What word sums up customer service?
A week ago, a group owner on LinkedIn asked the members, ‘What one, single word do you believe sums up Customer Service?’
113 responses later we get a pretty good idea what customer service is all about.
When conversing with customers, representatives should show respect for their privacy by not sharing their personal data or asking for unnecessary details, and their wishes, for example if they have asked not to be contacted by a certain method or have said no to receiving further information by a third party.
By displaying respect for your customer it helps to build a stronger relationship as they feel valued and will begin to reciprocate respect for the organisation.
Not every situation will be the same for every customer, there will be times where something has gone wrong; this could be that the customer hasn’t received their login details, they were sent the incorrect item, or had issues whilst paying etc. Whatever the situation, representatives should show empathy and not place any blame on the customer whilst finding a solution. This reduces the impact the mistake is having and condenses taking up anymore of the customers and organisations time, by resolving it as quickly as possible.
Customer service representatives are there to aid the customer with their enquiries. The number of communication channels that advisors can provide assistance via has certainly grown over the years, and therefore they should be trained and able to adapt to whichever method they are using:
- Contact Form
- Live Chat
- Video Chat
- Social Media
Due to the hyphen, this got away as one single word!
It is one thing to listen to your customers, but actually active listening to them is much more than just hearing words. It’s reading into the tone of their voice, their body language and finding out what they are really trying to tell you.
It is the old favourite of a woman saying its fine and taking it at face value, rather than reading behind it and knowing it’s not fine they are upset!
Anyone can read a script in a monotonous manner and get the job done. But without caring about the customer and truly meaning it, the customer will feel like they have interrupted your day and inconvenienced you to help them. This can lead to them feeling disheartened, sharing their bad experience and / or finding another supplier.
On a similar note, customers want a service representative that engages with them, again they could just do their basic job, but without going out their way to do something or having a laugh during the conversation, the service will not wow the customer or make them feel valued, so they will not feel guilty leaving when another company engages with them more.
First of all when a customer contacts the company there is the possibility of having language barriers, especially with organisations that trade globally or outsource their customer service oversees.
Text based communication such as live chat services, email and social media can reduce these barriers as customer can take their time to understand what is being said and use online dictionaries and translators to aid them.
Representatives should not use too many technical or buzzwords; if they do, they could offer a short explanation or example to help customers fully understand.
At the end of the day we are all human and we shouldn’t forget that. Whether we are the representative dealing with our 50th customer that day, or whether we are the customer needing help sorting out an issue or are enquiring, we should all treat others how you would want to be treated, with respect, with care and with the other party fully engaged with the conversation.
The definition of customer service is ‘the assistance and advice provided by a company to those people who buy or use its products or services.’ But there is so much more to customer service that makes it a greatly satisfying and memorable experience for the customer and that is the representative providing the advice and assistance.
What was your most wowing customer service experience and what it memorable for you? Leave your comments below.
Author Bio: Gemma Baker is the Marketing Executive for UK live chat services provider, Click4Assistance, with a range of digital knowledge within PPC advertising, SEO practices, email campaigns and social media.