More and more often, amazing customer service is what sets companies apart. It used to be that a remarkably memorable customer service experience – whether good or bad – only made it into the ears of a few friends and family members. Now, with social media, it can easily be shared with the world.
Delivering exceptional customer service is attainable for all companies, but it’s important to understand exactly what customers want and expect. Follow these seven principles to surprise, delight, impress – and retain – your customers.
1. Treat customers like human beings
Keep in mind that the caller on the other end of the line is a real person, not just a faceless customer. Customer service employees should be kind, genuine and sensitive. They should speak to customers how they would speak to people in real life, rather than simply reading from a script. Use the person’s name when talking to them, and treat them like the individual they are.
2. Be a good listener
When you’ve been in a call center all day answering phones, it can be tempting to tune people out. But you can’t help people if you’re not taking the time to listen carefully to their problems and fully understand the situation. If there’s something you don’t understand, ask rather than making assumptions.
3. If at all possible, say yes
Your job is to help people. As long as a customer’s request is within reason, always find a way to make it happen. Constantly pushing back or haggling over things like small charges and fees reflects poorly on a company. Make your organization a pleasure to do business with, and customers won’t forget it.
Dealing with angry or upset customers is not fun, of course, but there are ways to diffuse the situation. One of the best strategies is mastering the art of the apology. When a customer has a bad experience, sometimes all it takes is a genuine apology to calm them down. Offering an apology is not a difficult thing to do, and it goes a long way in making the customer feel better. In many cases, a simple and genuine apology can turn a contentious conversation into a pleasant one.
An apology is not enough without genuine empathy, however. You can apologize all you want, but it won’t resonate unless the customer believes you truly sympathize with their situation. Always put yourself in the customer’s shoes and think about you would feel in a similar situation. Express to the customer that you understand their frustration and would feel the same way.
If a customer doesn’t understand your policies, procedures and rules, explain them clearly. Sometimes a customer is angry or upset because they don’t understand why a certain decision was made or a particular charge was incurred. If you don’t have a logical explanation for a decision that was made, work with the customer to come to a resolution. That’s a good indication that the decision was unfair.
7. Exceed expectations
The experiences customers really remember are those when companies go above and beyond to make them happy. Maybe you offer to overnight an item free of charge that a customer needs quickly. If a customer is unhappy with their purchase, offer a 20 percent coupon in addition to the refund. Customers remember companies that go out of their way to make their experience better. Exceeding expectations is what creates loyal customers.
Kunnect sells 100% cloud-based call center software that includes a predictive dialer to businesses and political campaigns. Our software, hosted seamlessly in the Amazon platform, manages all inbound and outbound calling for a flat rate of $125 per agent per month with a flat deposit of $125 per user. There are no hidden fees. In addition to the predictive dialer, features include: inbound and outbound calling, CRM integration, call scripting, call recording, ACD, skills-based routing, IVR, live monitoring, real-time statistics and historical reporting.