4 Tips to Improving your Customer Service Skills
Taking care of the customer service program of your company means to look after your customers, and thus to ensure the present and future success of your organization. These are 4 key tips to improving your customer service skills:
1. Develop the customer service skills of your team
Make sure your department specialized in dealing with the final consumer is made of people who are experts in their area, empathetic with customers and committed to the goal of the company. Do not forget that, ultimately, the evaluation that customers make of a company is based on the interaction experience they have had with the staff.
Do your employees possess the necessary skills to support your customers? Help them acting with empathy and develop skills such as: empathy, patience, effective communication, integrity and positivity.
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2. Reinforce communication skills
An essential aspect someone on Customer Service needs to take care of is, undoubtedly, communication. What to keep in mind when interacting with customers? Take note of these tips:
- Ask: only if we learn to ask the right questions will we be able to identify the problem or concerns of our customers, and thus will we be able to offer them a suitable solution.
- Listen: after asking, it is time to listen. This is the first step to empathize with our interlocutor. Avoid interruptions, admit possible mistakes and offer quick solutions to restore customer confidence.
- Do a “follow-up”: after solving a problem, clarifying a doubt or answering a question, you can do proactive and direct follow-up of the customer. A simple email or an opinion survey may tilt the balance in the customer’s final assessment of the company.
3. Seek the continuous improvement of the department
Almost every company has a Customer Service department and a Customer Service program. An act of intelligence – and also leadership – is to seek continuous improvement, that is, to analyze those areas in which the department can continue to grow.
Establishing parameters for measuring performance, or setting customer satisfaction rates, can be a good way to improve our department and avoid stagnation. There are many indicators that we can consider in order to quantify the degree of compliance with objectives and tools in order to improve the performance of the customer service team, like the serious game on customer service skills.
4. Design a Customer Service program
A good customer service program will only succeed if there is behind it a strategy in line with the interests of the organization. Besides establishing adequate KPIs to measure the department’s performance, it is important to follow some strategic tips like:
- Take care of accessibility: it is worthless to have the best customer service department if customers cannot locate it. Save an accessible spot for it, both in the digital (corporate web, blogs, etc) and the physical environment.
- Rely on people: the FAQ portal, bots, emails or answering machines help greatly, but the customer wants to be assisted by real people who can understand their needs.
- Cater to your customer’s needs: Step into your customers shoes. What they want, what they need, what they will ask for in the future. Your customer service skills can help you define future strategies based on the feedback collected from your customers.
- Build a community: Start up events, attend trade shows, interact in social networks… in short, build a community and team up with end consumers too.
- Ask for feedback: Surveys at the end of the service, a phone call, a survey by email or a quick poll are just a few ways to get feedback directly from your customers, so you can be aware first-hand of the experience they have with your organization. Not only it is useful for designing your strategy and implementing improvements, but your customers will feel that their opinion matters.