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12 Essential steps for excellent customer service

Kevin James Curran
Oct 26, 2019 9:09:12 PM

Customer Service is the life line of any business and it is not just a department. Any business would want its customer service representative to be passionate in delivering excellent service to its customers.

However, the biggest challenge most of the companies face is in motivating the employees to deliver the service attitude. It is mostly a will issue than skill. The lack of drive among employees is mainly because of malnourished egoes.

In today's competitive market, when the stakes are so high, a business cannot ignore one of its most important wheels of the spoke which are its employees. If a business wants to delight its external components, it should also be willing to responsibly pamper its internal components. Hence, service is all about transacting / managing egos.

1) Be Passionate to deliver excellent Customer Service

Passion for your work is the cornerstone of your customer service journey. Your customers have entrusted you with solving a problem they are having. Whether it is hunger, the need for a new home, or crisply cleaned and pressed clothing. Your customers have come to you for information about your service, and a person with a desire to fulfill their requirements for service.

The way your passion translates to your customer gives them insight into you, your company culture, and the product you produce. Be knowledgeable. Do your homework on the product you are producing, and translate why the customer should do business with you over you competitors.

2) Treat your Team Members the way you want them to treat your Customers

The sweetest sound a personal can hear is their name. When you refer to your customer by their first name it lets them know they are worth remembering. There is something special about them that has left an impression on you to remember them.

This also translates to your staff. Be personal with them. Give them the attention them deserve. Show them they are important and they will deliver your message to your customers.

3) Greet the Customers with Smile & Energy

If we are not happy and delighted about our own Business/Profession, we can never really delight our Customers. This is the first impression your customer gets when they interact with your business. First impressions can have a huge impact on the overall sentiment of the customer about your business.

The difference between them going home and writing a negative review about the unfriendly staff or overlooking a small mistake and giving you another chance ti make it right.

Ultimately turning them positive on your business and creating a brand advocate in the process. Someone who speaks highly about you and promotes your business to their friends and family is more valuable then a direct mail campaign. And guess what.. It's FREE.

4) Have a Pleasing Voice & Body Language

We should allow the service attitude to radiate through our persona. Your customer will react differently to an employee that addresses their situation with their arms crossed staring at the floor then a employee who is listening intently and looking them in the eye.

Although it may be incredibly hard to keep your emotions in check when a customer is venting frustration through you. Remember, take a deep breath and realize this is not about you, you re not the problem just the answer to their problem.

The one person who is given the opportunity to show concern and solve their problem. Be the hero.  Emotions when expressed in the right way at the right time give us an opportunity to connect with the customer for a life time.

5) Always Listen to the customers very carefully and understand their Requirement

Listening is the building block of Communication Skills. Listening to the customer is so important when you are dealing with a potentially problematic situation.

Most customers simply want to be heard. To vent any type of frustration them may have had and are searching for someone in your business to express even an ounce of concern.

You can tell this by the fact that the customer will immediately gravitate to that employee that showed them the attention. Requesting them by name, searching for them when they are not visible. The simple sight of the employee that showed concern for their problem puts them at ease. 

6) Respect the Customers

A very simple rule, give respect to gain respect. Treat customers exactly how you want to be treated when you are spending your hard earned money on a product or service.

Have a freewheeling yet professional interaction with the customers. You can be yourself and still command professionalism. 

7) Focus on the Resolution

Never lose focus from the customer's requirement. If you know a request has been made then expectations are set to be delivered. If you or your business are unable to deliver these expectation, then you need to focus on rectifying this with your customer.

This can be as simply as a swift apology. However, in some circumstances, a little more attention may be required. For example, if you are fixing a situation that has impacted the future of the customer such as missing a deadline, or damaging their property, you need to make it a priority to make them feel like you are going to fix this for them. With the right amount of sincerity, you can turn this negative into a positive. 

8) Go an extra mile to delight the Customers

Exceeding expectations of the customer works wonders, not only to excel in the business but also to build one's character. Simple things like helping the customer to their car or holding an umbrella for them in the rain. This is something that is not seen in most interactions with businesses in their everyday lives.

These small acts of kindness go along way to create a life long customer.  Every customer can be delighted. All it takes is Passion, Patience and Persistence.

9) Empathize with the Customers

In the case that you are interacting with a irate or dissatisfied customer, try putting yourself in their position. This frustrating experience is translating through you, not around you. You are simply the person in front of them when they are trying to vent their frustration loud enough for anyone to show them some attention, respect, or concern.

By showing the customer that you are genuinely concern about their situation, and will do everything in your power to fix it for them. You will put their frustration at ease knowing that they have a customer advocate on their side to help find justice.

10) Focus on Counselling rather than Selling

Explain the Features & Benefits of the system in a language which the customer understands. Focus on educating the customer to make the right choice. Most customers just want to be heard. When they tell you a problem or issue that they are trying to solve, they are trusting you to give them the best advice for them as a professional.

If you are a customer service associate at a bagel shop, by letting the customer know about their options, your personal experience with the product, will help them make a decision in their purchase. 

11) Look for Opportunity to build Rapport with the Customers

Every customer can be a potential opportunity to form a connection. Whether it's about sports, kids, cats, or your mutual dislike for work in general.

This rapport will put the customer at ease and form a personal connection with them that will last forever. 

12) Document the Interaction for future Research & Development

Once you understand what is working, it is easier to train your staff to interact with customers on a daily basis. Building extensions of yourself that spill into your entire customer service team. 

About the author, Kevin Curran

Whether it is creating a startup, or delivering growth to an established business, he enjoys the challenge. Kevin also consults to businesses seeking to improve their online presence through a more compelling website that features genuinely useful and engaging content.

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