Unfortunately, dissatisfied customers are all too familiar in any role involving customer service. There seems never to be enough time in the day to focus on the tasks at hand, let alone deal with a heated situation that isn’t necessarily your fault where you can't directly help.
How you respond to these situations determines what image the customer takes away with them and remembers you by, customer loyalty, the image of the company/brand, and most importantly what they will tell the other people in their circle about their experience.
Here are a few helpful tips on how to have your customers’ singing your praises and coming back with a smile.
Remember the difference between listening and hearing
When dealing with any complaint, keep in mind that the customer has actively decided to inform you of why they are unhappy. Most people do not do this because they have time to burn – the least you can do is listen.
‘Hearing is the act of perceiving sound by the ear. If you are not hearing-impaired, hearing simply happens. Listening, however, is something you consciously choose to do. Listening requires concentration so that your brain processes meaning from words and sentences.’
Listen to what the person is saying as opposed to waiting for your turn to speak. Repeat what the customer has said if you are not sure if you have understood, the customer may seem to get a little agitated, to begin with, but it will save you from a headache later down the track if you have to ask questions about what they initially explained to you.
Don’t make the customer feel like they are wasting or taking up your time; they will be able to tell if you are rushing them. Take your time with their issue and make them your priority at that moment.
Take accurate notes
You may think that you have an excellent memory, and you might, but notes are still always a good idea. Information can easily be lost during the process of resolving lengthier issues. You do not want your customer to have to repeat themselves.
The issue may have to change hands, i.e., staff member leaving, assignment of a new department. Your notes will be crucial and helpful to the next person.
Always set clear expectations
You can maintain happy customers long-term by managing their expectations from start to finish. If you don’t know something – tell them! If you need help from a second or third party – tell them! The more you can prepare the customer of any process or procedure that needs to take place, the better.
The customer will have questions around contact, reply time, replacements or refund policies, make sure that you are either well informed of these or let the customer know how you can get the information to them as efficiently as possible.
Under promise, over deliver
By setting the expectation for the customer that you are 100% confident you will reach a solution, you will not only create a positive outcome but also build a better relationship.
However, if you are looking to exceed the customer’s expectation and take the positive experience a little further, do something that the customer was not expecting, something you didn’t tell them. Add a personal touch, focus on the small details.
Surpass what is seen as “acceptable” customer service.
Follow up. Follow up. Follow up.
If you have promised the customer a call, just give them a call. Most customers will only want to tell you that they had their issue resolved and that they are happy, and if they haven’t had their problem fixed – they are already speaking to someone that knows the situation.
By following up with your customer, they will feel they have been looked after to best of your ability. Even if you have directed the customer to a different department, let them know that you just want to know how things are going or how everything went.
“Customer service is the experience we deliver to our customer. It's the promise we keep to the customer. It's how we follow through for the customer. It's how we make them feel when they do business with us.”
- Shep Hyken, Customer Service Expert, and New York Times bestselling Author
Even though it seems the world is changing at such a fast pace and it seems that we are sometimes struggling to keep up with the new advances, we can never forget that the customer is the resource on which any business depends.
At Techwell we're proud to put customers at the forefront of everything we do. Why not get in touch with our team today to find out how.