If you lead a customer success team, you probably find yourself often wondering how to improve customer service. It’s only natural to want to give great service to your client.
Customer service is the cornerstone of great business. When it comes to whether or not customers come back (or tell their friends), customer service matters.
So, how can you offer great customer service when the customer isn’t always right?
Be a Leader, Not a Boss
As in any job, leadership is important. Customer service representatives are like any other employee: they thrive on positive feedback. Harvard Business Review research has shown that positive feedback at work results in more engaged employees.
In turn, employees who feel valued at work are more likely to go the extra mile for their clients. Effective leadership will create more engaged, effective employees. As a result, morale will naturally increase, employees experience success, and the business thrives.
Morale is the general vibe in your workplace. Are people happy? Are employees satisfied with their jobs, duties, training, earnings, benefits, boss, coworkers, etc.?
Generally it is apparent in the workplace where the morale is. Research has shown that employees who feel satisfied with the morale at work, including the ability to balance work and life, are more productive and dedicated.
When employees see the value in their positions, they’re more likely to want to produce quality work. Employees who are aware of their company’s mission and values are more qualified to be able to provide satisfactory customer service. You can’t expect employees who are uneducated in the business mission to provide service that aligns with said mission.
Incentivize your Employees
Encouraging employees to do well doesn’t have to be hard.
One way to keep employees feeling good, morale high, and promote best practices in the office is to incentivize employees. It doesn’t have to be much: it could just be candy, a meal for your highest performing team, or even an all-staff email celebrating great work.
Don’t Take it Personal
R&B singer Monica said it best: don’t take it personal. Don’t let upset customers get under your skin. Customers are calling you because they’re upset. It’s not about the rep they’re speaking to. It’s not even about you. It’s about them.
Take your day a customer, a call, an email, and a service ticket at a time. Leave it behind when it’s done. Doing your best to provide one-call (or email, or ticket, etc) resolution is one way to make sure that your toughest tasks are one and done.
Consistency is key here, too. Having an established training program and training all employees in a uniform and unchanging manner will result in uniform service and productivity.
Inconsistent training will lend itself to inconsistent representatives making inconsistent promises to customers. When one representative promises one thing and the next promises another, it makes the business look unorganized and incapable of following through on their promises.
Training your employees is investing in your own business. A well-trained employee is going to net you a higher return on investment. With that in mind, employers must be willing to invest in proper, effective training.
An employee who is well-trained will know the correct avenues to provide customer service that goes above and beyond. Not only that, but they’ll be more able to laws and regulations surrounding their specific jobs. For example, representatives working with private medical information must be HIPAA compliant.
The number one thing a customer service rep needs to be is patient. Customer service representatives talk to all kinds of people, and they essentially become the front line of the company. Your customer’s experience with your business are dependent upon the voice and the resolutions your customer service reps offer.
That being said, when people call in mad, your reps need to be patient. The time to wonder about how to improve customer service isn’t when people call in frustrated. When people call in with a problem, your reps need to be calm.
Customers aren’t calling because they’re happy. They’re calling because they need your help with something that they’re not able to do by themselves or with an online help desk.
When a representative responds to anger, upset, frustration, or any other attitude with patience, the customer will respond to that too. Maybe not immediately. When a representative is patient, understanding, and assures the customer that they are being heard, they’re more likely to be able to de-escalate the situation.
Learn the Lingo
It varies from business to business, and even office to office, but learning the lingo is an important part of providing good customer service. Certain businesses have a certain language they use. Customer service in IT distribution will be a whole lot different than customer service at a cell phone provider.
Knowing the verbiage to use with customers, either internal or external, will make things a whole lot easier. Training your customer services reps in the unique language used in your industry will make them even more capable of providing valuable customer service to your clients.
Wondering How to Improve Customer Service? Be Results Driven
The end goal in customer service varies from one business to the next, but at the end of the day, all customer service businesses are looking to be results driven.
This goes hand in hand with providing consistent training to all employees: when all employees are trained in the end result, their ability to provide excellent customer service improves. That is the culmination of all of the above tips on how to improve customer service.