also performing at a level that is expected by their management. Lesser agents will struggle and need further guidance in order to better manage the pressure.
Learning Never Stops
With the pressure and demands of the position we’ve just mentioned, the best remedy to performance becomes an agent’s ability and willingness to learn. From obtaining knowledge of the product to understanding helpful customer service techniques, an agent must constantly be learning if they hope to keep serving clients at a high level.
Follow Up/Process Skills
Not following up was listed as the biggest problem customers have when dealing with any business in a recent Harvard Business Review study. Don’t let this be your crutch. Providing great customer service means you see that issue out to its end. Following up ensures customers are completely satisfied and that their issue has been resolved in the best possible manner.
As the leading provider of outsourced call center solutions, 3C Contact Services teaches its partners the necessary customer service skills needed to engage and retain customers. Contact us today for more information.