Parature’s Best Customer Service Advice Series: Part 1


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Recently, Parature asked a group of customer service professional from around the globe to offer their best customer service advice. From managers to CSRs, we received a fantastic variety of best advice. In a three-part series, we’ll share it with you and hope that you’ll add yours, as well.

On Conversing with the Customer
Alex Hall, who provides customer service for Experteer, a global executive career service firm, in their Germany office, gives his personal rules for each email, phone or chat conversation:

1. Welcome the customer, be friendly, and ask how you can help. Be positive!

2. Listen to the customer.

3. Understand the customer – imagine you’re her or him, and let the customer know that you understand their problem.

4. Make the customer feel as if she or he is as important as you or we are, maybe more so.

5. If the customer is unfriendly, don’t think badly about her or him. She or he might just be having a bad day – we all do. Tomorrow she or he might be your best customer ever!

6. Thank the customer for their request.

7. If your answer is late, tell the customer you’re sorry about that.

8. Answer the question(s) completely.

9. Answer in a professional way. A “sorry, no” is possible; the customer will understand if you it explain well.

10. Take responsibility. If an apology is required then say it.

11. Don’t use a canned answer; customize your response.

12. Give the customer personal tips and point out other possibilities.

13. Leave the customer with an expectation, but don’t promise anything you can’t deliver.

14. Offer the customer future support before you finish the call.

On Offering a Resolution
George McClure, Customer Service Manager at Xerium Technologies’ Stowe Woodward Division in North Carolina, says:

“Honesty is always the best policy. Always check with your manufacturing representative, engineering or whoever it is that you need assistance from in solving the customer’s problem before making promises that are not reasonable. This will only make a bad situation worse. Explain your organization’s side of the situation the best way that you can without being too technical or lengthy, and propose a solution that is reasonable for both sides after getting the appropriate support from your group.”

On The Importance of Empathy
Jacqueline King, Customer Service Team Manager of Insure the Box in the UK, talks about the importance of empathy:

“Put yourself in your customers shoes, and think how you would like to be treated? Listen, and listen more to what they say and let them know you have listened by acting accordingly. But always be realistic and honest with your customers about the outcome – good or not so good. Be conscious of how they are feeling by stepping back into their shoes. This I know will steer you in the right direction in how you handle any situation, particularly when you have to gently let a customer down.”

On Handling the More Challenging Interactions
Jason Soo, Director of Client Services at the Firmex, a global virtual data room provider, notes:

“I’ve been having challenges with my team not being able to take escalated calls. We are NOT a tiered support/service team. Everyone is cross-trained. We have very demanding clients (lawyers, iBankers, etc.) who are working at warp speed. If things aren’t the way the client likes, at times, challenging them can turn bad situations into extremely happy clients; it also builds credibility with the client.

“I have had my team read ‘The Challenger Sale.’ It’s a very salesy book, however, it still applies to a support team. We have moved leaps and bounds since the team read it. They are much more comfortable in bad situations, and they can now diffuse these situations elegantly. It’s an art, but practice makes perfect.”

Do you have some best customer service advice you’d like to share? Please leave a comment below.

Next up in the Your Best Customer Service Advice series: Hiring the Right Employees for Customer Service.

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Republished with author's permission from original post.

Tricia Morris
Tricia Morris is a product marketing director at 8x8 with more than 20 years of experience at technology companies including Microsoft and MicroStrategy. Her focus is on customer experience, customer service, employee experience and digital transformation. Tricia has been recognized as an ICMI Top 50 Thought Leader, among the 20 Best Customer Experience Blogs You Must Follow, and among the 20 Customer Service Influencers You Must Follow.


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