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10 Ways to Improve Your Organization’s Customer Service

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ways to improve customer service

Great customer service is the foundation of a successful business. If your customer support is deficient in the skills and tools required to serve your customers’ needs, you must make it a priority to fix the issues plaguing your in-person, telephonic and digital customer service processes.

Improved customer service will have a direct impact on your sales performance and benefit the entire organization in different ways. To start with, the following tips will help you learn ten ways to identify problem areas and enhance your customer service capabilities.

  1. Make a good first impression. Whenever, however, and wherever a customer comes in contact with your organization’s customer support, it’s a golden opportunity for your service rep to create a positive impression and assure the customer that they have reliable help at hand and will have their query resolved in a timely and professional manner. At the heart of exceptional customer support lie good training and great attitudes.
  2. Probe smartly. The right questions can lead your customer in the intended direction and also make them feel like you understand their concern and have the know-how to resolve it. Effective probing saves everyone’s time and enables faster resolution, leading to greater customer satisfaction.
  3. Encourage and enforce affirmative responses. Denise Mayer from Service Skills (https://www.serviceskills.com/) says that you should never use the word “no” when replying to a customer’s question. The same query from a customer can be answered in two ways—with a negative or a positive response. By eliminating the “no” from their responses, your frontline staff will have an easier time addressing concerns.
  4. Strengthen your communication. If you’re looking to raise your customer service standards, revisit the language, tone, and vocabulary used by the service team. Make sure the people facing the customer sound confident, patient and willing to help. Eliminate words and phrases that make your reps appear weak, unsure or ill-informed. Effective communication can win a customer’s heart even in the most adverse situation, so train your employees not only in technical matters but also in soft skills so that they sound human to your customers.
  5. Be patient with irate customers. If someone is calling your customer support team with a grudge, it is important that the staff is equipped to handle an irritated customer (who may have already tried a couple of different ways to resolve their issues). The best approach, according to experts, is to avoid being defensive, apologize for the inconvenience, assure that you understand and then do everything possible to help resolve the problem.
  6. Practice empathy. Whether it’s your customers or your employees, build a culture of empathy in your organization where everyone respects the other and understands their challenges. Lead by example to show your customer-facing employees how having an empathetic approach can turn around the worst of situations.
  7. Provide refresher training. Enroll your customer support employees in a refresher customer service or soft skills improvement course to empower them to provide better service experience to your customers. While new employees need all the training they can get, seasoned customer-facing staff can also do with a refresher to update their skills and adapt to the changing needs and expectations of today’s customers.
  8. Use surveys to find loopholes. Send surveys to customers to identify the problem areas in your protocols and take each constructive feedback seriously. An aggrieved customer (who may at times seem like they’re being unreasonable) can provide valuable insight into a problem you may have inadvertently overlooked. In addition, review your internal systems and processes from time to time to eliminate issues that could be giving grief to your customers.
  9. Inculcate resilience. Whether your employees provide support in person, over the phone or online, they will always come across the odd frustrated customer who’ll make sure they bear the brunt of his or her inconvenience. Resilience, therefore, is an essential quality to build in your customer support team, as is teamwork. Empower your employees with the ability to bounce back and use such experiences to learn, grow and hone their customer service skills.
  10. Go the extra mile. Sometimes a customer-facing employee may need to go beyond the book to help a customer. Acknowledge, appreciate and reward such behavior and encourage other employees to go the extra mile to serve a customer. In an increasingly automated world, human interaction has reduced to a bare minimum and a little extra effort can go a long way in building customer loyalty and trust.
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