According to Statista, over 54 percent of people stopped buying from companies that had poor customer service in 2017. The number reduced to 44 percent in 2018, but that’s still a huge figure. It goes to show that you should be worried if your business isn’t providing quality customer service.
You can have a great product and an excellent team in your company, but if your customer service is poor, your business is doomed to fail. Most customers decide whether to buy or remain loyal to a company depending on how you interact with them. Clients always remember the direct encounter they have with you, and if it’s negative, they’ll run.
One of the best ways to build strong customer relationships is to have impeccable customer service communication skills. Thriving companies know how to effectively communicate with their customers through different channels, including call support, blogs, email lists, and social media.
Here are some of the tips that the businesses have used and proven successful time and again:
1. Be Patient and Emphatic to Your Customers
People are diverse in their thinking and understanding. As such, you’ll encounter customers who are different in very many ways.
Some customers will have thousands of questions, some will be very talkative, and others will be easily agitated. You and your team must be ready to handle different types of clients as they come. Practice patience and provide each customer with quality service, no matter the circumstance.
Also, be ready to adapt to surprises when customers bring up issues that leave you in awe. Try to remain calm and adjust to the customer’s mood. Be willing to learn with each new encounter.
2. Always Communicate Straight with Customers
One of the main reasons why customers get frustrated with companies is wrongful communication. If you say one thing and do the other, no customer will take you seriously. Plus, you’re likely to make your customers lose money and confidence in your brand.
For example, if you’re offering a 50% price discount on sneakers, don’t go ahead and offer two sneakers for the price of one. What if the customer wants just one pair, and only has half the original price?
Clear communication is paramount if you want to improve your customer service. Ask customers if they understand what you mean to make sure you’re on the same page. Use simple and easy-to-understand terms so that your customers know what you mean – right the first time!
3. Stay Informed
When customers call in with a query, they expect to get an answer. They may have searched for a solution around the internet and found none, so you’re their last point of contact.
Always stay informed enough to answer any question by a customer. But if you’re unsure about the answer, don’t be afraid to say you don’t know. However, be quick to tell the customer that you’ll find a solution and promptly get back to them.
For example, if they asked “what are the reasons to outsource print and mail?” but you don’t know them, consult your peers or whatever resource at your disposal and reach the client with an answer after a short while. Customers will appreciate your honesty and effort to give them correct information!
4. Accept Negative Feedback
Customers can say anything. After all, they’re not on the receiving end, you are! Your team has to learn to swallow their pride and accept criticisms, pessimistic comments, or negative feedback.
No matter how unreasonable the feedback looks, remember your customer’s happiness is the company’s main objective. Promise them you’ll look into their concerns and end the conversation or reply casually. In most cases, the customer is always right, so weigh in on the feedback and see if you can make things better.
5. Improve Customer Service Communication at Every Touchpoint
Customer service communication should be excellent at every touch point in the customer lifecycle. If your sales rep communicates perfectly to a customer but your support team disappoints them, the whole company fails.
Ensure that your different departments are in sync about what they’re communicating to the customer. Get the teams together for training so that they’re always on the same page. Don’t focus on improving one end while the other continues messing up.
6. Practice Active Listening
Customers love to feel appreciated and understood. When speaking to them, be an attentive and active listener to make them feel heard. Make sure you don’t miss out any crucial details when addressing a customer complaint. It will only make things worse.
Focus on what they’re saying and make clarifications by reshaping what they say. It’s imperative that you make them feel you understand their situation and where they’re coming from. Things like “True, I know why that must have upset you” can help a lot.
7. Avoid Interrupting the Customer
When a customer is explaining their problem to you, don’t interrupt them. You may be tempted to do so because you know the answer to their predicament already, but it sounds rude. It can make a customer feel less valued.
Offering a fast solution doesn’t always count as quality customer service. Remember, even though the client is the sixtieth one you’re serving with a similar problem, you re their first representative to consult. Listen to their story and when they’re done narrating it, give them the solution like it’s the first time you’re doing so.
8. Follow up to Ensure the Customer’s Issue Is Resolved
Try as much as possible to follow up with your clients and find out if their problem was resolved. It shows you care and value them as a customer. You can give them a call, send an email, or reply to their comment on social media.
9. Ensure Your Customer Service Team is Happy
You have to ensure that your first link to customers is strong. If your customer service team is happy, they’re more likely to communicate well to clients. Find out how they feel about their working conditions, compensation, and everyday challenges in their work.
Get them to train often and brainstorm on how to improve customer service communication in the organization. Provide them with the necessary tools and resources and measure their performance.
Customer Service Communication Is a Pillar in an Organization!
Poor customer service communication can turn potential customers away and make you lose business. The tips above will not only help you acquire new clients but also build long-lasting relationships with them.
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