Customer service agents are the first frontline defense for any company. Even though most of their customer interactions happen on the phone or online, the way in which they respond to and handle customer complaints and inquiries is pivotal to the success of your business. These interactions are the foundation for building strong, mutually beneficial, and long-lasting customer relationships. While acquiring new customers is important to sustain your business and help it grow, retaining those customers and nourishing professional relationships with them is even more essential. Certain customer service habits have been proven to help improve customer relations, brand building, and the reputation of your company. Keep reading to learn more!
Are Your Representatives Implementing These Customer Service Habits?
There’s no point in sugarcoating or glossing over the fact that sometimes customer service jobs can be stressful and frustrating. This is particularly true when there’s a failure to communicate between agents and their customers. Whatever the reason is for this miscommunication, it can truly hinder any attempts to establish successful customer interactions.
The pressure to perform well at work and exceed quotas is immense for customer service agents as it is in any high-stakes job. But that doesn’t make it acceptable for your customer service agents to do anything less than putting their best foot forward when it comes to offering the support your customers need. The following list of customer service skills should help you determine if your team of representatives is meeting the expectations of your customers:
Uphold a Calm, Professional Demeanour at All Times
No matter how stressful the job gets or how frustrated an agent may feel, it’s important that they always maintain a strong front. As the saying goes, “stay cool as a cucumber” and practice a lot of patience. At times, agents may need to repeat themselves multiple times just to get a point across, but that’s the nature of the beast. In this line of work, it’s important never to make assumptions and always treat every customer with the respect and dignity they deserve. Just because you know something inside and out, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily an easy concept for other people to grasp. Remember, you’re supposed to be an expert and have more in-depth knowledge of certain topics than your customers do so even though you’re explaining something for the umpteenth time that day, they’re probably hearing about it for the first time. Follow the mantra that common knowledge isn’t always so common.
Utilize Clear and Effective Communication Skills
Depending on the size and scope of the company, customer service agents will most likely come in contact with a wide variety of customers of different backgrounds and they need to be able to communicate effectively. That’s why hiring multilingual customer service agents is an asset to any company, but they’re not always easy to come by. When explaining certain concepts, promotions, or products to customers, it’s the job of the company representative to communicate in a way that the customer can understand and easily follow without feeling like they’re being talked down to.
Use clear concise language and always ask if the customer has any questions along the way. Better yet, if they’re calling in to ask a question or get help with something, let them do most of the talking so you can get a better understanding of how to effectively resolve the issue.
Employ Excellent Listening Skills
A big part of delivering excellent customer service is having excellent listening skills. There’s a time to listen and there’s a time to talk. Even if you think you know the solution to the problem a customer is having halfway through their explanation, never interrupt them. Always let them finish speaking so that you can understand what their needs are and how to help them in a way that makes sense. This will help you gain a full picture of what the issue is and make several suggestions on how to resolve it. The bottom line is that customers don’t appreciate being interrupted by a know-it-all type of agent because it makes them feel as if you don’t really care about helping them and that you’re just trying to get rid of them as fast as possible.
Demonstrate Emotional Intelligence
What is emotional intelligence and why is it so important for delivering excellent customer service? That’s a great question. Emotional intelligence is the intuitive ability to be attuned to another person’s emotions and demonstrate empathy for what they’re going through. When customers contact a company’s customer service department, they expect to be treated with courtesy and respect.
Part of that involves taking the time to truly understand the reason for their contact and doing everything in your power to answer their questions or resolve the issue they’re having without judging them. It’s about gaining the trust of your customers and making them feel as if they’re speaking to a friend and not a faceless employee. This is the best way to establish a lasting relationship with your customers and cementing their loyalty in the future.
Protect the Interests of Your Customers
Every customer interaction—whether it’s online, on the phone, or in person—presents a unique opportunity to learn new things about improving your service, products, and overall business practices. Since customer service agents have direct contact with a company’s customers, it’s up to them to take note of common complaints, questions, and trends. Customer service agents should feel empowered to do whatever it takes (within reason) to resolve an issue and satisfy their customers. Of course, they should also avoid making promises that they can’t keep. If there’s anything they’re not sure of, then they need to address that with upper management before making certain promises.
3C Contact Services Customer Service Values
At 3C Contact Services, we employ all of the abovementioned customer service habits and values. Our top priority is to learn the ins and outs of your business so that we can provide your customers with top-notch service that they can count on. All of our customer service agents are professionally trained and adept to the needs of your customers. To learn more about how we can help you boost your customer relations, please contact us today!