Customer service can be confusing and challenging. As a customer service representative, you will be meeting and talking to people from various backgrounds with different personalities. At the same time, as customer service reps, you have to please them and give the best service you can provide. Doing so can result in repeat business and higher customer satisfaction that keeps them coming back to your business time and time again.
If you're not sure where to start, here are several golden rules of great customer service that your business can follow to build a more successful business.
Golden Rule #1: Have a Positive Attitude
It is cardinal to have the right attitude when you're dealing with customer inquiries and customer expectations. Your customers need to feel safe while you are communicating with them and as if you are on their team. You need to build rapport and trust with your customers which you can achieve by using the right attitude during your conversation. Use the right tone, as this will translate your attitude to your customers.
What does the tone of voice mean? It is how your written or spoken words translate. Even if you're having an off day or you're not in the mood to put effort into customer service excellence, it's important that you put yourself in your customer's shoes.
The tone of your voice and how you write will affect the response you get from your customers. A shift in how you speak may come off as if you have a bad attitude. A conflict like this can easily be avoided by a proper tone when talking to a customer. It's important that you are always patient and understanding of their issues or requests. Doing this will leave a good impression on your customers.
Golden Rule #2: Show Empathy
Some of the best customer service stems from a feeling of empathy. As a customer service provider, you need to be empathetic toward your customers and understand where they are coming from when they reach out to your company. Customers would call for help and ask you to solve their problems. Even though those problems might be simple; you still need to have empathy for their particular situation.
You might be dealing with a furious customer but understand that they have something that they are dealing with or are stressed about a personal issue. Stay calm, listen, and practice empathy. Thank them for bringing the problem up. As best you can, explain to them the steps on how to solve their problem so they know that you genuinely care about a positive outcome.
After solving their dilemma, follow up with your customer to make sure there aren't any outstanding issues. Your after-sales service matters. Check if the solution you offered worked and if they need further assistance. The time between your initial encounter and the follow-up will also allow them to cool down.
Golden Rule #3: Prioritize Quality
Quality is always at the forefront of good customer service.
The better your product/services are to your customers, the more they will recommend your business to their peers.
Golden Rule #4: Provide Options
This is another hallmark of great customer service. Providing options to your customers creates a sense that they have the power to customize their experience to their unique qualifications.
Providing options will increase your customers' shopping experience and make more customers happy.
Golden Rule #4: Respond Immediately
Another way to provide excellent customer service is by providing an immediate response, if possible.
Your time is also significant in providing good customer service.
Golden Rule #5: Foster a Long-Term Relationship
Your relationship with your customers is long-term. You have to keep your customers coming back or you risk losing them to your competition.
A key way to keep your customers coming back is by offering good quality customer service. Create rapport with your customers and your clients.
These customers may recommend your products and services to their peers.
Golden Rule 6: Always Be Professional
Another one of the most important rules of customer service is to be professional regardless of the situation. Customers will get personal and emotional, and that is normal regardless of the industry. Whenever you are dealing with a customer that is angry, do your best to always stay calm to ensure a positive customer experience to forge positive customer relations. Much like with the first two points, you must have the right attitude and empathy in any given situation. In a phone call with customers, actively listen, and be friendly. It is necessary that you make your customers feel that you care about their problems and are proactively trying to solve them.
Golden Rule #7: Don't Forget to Listen
The best customer service reps know that it's important to listen more than you talk. In many cases, customers are reaching out to customer service departments to complain or recap a negative experience they had with your product or another team member. Although your first instinct might be to argue back and become defensive, this response won't make your customers happy.
Companies that provide great customer service have representatives that allow customers to get everything off their chest before responding in a polite and professional manner. It sounds simple, but when your customers feel heard and that their complaints are valid, it will help to build strong relationships in the future.
Golden Rule #8: Offer Solutions Instead of Making Excuses
On a similar note, you always want to deliver solutions to help ensure that each customer is satisfied. The last thing you want to do when a customer calls to make a complaint or explain a negative situation is to deflect and make them feel as though their feelings aren't valid. If something has gone wrong, you'll want to do everything in your power to resolve the issue based on customer feedback.
For example, some customers call because they are looking for a refund or they want a discount. In the case of small businesses that sell food, for example, some customers might complain because they want their food to come out warmer or they don't like the taste of the food. If you aren't sure that you're on the right track with how you're responding, you can always ask the customer what you can do to make their experience better.
Golden Rule #9: Be Honest
One of the most challenging parts of being a successful customer service agent is to be honest and own up to your or your company's mistakes. For example, maybe a customer paid extra money to have their package delivered overnight as opposed to waiting for the package to arrive and someone on your team missed this information on the order form. As a result, the package didn't arrive on time and the customer had a negative experience with your brand. It's always best to underpromise and over-deliver. If needed, you can always do your best to make up for this negative experience by putting in some extra effort and going the extra mile; consider sending a replacement shipment overnight and providing them with a discount code for their next order. This positive experience could lead to more sales and even additional positive reviews in the future.
Golden Rule #10: Ask for Feedback
Another one of our golden rules of customer service is to ask for feedback. Most businesses can benefit from knowing what customers think about their brand as it allows them to harness this feedback in a positive direction. Hearing both about customer success and areas that you need to fine-tune is a hallmark of excellent customer service.
Looping the customer into this feedback process gives them the opportunity to be more involved in the process and proves that your company values what your customers have to say. This can help separate good customer service from great customer service.
Golden Rule #11: Ensure You Can Keep Your Promise
As you are working with customers to resolve their issues and offering helpful solutions, the last thing you want to do is make empty promises. If you promise your customer that you'll be able to resolve their issue even when you can't, it will result in disappointment and a negative experience. This is another one of our customer service rules that can help avoid future problems.
Golden Rule #12: Put Yourselves in the Shoes of Your Customers
The best way to exceed expectations is to put yourself in the shoes of your customers when interacting with them. While you are a customer service representative for your company, you also understand what it's like to be a person on the other end of the inquiry. Having this approach gives you more empathy and patience when dealing with frustrated customers on a regular basis.
5-Star Customer Service Rules
As there are many ways to interact with customers and provide support, some methods are better than others. In order to get your point across in a courteous manner, you'll want to follow the golden rules of customer service.
- Always be patient and listen: Don't interrupt the customer and always listen attentively. If needed, you can ask for clarification.
- Be respectful: When you're communicating with customers, always be respectful even if you don't agree with what they're saying.
- Communicate clearly and precisely: Avoid using flowery language or wordy sentences.
The knowledge and respect that you have as a customer service representative can make a positive impact on your company. When you follow the above golden rules of customer service, you can help your brand stand out in a positive manner. If you're in need of additional guidance in your customer service department, our team at Hit Rate Solutions is here to help! Get in touch with us to learn more about our services.