Customer satisfaction, mercifully is largely about listening and delivering words- words that transmit the message that the customer is important and will be given a patient hearing to his or her complaint or suggestion.
Sounds intuitive, and if I may say, reasonably straightforward to accomplish?
Why then conversations between friends, businesses and even those on the social media are teeming with negativity about customer support? Just a cursory glance will reveal that anger over being shortchanged is the overwhelming favorite there!
True, some customers are undeniably more demanding and come with sky high expectations. But since they are paying for you to stay in business, you just cannot ignore them or decline to sell your products or services to them. Also true is the fact that businesses are run by human beings and every person is susceptible to make mistakes.
How do you bring about that fine balance where customers stay with you and recommend you, even after a slip from your end?
In my opinion, communication plays the principal part in every human interaction- listening, understanding, and transmitting thoughts in a manner that the person wants to hear.
Hence I’ll take this opening today to talk about a few key phrases that your customer support department should use and should never use in order to build a reputation of delivering a remarkable customer service experience.
Let’s begin on a positive note- adapting these simple phrases by rehearsing them daily for about 30 minutes will help your team improve the customer experience by leaps and bounds. Just remind them not to act like robots though!
- I don’t know but I’ll find it out for you
Multiple surveys and even a brief casual conversation will let you know that the most annoying customer experience is when you hear something like – We’re unable to answer this, pleased call another department.
The customer is the reason for your existence and you would do better to see him in that light. Only the Government reserves the right to play ping-pong with a customer, not your business unless you become a monopoly. Find a solution if you get a question; if you don’t have the answer, find the person who has the answer. Don’t make the customer clueless about a solution.
- I’d be as disappointed as you
Validating feelings is a critical part of building a bond with anyone. That is the reason I constantly underline that empathy should be the cornerstone of every customer support team.
As any experienced customer support executive will swear an oath, there are plenty of tough customer interactions waiting to happen; it will do a world of good if you can invest in a customer support team who is eager to learn the ropes and implement it daily. This may be your own customer support department or an outsourced company, like Open Mind Services Limited.
- I’d be happy to help you with this
This brimming-with-positivity phrase works like a charm every single time. Just like a glass of chilled beer or a sultry day, this psychological trick is easy to execute and offers immediate relief from the heat of frustration.
- I really appreciate you brought this up
The best part of a customer complaint is that you are made aware of a problem you never thought your product or your service had. It’s a common knowledge that less than 10% people take the pains to reach out to a business; the rest simply move towards your competitor.
So say thank you from the heart, resolve the issue and build the bond stronger and your product or service as free of errors as possible. Give your competitors a hard time to filch your customers away while making your customer feel important and coveted.
And these are the phrases your customer support executives should NEVER use:
Never say No- it’s widely perceived as being rude. You might have to use it but always use it with a SORRY, in an apologetic tone, and with an immediate soothing balm of an incentive, if possible.
- Calm down
Disrespect never won anyone; asking to calm down is often comprehended as a way to belittle emotions. Use empathy and validation instead and see the customer gravitating towards your company despite a bad experience.
- Its company policy
one of those common phrases that companies use as an excuse to hide behind a wall and denying a customer what she deserves. Of course you can easily do that but before jumping on it, try to imagine the consequences? A lost customer and lost recommendations for maybe, more customers.
Try to explain them the reason behind the policy when you want to follow it strictly. It is not advisable to display inflexibility in a competitive environment- rather explain them the motive behind a policy and act in a more humane manner.
Active listening builds trust and validates concern- two of the most important ingredients in building the prefect recipe for an amazing customer experience.
Keep up the good work! Ask me if you need any help in implementing an outsourced customer support division in your company.
Open Mind Services Limited , a specialized Inbound Communications company continues to assist its clients in providing impressive customer service and delivering vital competitive advantage for more than 15 years now.