When employers consider ways to improve customer service, the first objective is to improve their employee’s customer service skills. Most professional situations call for exceptional customer service skills.
All employees can benefit from good customers skills, even if their job does not involve interaction with customers on a normal basis. For instance, you might be asked to fill in for someone who normally handles inquiries.
Employer’s Role in Good Customer Service Skills
While every employee must practice these skills and become adept at interactions with customers, there’s a lot of onus on employers as well to improve customer service.
You as an employer can do a lot to improve your employees’ customer skills, and that’s exactly the nub of this post.
Importance of Customer Service
A survey by Dimensional Research states that 62% B2B customers and 42% B2C customers are involved in more purchasing with improved customer service. Your product/service could be an amazing one, but proper customer service from your employees could be a deal breaker.
For one, your customers might never bring negative experiences to your notice. Worse still, they might just switch their allegiance to competitors offering better customer service.
If you let bad habits get ingrained in your employees, it might be too late to teach new tricks to an old dog.
As an employer, your customer service team is the face of your company, and you need to put on your best one with excellent customer service skills.
Here are the Top 10 Customer Service Tips for Enhancing Customer Care Skills of your Employees
#1. Efficient Communication Channels
Make sure that all communication channels with customers are in peak working condition. For instance, check whether the Contact Us part of the website is really functioning and allowing customers to contact you.
Conduct checks at various points, so that you’re absolutely sure customers can effectively contact you via phone, messages, email, through your website and so on.
#2. How to Improve Customer Service Skills? Freedom for Innovation
Give your employees freedom for innovation to think out of the box. They could come up with creative ways for improving their customer handling skills.
- Keep them motivated with periodic monetary incentives for effective customer service.
- Talk to them regularly. Listen to their woes.
- Provide a professional, business environment.
- Use the correct technological tools to improve client management skills.
#3. Minimum Training Period
Cornell University researchers recently offered a report of the Global Call Center stating that their customer service agents receive initial training for 15 days. If your training is less than this, you need to take immediate action.
Your employees need proper training with the best customer service training ideas, before they hit their phones. Ask your top employees with good customer service experience to offer practical tips, so that the bar is set high.
#4. Learning the Ropes
Teach them to learn the general rules pertaining to all types of customer service:
Hint: (When you hear a complaint, try responding saying, “Oh, I’m sure that must have been very upsetting’ or ‘I can perfectly understand why you feel insulted’, instead of just repeating the words ‘sorry’ again and again.
- Adaptability (changing your strategy based on the type of customer)
- Admitting a mistake
- Clarity in communication
- Time management and focus
- Relevant knowledge (ask them to remain informed on all fronts; if the issue calls for additional technical knowledge, they can acknowledge their ignorance. The customer might even prefer this attitude, so long as the employee promises to find the correct solution asap)
- Humility (the customer is always right, right?). There’s no room for pride. You need to make your employees aware that customer satisfaction is your top priority. Even if a customer is irritable or angry (which is most likely), teach your employees to be respectful and try his best to rectify the problem and leave customers satisfied.
#5. Use Videos
While training your employees for customer service, videos could be of great help. There are many such videos available on YouTube, which you can use as part of the training curriculum.
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#6. Use Call Recordings
Use call recordings to demonstrate a specific point of customer service skills, or to pinpoint a perfect or imperfect interaction.
For instance, you can play a recording of how one of your seasoned employees effectively handled an angry customer. This will enable them to better understand ways of tackling such customers.
#7. Monitor Social Media
Social media is playing a major role in marketing. Customers are also using social media for commenting and judging businesses. You must have a representative to monitor the company’s presence at social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
- Train them to engage respectfully with customers and reply clearly and diplomatically with the customer base.
- Equip them with the latest tools, a fast Internet plan, formal training on etiquette related to social media and so on.
#8. Collect Feedback
The best means of staying tuned in to your employees’ customer service quality is to get regular feedback of your employees’ customer service skills.
- Make use of email or phone surveys or even check out the comments section in the Contact Us part of your website.
- Offer customers incentives, such as loyalty points, for offering a feedback on your employees’ customer service skills.
- Identify your team’s strengths and weaknesses and address them.
#9. Engage with your Staff to Enhance Customer Service Skills
If your employees are dissatisfied, I don’t expect they’ll come to you with their problems. One way to do this is to offer an anonymous box for suggestions.
Try to find out their views on compensation/payment; career opportunities; training and other aspects. You can use templates for surveying employee engagement.
Do what you can to keep them happy and satisfied. A happy employee is a cheerful and hardworking one.
#10. Training Never Ends
As a final point, do remember that training never ends for employee’s customer service skills. The learning curve might get less steep, but it is nevertheless present throughout their career.
Customers’ expectations are increasing and customer service has also got to evolve to keep up with the changing trends.
Offer refresher courses that train your employees on the latest products and additions, so that they can offer a more professional and satisfactory solution to customer issues.
Customer service skills are the cornerstone of any business and it could make or break your business, given the competitive nature of today’s business world.
An excellent customer service directly translates itself into expanded customer base and happy customers keep coming back for more.
Check out the above tips for customer service skills and identify the gaps in your strategy for improving your employees’ customer service.
Go on to offer a proactive experience to your customers. You can do it!!!