As different industries and markets continue to grow and become more saturated, many businesses are looking to customer service as one way to differentiate themselves from the competition. They’ve learned over the years that the way customers communicate and interact with businesses has drastically changed. Today’s customers are more knowledgeable, thanks in part to the internet, and have higher expectations than they did just a few years ago. And delivering an exceptional customer service experience to those individuals is one of the best ways to attract and keep their business.
Stepping up your customer service game requires a lot of resources and planning. Most importantly, it requires a lot of skilled employees who are properly trained in consistently carrying out a level of service that goes above and beyond on a consistent basis.
Follow these 6 steps to excel in a customer service role for your organization:
Define Your Service Standards
In a recent article on The Balance, marketing consultant Laura Lake talks about how important it is to not only clearly define service standards, but to also make sure that every employee is familiar with those standards. Having an effective training program in place will help ensure success.
“Create your customer service standards to be specific, concise, measurable, based on the requirements of your customer, written in your job descriptions, and used in performance reviews. You can’t measure or enforce what your employees don’t understand,” shared Lake.
Gone are the days of simple customer service. Customers can reach out to a business in multiple ways – in person, over the phone, by email, and through social channels like Facebook, Twitter or live chat. It’s essential for businesses to be accessible to their customers and connect with them on their terms and via the channels they’re most present in.
Time is of the essence when delivering excellent customer service. Customers want – and expect – their questions or problems to be answered and resolved lickety-split. Be responsive when addressing their inquiries. If you need more time to research an issue before it can be resolved, let the customer know. Set the expectation so they’re not surprised by the amount of time you need to reach a resolution.
Be a Good Listener
A big part of customer service is listening. If your role is to handle guest relations at a front desk or answer phones at a call center, listen closely to the customer’s question or request before speaking. If you manage a customer service email in-box or live chat sessions, read and re-read a customer’s inquiry before offering up ways to resolve the situation.
Maintain a Positive Attitude
Don’t forget – the customer is always right…right? While that isn’t always the case, customer service reps must always keep a positive attitude – even if they feel like screaming. If the customer is not right, at least make them feel like they are. The goal is to keep a good attitude and resolve the situation with a level of service that satisfies the customer as much as possible.
The best way to find out how happy your customers are with your customer service is to ask them! Nowadays, satisfaction surveys are extremely easy to create and execute – whether they’re done online or over the phone. Companies should regularly gather feedback and assess the results in order to continually improve the level of customer service they deliver.
A.R. Mazzotta offers a variety of job opportunities throughout CT – from part-time and full-time to direct hire and temporary/contract work. Opportunities are often available for customer service positions at businesses of all sizes and in different markets. If you’re looking to excel in a customer service role, contact one of our recruiting experts today.