This week, our guest blogger writes about the skills everyone should have to communicate effectively with clients. Did you know 90% of Americans consider customer service as the key factor when deciding whether to do business with a company? If you’re a customer-focused organization, you need to prioritize customer service. Let’s look at some essential […]
This week, our guest blogger writes about the skills everyone should have to communicate effectively with clients.
Did you know 90% of Americans consider customer service as the key factor when deciding whether to do business with a company? If you’re a customer-focused organization, you need to prioritize customer service.
Let’s look at some essential skills every customer executive needs to master the art of conversation with clients.
Good-quality customer service goes beyond the telephony software or CRM system you use. Here are some customer service telephone skills every customer support executive should possess.
The first impression is the last. If you can make the customer develop a liking for you in the first five seconds of the call, it’ll greatly influence the overall interaction.
Moreover, most customers who call customer service are already having a bad day. Greeting them with a negative, cold, and unprofessional tone will add fuel to the fire.
Ensure that your greeting is full of warmth. When you pick up the call, modulate your tune as you’d talk to a close friend of yours. Also, don’t just say, “Hello.” Start the conversation with something like, “Good morning. Thanks for calling XYZ. How may I assist you?”
Time plays a vital role in customer service. When a customer calls you, she expects you to pick up within two rings. Anything more than that can result in the buildup of frustration.
Of course, there can be instances where you might not be able to answer the phone promptly. And it’s fine. But make sure that the majority of your calls are picked up on the second or third ring.
However, it’s a best practice to let the phone ring for a second or two. If you pick up the call instantaneously, the customer won’t hear the ring at all. This will create confusion as to whether the call is connected or not.
So, when a customer calls, let it ring for a second and then answer it.
A noisy environment can ruin your interaction with the customers. The last thing you want is your already unhappy customers getting furious because they had to repeat their problem a dozen times.
Ideally, call center organizations take care of the sound problem. They ensure each agent gets a quiet and peaceful environment to interact with the customer.
But if there’s noise around you, move to a quieter place. Most modern-day VOIP Providers offer cloud-accessibility, enabling you to run your call center operations from any device. You can install the system on your smartphone and move to a less noisy place.
Remember the polite and professional greeting we talked about earlier? Your politeness and professionalism shouldn’t be confined to the greeting. To provide a superior customer experience, you need to be since and genuine throughout the conversation.
Now, how can you achieve that? First, ditch the scripts. If you’re a new customer support rep, your organization will certainly ask you to follow a script. But guess what? Reading from a script makes you sound like a robot.
When customers call the support center, they expect to engage in meaningful conversations and find resolutions to their problems. By no means do they want to talk to someone who’s reading a script?
Second, have empathy and be humble. Sometimes, you’ll get calls for tiny problems – something a toddler would’ve fixed. You might come across aggressive customers. Or, in some cases, you may find less intelligent customers who won’t understand what you say.
In any case, don’t lose your patience. Be polite and keep on talking to them with sincerity and respect.
Want to know a secret? When customers call the support center, they’re looking for a guide. They’re neither looking for a hero nor a follower. They want someone who understands and respects them but has authority.
In simple terms, don’t address your customers as “Sir.” When you address them this way, you make them think that you follow them. Use their name when talking to them. This will send a message to the customer that they’re talking to someone equal who can solve their problem.
However, don’t abuse the name. It will sound weird and send a message that you’re trying to oppress the customer. Include the name naturally in the conversation so that the customer feels as if he’s talking to a friend.
Ending the conversation on the right note is critical for a positive customer experience. Let the customer talk and answer all their questions. Once the conversation comes to an end, confirm if you can help them in any other way.
Problems arise when you’re not able to resolve the query. There will be times when you won’t be able to resolve a customer’s problem. While the reasons can vary, you should ensure that you end the call on a positive note.
To do so, assure your customers that their issues will be resolved. An effective way to do this is by escalating the complaint and giving a confirmation message to the customer. You can also tell them that the company will call them back soon and there’s nothing to worry about.
Gone are the days when customers cared only about the product quality and reputation of the company. Customer experience and service quality have become the pillars and business success, and companies need to adapt.
By training your reps and helping them develop the skills mentioned above, you can enhance your customer support efforts.
So, which of these skills mentioned above do you think is the most crucial?
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.
Read Shep’s latest Forbes article: How To Create Customer Love In The Digital World
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