How to Excel at Customer Service
Do you know what the definition of Customer Service is? The Oxford Dictionary defines it as "the assistance and advice provided by a company to those people who buy or use its products or services". We've compiled some tips on ways to provide that assistance and advice that can set your business apart.
1. Answering your phone
It isn't enough to just answer the phone when it rings. The key is to answer with a smile. Literally. Smiling when you speak with your potential customers translates over the phone. Remember that you want to come across as authentic so make sure that your tone is appropriate as well. Customers want to speak with an actual person, so be sure an actual live person answers when you receive calls.
2. Active Listening
It can be frustrating for anyone to have to explain their problem or tell their story multiple times. Being interrupted is another sure-fire way to upset a potential customer. Make sure you listen to what your customer is saying, let them finish, then answer appropriately. Use empathy in solving problems. Summarizing what was said is a good way to show that you were paying attention.
3. Under Promise, Over Deliver
One of the problems that you can avoid is the "over promise, under deliver" dilemma. If you don't have an actionable plan to deliver on the promises you make, don't make them. For example, don't tell a customer that their new television will be delivered by Friday if you can't hold up that deal. If you want to retain customers and avoid negative feedback, be sure you hold up your end of bargains. Go above and beyond to ensure that your customer has a positive experience with your company.
4. Own your Mistakes
If you do accidentally miss a deadline or fail to deliver on time, own it! No one is perfect and mistakes will happen. Apologize for the oversight or delay and rectify it. Reassure your customer that you will take care of them so they are willing to give you another chance in the future. Discounts and freebies could help in this scenario.