How customers choose to reach out to your business is an important piece of data to note. The reason why they’re reaching out is even more important. If customers are contacting service and support via telephone, email, social media, or web chat, it means they need assistance. Once a customer makes the decision—and effort—to consult a service or support representative, his or her expectations for service alter. Prior to reaching out, it is likely that customers attempt to troubleshoot and research on their own unsuccessfully. Now, not only do they want a solution, but they also desire to be acknowledged, listened to and understood, and treated with respect. How employees respond to customers who are experiencing difficulties with products or services, or who just have general questions, will differentiate your business from competitors, and be a key factor in customer satisfaction.
The secret to success is to do the common things uncommonly well.
– John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
Customers Need To Be Acknowledged
Customers need to know that their requests or concerns are important, and will be taken care of. Employees can quickly build rapport, and acknowledge customer importance, by opening the call with a friendly greeting and a cheerful tone of voice that expresses a willingness to serve.
Customers Need To Be Listened To and Understood
Customers need to know that they have been heard and understood. How employees demonstrate their understanding is essential to providing great customer service. After customers describe their reason for calling, encourage employees to paraphrase what customers say, and use words that express empathy and a sincere desire to help.
Customer: I followed the installation directions, but I’m not getting the screen messages that the manual says I should be getting.
Employee: You’re following the installation directions, but it’s not working? OK, let’s walk through it together.
Customers Need To Be Treated With Respect
Each customer wants to be treated with respect, and regarded as a very important person – not as a problem. How employees phrase responses and their tone of voice can make or break a successful interaction. Customers are generally not as well-versed in product or service knowledge as employees. Be sure employees use the most simple terms to describe products or services, and repeat instructions as many times as necessary to guarantee customer satisfaction.
Successfully satisfying these three human needs is a proven method to increasing customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.