I recently went to a customer service seminar that was titled “How to Deliver Exceptional Customer Service.” It was one of the best seminars that I have been to and so I would like to share some of the tips and facts that have helped my team to grow as a result. Our emphasis as a company has always been to provide great customer service, so that customers keep coming back; however, there are many reasons for non-repeat customers, some of which you can directly impact and some you cannot. Statistics actually show that 1% of customers do not return because they died, 3% moved away, 5% developed a friendship with another company, 9% because of competition, 14% because they were dissatisfied with the products and 68% because of employee apathy! These numbers show that the highest percentage reason for why someone does not return is something we can directly impact and positively change. For customer service teams, this is both humbling and exciting!
In a call center, providing great customer service is often difficult due to face to face interaction being non-existent. In any conversation, appearance is 55% of the message; 38% is how you say it and 7% are just the words alone. With so much emphasis on appearance we need to make sure our phone appearance is at its best. Phone appearance is basically your tone of voice and attitude, so set your inner compass to appreciate customers. Remind yourself to be thankful for your job. Make sure that all your reactions and your tone of voice reflect the posture of gratitude.
In telecommunications the number one goal is to make the customer glad they called and talked to you specifically! In that, there are some basic steps to tackling a phone call.
-First, you need to think about what you are going to say before you answer the phone. It is really important to have consistency in a team when answering the call – you want the customer to have the same experience every time they call and with all employees at the company.
-Second, make sure that you answer the call within two or three rings. You want the customer to know they are a priority.
-Third, make sure you say your name; customers want to know who is on the other line. Also, be clear with them and indicate whether you’re going to put the customer on hold or going to transfer them.
-Fourth, be courteous, “kill with kindness,” and smile. Believe it or not a customer can hear a smile.
One of the hardest things for my team to handle are angry, abusive customers. When customers do not get their way they start attacking your self esteem, making it hard not to take their words personally; however, simply remembering the tips above and helping to put them to use will help when dealing with these customers.
For the second part of this topic I will be giving some tips on how to win over rude callers and how managers can motivate their employees to keep a positive attitude even with angry customers, so stay tuned for that post.
For now, make sure to challenge yourself to keep a thankful attitude towards all your customers. Make them happy that they talked to you today and make sure you follow the basic steps to tackling a phone call. Your change in attitude will definitely begin to rub off on others and your overall attitude will positively change.
If you have other suggestions make sure to leave them in the comments!