Customer service can be a daunting field for anyone to join, but those who are dedicated to improving their skills can thrive. There are certain industry tricks that professionals use to help in bad situations and turn even the worst experiences into positive ones for the customer.
If you’re just starting your career or are looking to stand out above the rest, follow these tips to offer exceptional customer care to anyone you talk to.
Smile During Phone Conversations
You might greet a customer in person with a large smile to convey friendliness and support, but do you offer the same courtesy over the phone? Customer service has a phrase called “smile and dial,” which encourages employees to smile even though the customer can’t see them. Research has shown that people can tell the difference in your tone of voice and know whether you’re smiling. Plus, you convey 84 percent of your phone messages by the tone of voice, not the words. If you’re not smiling, your customers will know, and they’ll respond to your tone accordingly.
Plus, the act of smiling alone can make you feel better. So if you’re having a bad day, a smile might help you get back on track.
Make Sure the Customer Feels Heard
Listening is a key skill for customer service teams who handle customer complaints. While customers certainly want a resolution to their problems, they also want to feel heard. Failing to listen to a customer’s need can make them even more frustrated and even cost the company your business.
Many companies teach employees how to listen to customer complaints, offering tips like:
- Show that you’re listening with attentive body language and head nods.
- Repeat the problem back to the customer to confirm that you heard it correctly.
- Turn off distractions like smartphones to make eye contact and focus on the customer.
As you can see, listening is an active process that requires showing the customer that you’re paying attention. It’s also a skill that takes time to practice and builds the more you do it.
Use Positive Language in Negative Situations
As much as you want to create positive customer experiences with everyone you talk to, sometimes it’s not possible. However, by using positive language and trying to stay focused on solutions, you might come up with an alternative that the customer agrees with.
The team at Help Scout created the perfect example of positive language. Instead of saying, “This product is out of stock, you can’t buy it,” say, “this product will be in stock next month and is currently available in our store in the next town over.” This provides two solutions for the customer (waiting or visiting the other store) instead of denying them their product in the first place.
Level-headed professionals can weather any customer storm and will do their best to improve negative experiences. A good customer service team can keep customers coming back and create personal connections with buyers. By following these steps, you’ll be winning over customers in no time.
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