Emotions and their role in providing excellent customer service tends to be an overlooked area. After all, it’s often the unseen qualitative areas that can affect quantitative measures like sales or brand loyalty.
Paying special attention to your emotional connection with your customers can pay huge dividends. This can start a cycle of positive customer experiences and expectations whereby your own company can benefit from grateful customers. Simultaneously, by more effectively managing emotions in customer service interactions, you can increases consumer confidence and employee satisfaction among your own staff.
Emotions and Customer Service
Customers can dial into your switchboard loaded with complaints and mounting frustration. Being put on hold or repeatedly transferred will strain the mental equilibrium of the most resilient of people.
A study conducted on sales employees from Sandra Kiffin-Petersen, and Geoffrey Soutar from University of Western Australia and Steven Murphy from Carlton University, Canada uncovered some key findings: emotional experiences between customers could be contagious. So the more positive an interaction is, the more likely it is to be transmitted between people.
Emotional satisfaction is also the key to greater profitability. Facts cited by John H. Fleming and Jim Asplun on Managing the Employee-Customer Encounter revealed that among users of an international credit card company, emotionally satisfied customers spent $251.00 per month whereas rationally satisfied cardholders spent just $136.00 per month.
The Role of Emotions in Customer Service
It’s important to provide excellent customer service. What separates a leading brand from the rest of the pack is the intangible sense of satisfaction that permeates customer interaction. How many times do you find yourself revisiting the same businesses because of emotional attachment?
Emotion is also a two-way street, as frustrated customers can burn out customer service reps by decreasing their level of job satisfaction. Therefore, it’s important to understand the role emotions play in customer service.
No matter what product or service you offer, understand that the name of your brand or the type of product you sell will always elicit a reaction from people. Look at the extreme reactions you’ll hear when certain pizza franchises are mentioned: You can get everything from open admiration to raw disgust.
How a consumer feels often matters as much—or more—than any other metric.
Ways to Improve the Emotional Impact of Your Customer Interactions
Understand the Emotional Context
Most people don’t walk around continually irritated. Often, being placed in a difficult situation brings the worst out of people. Try to show empathy for what the person on the other end of the phone is experiencing. By first understanding where customers are coming from, you can provide them with better service.
Take a Collaborative Approach
The Kiffin-Petersen and Soutar study also showed that when personal initiative was undertaken by people working with customers, it made them more effective at handling customer problems.
The best way to lead someone is by following them. Instead of simply telling them how to solve their problems, ask them questions in order to help the customer feel in control. Build a rapport and work as a team so that the customer feels extra satisfaction in having their problems solved. That “good feeling” will last after the call is over.
Predict Customer Needs and Proactively Offer Solutions
Spending time fighting fires as they arise puts you in a precarious position. Rather than merely reacting to complaints, look for ways to improve the customer’s experience by recognizing the ways in which you can improve their lives.
This approach allows you to give your customers the option to upgrade their products or services, but more importantly, it changes the way they feel about your brand. How amazing is it to deal with someone who intuitively understands your needs?
Measure Emotion in Customer Experience
How do your customers feel? There are simple ways to take an inventory from directly asking “How are you doing?” to reading their tone and other verbal cues. You can also conduct surveys and attempt to learn about how your customers feel about your brand’s products and services.
Provide Timely Service
Having infrequent or sporadic communication puts a damper on any relationship. Now fast-forward to today’s global marketplace where the second you drop the ball, someone else is there to pick it back up.
The sooner your customer is put on the line with a real human the happier they will be. Reducing wait times is a great way to show your customers how valued they are.
Match the Skill Sets of Your Staff
Do you have the right people answering customer questions? Those with the correct aptitude end up finding a high altitude. Make sure that your staff consists of people who are adept at answering customer queries, talking about new or existing products or other areas where they will serve best.
Seek Services from Call Centers
Customer service representatives who understand why emotions play a huge role in customer experience and how to effectively manage emotions are a valuable asset. By outsourcing customer service to a trusted company, you can increase the emotional happiness of your clients, as well as among your own staff.
If you’re looking for an effective company to perform customer service for you, call us at 3C Contact Services. Our highly trained and experienced team of customer service representatives will go above and beyond to resolve customer issues. We know how to ameliorate customer satisfaction through a variety of techniques. Whether you’re in need of customer retention, a technical help desk, or live chat services, 3C Contact Services has the customer support solution for you. Engage with confidence as members of our team will be thoroughly trained and know your business almost as well as you do. Contact us today to learn more about us and the dynamic services we offer.