The relationship between businesses and their customers has fundamentally changed over the course of the past decade. Back then, all the companies needed to have was a good price to quality ratio to keep their clients happy. Nowadays, 90% of American consumers said that customer service is one of the factors in deciding whether or not to do business with a particular company, according to American Express. Since retaining an existing customer is anywhere between 5 to 25 times cheaper than acquiring a new one, you need to do everything you can to increase your retention rates. Today we will share five skills that will help you provide exceptional service and stand out from your competitors.
1. Active Listening
Every customer that calls in or communicates via chat is a unique individual with their own specific needs, problems, and concerns. This is very important to always keep in mind because a lot of times your customers will state very clearly what is bothering them which allows you to avoid misunderstandings. In fact, 60% of business problems can be attributed to poor communication. So be sure to listen carefully to what the customer is saying and ask follow up questions to make sure that you truly understand what they are saying. This way the client will feel that you truly care about them and understand what they are saying.
2. Persuasive Speaking
In the previous paragraph, we talked about the importance of listening, but speaking skills are just as important. Persuasion is something that we normally associate with sales representatives, but your customer support team needs to be well adept with this as well. If we think about it, they are talking on the phone with people all day trying to turn negative experiences into positive ones. This requires a lot of persuasion to see a particular issue from a different vantage point or getting the customer to simply calm down about the frustration they are experiencing. It is very important that your team members can speak confidently and make compelling arguments that will lead to speedier resolutions.
When your customer support team members are speaking with customers, are they really placing themselves in the position of the customer? If not, this is a big problem because 70% of buying experiences are based on how a person feels they are being treated. What this means is that while resolving an issue is important, it also matters how you resolved it. For example, let’s say that a customer ordered a pair of shoes from you and they were accidentally sent the wrong size. Your team members could say something like “Mistakes happen and we will send you the right size right away.” While this is a problem that can easily be resolved, they need to place themselves in the customer’s shoes and tell them how frustrating this must be, they understand how disappointed they were when they saw the mistake and many other empathetic statements.
Whenever you are working with customers directly, you need to be able to adapt to the communication method they prefer at a particular moment. In fact, 85% of customers expect companies to provide them with a combination of digital and physical communication channels. . Therefore, even if a particular issue would be easier to resolve over the phone but the customer contacted you via the Facebook Messenger chat, you need to be flexible and do your best to resolve their inquiry. Also, we need to remember that there are customers who simply prefer to speak with a live person or chat with a service representative online. Your company needs to be able to manage all of the possible communication channels to keep your customers happy.
Forrest Gump famously said “Life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get” and the same thing is true with customer service. When your team members pick up the phone, they have no idea whether the person on the other end is an irate customer or just somebody looking to ask a quick question. At some point in time, your team will have to deal with angry customers and it is very important to exercise self-control when communicating with them. After all, they are yelling at your customer support team even though they had nothing to do with the issue they are experiencing. There will even be times when the customer makes personal attacks and they always need to remain professional no matter how bad things get.
It is always possible to salvage even the worst situation and your team members need to hold back the urge to lash out back at the customer when they feel attacked. When this happens, you just have a bad situation all around.
Mindy Support Can Assemble a Customer Support Dream Team
Whenever we recruit and hire new team members to fill customer support positions, we always take into account the necessary communication and other soft skills needed to perform the job at a high level. This includes requirements given to us by the client and our experience as well. During the onboarding process, we train new team members to handle difficult customers and all kinds of situations they might encounter. Regardless of the communication channels and time zones, you need to cover, we can assemble a team for you very quickly. You will have complete control over the size of your team and can scale up or down whenever you like.
Posted by Il’ya Dudkin