In this article, Steve DiGioia, Customer Service Crusader, Author and Trainer, explains how contact centres can jump-start their customer service excellence.
In the contact centre industry, we study ways to best serve our customers, use numerous metrics to gauge customer sentiments, sit through seminar after seminar to learn the latest tactics, and more.
All in the hopes of separating ourselves from the competition and making a mark in the industry. But it shouldn’t be that difficult…
Customer Service Excellence Should Be Easy
Serving our customers should be easy. Yes, I said it, easy.
They come to our business with money in hand and are willing to part with it. All we need to do is take it and by our actions, let them know we appreciate their trust in us and wish to build a long-term relationship beneficial to both.
Does this mean that metrics, certifications, and expert suggestions don’t have value?
Of course not. But how is it that businesses throughout the years have built a fantastic and loyal customer base without any of these tactics and survived through depression, market loss, and new technology destined to make them obsolete? Because they also focused on experience, not just service.
18 Powerful Tactics to Jump-Start Your Customer Service Excellence
Here are 18 tactics to jump-start your customer service excellence that will make a difference:
1. Have a Servant Mindset
Understand that you are there “to serve” first. Everything else comes second.
2. Be Pleasant
Keep a conversational tone and smile.
3. Use the Customer’s Name
Keep the “small town feel” in your business where you know the customer by name and use it in all your interactions.
4. No Nickel-and-Diming
It’s ok to give something away to make the customer happy.
Don’t be petty and charge the customer for small insignificant items. It’s ok to give something away to make the customer happy.
5. What Else Can You Do?
NEVER let your customer leave without asking if there is anything else you can do for them. Always take that extra step.
6. Empower Your Team
Don’t micromanage. Give your team the authority to take certain steps without approval so they may best serve the customer.
To find out what an empowered employee looks like in the contact centre, read our article: What Does Employee Empowerment REALLY Mean?
7. Explain the Why
Don’t just say, “This is what we are going to do.” Employees and customers will react better when they know the reason why a certain task or policy is in place.
8. Anticipate Their Needs
Be proactive and think of what the customer may need before they do.
9. Keep a Promise
Keeping a promise to a customer will benefit you in the end.
Even if you initially promised a lower price or an extra service that you now realize will cost you more money, keeping a promise to a customer will benefit you in the end.
10. Explain Again and Again
Many customers have similar questions. Be able to explain your processes to 100 customers a day and still make it sound personal and sincere.
11. Plan for the Worst
Whether we like it or not, we must always plan for the worst-case scenario but strive for the best.
12. Be Proud
Take pride in all you do. Put your name on your work.
13. Be Early
Have the work ready earlier than expected.
14. No Favouritism
Serve each customer without showing preference or favouritism.
15. Celebrate Your Employees
Include your employees in all promotions and marketing efforts. Let them be the “face of your business”.
16. Hold Your Team Accountable
When mistakes happen, don’t discount them. Hold your team accountable for their mistakes. If needed, retrain, coach, or give additional support. If you don’t, you’ll never uphold your standards and customer expectations.
17. Admit When You’re Wrong
Don’t make excuses, especially to your customers. Be honest in all your transactions, and when you make a mistake, be sincere and apologize.
18. Give a Fond Farewell
Send your customers off with a hearty thank you, and a show of appreciation. A half-hearted “thanks” is never enough.
Read our article The Best Call-Closing Statements to discover what our readers think are the best statements and phrases to end a phone call.
When you use these tactics in your everyday actions, you’ll be well on your way to customer service excellence.
Thanks to Steve DiGioia, Customer Service Crusader, Author and Trainer, for these great insights.
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