Do you face difficulty in connecting to the internet?
Is your refrigerator generating a loud noise?
Issues faced while making online payments?
Whatsoever is the hitch, consumers immediately get in touch with the customer service team of the particular company to sort out their issues. The number of ways in which customers can communicate with organizations has expanded tremendously from letters and telephone calls to include email, instant messaging, social media, websites and discussion forums.
The key is to focus on the customer, and what they need and want from you, in all stages before, during and after purchase. This is the reason the customer service is considered as one of the important part of delivering customer satisfaction. We have covered the six main skill sets to focus on and develop in order to provide the best customer service to your customers.
Communication is the Key. The advantage of clear communication is that people should easily understand the message. People who can communicate well understands when their point is not getting across and know how to suggest alternative explanation if the original does not make sense. Below are the 3 key elements that are important in communication.
· Verbal – The words you speak
· Non-verbal – How you say it; voice and tone
· Body Language – The visual cues you give
Listening Skills. Listening skills are as important as communication skills. Listening to a customer and the ability to understand their problem is very essential for good customer service. Make the customers feel that they are being heard, interpret what they say, what they do not say without annoying them. Be attentive throughout the discussion, ask open-ended questions and request clarification in case you need. Always summarize on what was discussed during the conversation, in order to make sure the customer needs are met.
The Four Rules of Active Listening are:
· Seek to understand before you seek to be understood
· Be non judgmental
· Give your undivided attention to the speaker
· Use silence effectively
Product Knowledge. Product Knowledge is the in-depth understanding of what your company sells. Understanding your product features allows you to present their benefits accurately and persuasively. Prospective buyers are nowadays armed with a lot of research and knowledge before they make a purchase decision. By knowing every detail about the product the person will be able to advise the solution accordingly.
Product knowledge is imperative due to the following reasons
· It allows you to speak with accurate data
· Helps you to respond to any objections precisely
· Increase the consumer’s confidence in you
Assertiveness. Assertiveness is about being confident in standing up for you and your beliefs while maintaining respect for others. This will make sure that you deliver the point across without upsetting others or becoming upset by yourself.
Below are the 3 C’s of assertive communication
· Confidence – you believe in your ability to handle a situation
· Clear – the message you have is clear and easy to understand
· Controlled – you deliver information in a calm and controlled manner
Being able to state a negative comment in positive way is essential in customer service. Instead of saying “no” to a customer, you can provide an alternative solution.
Conflict Resolution. Customer conflicts arise regularly especially in dynamic, fast-paced environments. Dealing with unhappy or angry customers is never easy. But when you know, what to say and more importantly how to say, you may be able to save the situation. Taking the right step in customer service conflict is of utmost important, which can end up with better relationship with the customers.
Below are few tips to keep in mind when a conflict arises.
· Allow customers to express their frustration and calm down
· Use the correct tone, don’t mock upset customers
· Find something to agree about
· Set time limits to end an interaction
Empathy. In customer service, empathy is the ability to affirm a customer’s feelings and indicate that you can understand their pain or frustration, even if you cannot fix it.
Empathy in service industry is required due to the following reasons
· Talking and Listening to customers makes them happy
· It will help you understand the customer needs in a better way
· It makes you treat the customers with dignity and care
· It helps rectify a negative customer experience
Personal Responsibility. Personal Responsibility is critical in every stage of profession. It is quite understandable when one makes mistake in customer service roles and service professionals know when there is a slip-up. Accepting those mistakes and looking for a solution is what makes one outstanding.
These mentioned skills are all interrelated and customer service professional must acquire them in order to gain the customer’s confidence and reliability. Customer satisfaction will lead to a long term relationship with the company and it should be like a comma and not a full stop. The customer will also act as a messenger by carrying his happiness across his people earning more trust and reputation.