Customer service is an uphill battle. I don’t know if it has something to do with society today or if it has always been this way, but customers have incredibly high expectations. Often impossible expectations. And they are all too happy to post all over social media any time a company is not perfect. So what is a company to do in 2016 to try to provide excellent customer service even when their employees may be feeling like they are fighting an uphill battle.
Here are four tips that help us to keep our employee morale high and our service scores excellent.
Be a Team
Everything is easier if you are a part of a team. If you feel like your boss and your coworkers have your back, it is a lot easier to take any complaints that come your way. Of course if you deserve the complaints you should own up to your mistakes and take responsibility (another way to provide great customer service), but I am talking more about when a customer is complaining about something that you have no control over. If you foster an environment among your employees where everyone feels like they are a part of a team, not only will they enjoy work more, but they will be able to provide better service as well.
Be Efficient, Not Fast
Of course we all know that there are always more calls to answer. It is pretty tempting to go for speed and to let the service that you are providing suffer. However, while this might be OK in the short run, it is not going to work out well for you in the long run. Of course, you should not be wasting any time or shooting the breeze with your callers. You need to be efficient – hear their problems, answer their questions, offer assistance, give them the information that they need – and then hang up and move on to the next caller. But you do not want to shoot for speed alone. In my experience, the callers that end up feeling worst about the service that they receive are the ones that do not feel heard. They end up feeling like the operator rushed through their call and didn’t take the time necessary to solve the problem. Take the time, but be efficient.
Have the Information that You Need
Working at a telephone answering service is great because as we answer the phone, all of the information that we need about the customer that we are answering for pops up on a computer screen. However, we do run into trouble if a client does not give us all of the information that we need to answer questions. It is so much more efficient if you have all of the information right there with you. Make a sheet of frequently asked questions and have all of the answers right there. That way, no matter who answers the phone, you can be sure that they will give accurate information quickly.
Don’t Talk Down to your Customers
Your clients are usually calling because they have a problem. Many of them may be confused about something. Don’t be condescending or talk to them as if they are stupid – remember, you know it so well because you work there! The worst thing that you can do is make a customer feel like you think that they are stupid. That will raise the emotions and frankly leave a very bad taste in their mouths. Be patient, be kind, be friendly, and your customers will thank you!