What is customer service?

Customer service is every interaction with a customer – Desk.com

Every time a customer converses with an employee should be a quality experience for them. It is integral to the success of a business model and it helps build your personal brand as the employee.

For the business, exceptional customer service helps increase customer loyalty, generates positive word-of-mouth and most importantly, sales revenue. For the employee, exceeding the expectations of the customers reflects through positive feedback to management and improves self-branding which is crucial for career progression.

A few key but often overlooked aspects of superior customer service include:

  • Active listening – Helps the employee understand the immediate needs of the customer. It involves paraphrasing the clients’ words to ensure that the enquiry or problem is understood correctly.
  • Being curious – Is a mentality that should always be adopted and present in every conversation. It is an integral part of active listening and is normally accomplished through open ended questions. Moreover, the right questions need to be asked to make sure there is a full understanding of the needs of the customer which would enable us to find the best solution available for them.
  • Personalising the experience – Engaging the client with a professional manner and a positive attitude promotes customer loyalty and decreases the chance of complaints. Simple ways that this can be done is by using the customer’s name throughout the conversation and by appropriately reacting to triggers (such as their tone of voice – if they’re sounding frustrated, anxious or annoyed or happy).
  • A helpful attitude – makes a whole heap of difference and can change the outcome of a call from becoming a complaint into a compliment. It is conveyed through the tone of voice and language that one uses. E.g. Instead of saying, “I can’t process that payment for you, it’s best that you call back”, you can say “I’m unable to process this payment for you at this time but if you like, I can process it when I’m able to without needing you to call back, is that okay?”. The conversation has consequently been redirected from a negative to positive solution that the client will appreciate.

By being consistent in these principles of customer service and remaining competent in product/service knowledge, everyone’s a winner – the business, the customer and the employee.

 

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