Equipping your team with tips for quality customer service is essential so they can help customers find value before and after their purchases. According to a study, one-third of consumers would consider switching only after one bad experience. This goes to show how customer service is central to every business’s operations. To help you develop your team’s customer service skills, we’ve gathered 10 tips for quality customer service to boost customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.
Tip for Quality Customer Service #1 – Sharpen your product knowledge
To effectively assist customers, employees should be knowledgeable about the product and services they offer. Having a solid understanding of your product helps you navigate tough situations and provide the best solutions. Knowing what you’re talking about also shows that you’re competent which builds customer trust and confidence. However, building product knowledge can be challenging, especially if you support a complex product or service. Product knowledge training usually takes up a huge chunk of your employees’ time as they have to be fully prepared before they can start supporting customers. On the other hand, you also have to ensure that employees are updated about the latest developments with your product, which can be tricky due to their tight schedules.
To help you with this, you’ll need a learning solution that can help you provide short but effective training. With EdApp’s microlearning approach, you can deploy microlessons containing key information that employees can go through in just a few minutes. Since it’s mobile-first, employees can access training anytime and anywhere right on their smartphones. To combat the forgetting curve, you can also use Brain Boost, which is a review tool that uses spaced repetition to help employees retain information better.
Tip for Quality Customer Service #2 – Practice active listening
When listening to customers, employees might have the tendency to get ahead of themselves and think of possible solutions and answers even before the customer finishes speaking. While having this forward-thinking may help you answer them quickly, you can miss out on important details that can otherwise provide a better overall resolution.
Practicing active listening is a pro tip for quality customer service as you’re making a conscious effort to listen to your customer’s concerns to better understand and retain the information they provided. Here are some tips that you can follow to help you provide quality customer service:
- Turn off your internal dialogue and focus on what the customer is saying
- Don’t interrupt customers while they’re speaking and wait until they’re done before asking any questions or clarifications.
- Paraphrase what has been said to ensure that you’re on the same page
To enhance this skill, you can practice with your peers in role-playing scenarios, where one acts as the customer and the other as the employee. You can also take the Improving Your Active Listening Skills course found in EdApp’s free course library to develop better active listening skills.
Tip for Quality Customer Service #3 – Communicate clearly
Excellent communication skills are one of the top skills that every customer service representative should have. This shows that you’re competent and are able to fully understand your customers’ concerns. In return, this gives them peace of mind knowing that you’re able to help them meet their needs. Aside from listening to your customers, it’s crucial to get your message across loud and clear and explain procedures, policies, and other aspects well, leaving no room for misunderstanding.
To achieve this, avoid using technical jargon, colloquialism, and slang that your customers may not understand. Get straight to the point and use simple words in your explanations to avoid confusion. While our choice of words goes a long way, it’s also important to be aware of the tone you use. Make sure to always use a polite and professional tone and observe proper etiquette, such as saying “please” and “thank you”. Remember that you’re the public face of the company, so it’s your job to ensure their trust and confidence in your product or service.
Tip for Quality Customer Service #4 – Personalize your interactions
Customer support can feel impersonal, especially through calls, chats, or emails, since customers can’t see who they’re talking to. As your facial expressions and reactions are hidden, this can cause customer distrust or apprehension, which can hinder you from helping them. However, this shouldn’t be a barrier as there are many ways to bridge this gap and make them feel that they’re not just talking to a robot. Here are some tips that you can use to personalize your interactions:
- Remember your customer’s name and use it throughout the conversation
- Avoid overusing ready-made, canned responses
- Look for common ground to establish a connection quickly. You can do this by making small talk.
Quality customer service always starts with a human touch so remember to show them that you’re human!
Tip for Quality Customer Service #5 – Educate your customers
While customer contact is good for the business, it mostly happens whenever customers encounter a problem. They’ll have to unexpectedly make time out of their hectic schedules just to reach out and have it resolved. Do your customers a service by helping them help themselves whenever applicable. Aside from providing the solution, offer self-help resources and carefully explain how to find them. This could be as simple as walking them through your support page to find the answers or giving a demo. Make it easier for customers to discover what your product can do. This shows that you respect their time and are willing to help them better understand and find the value in the products or services that they purchased.
While companies pay little attention to customer education, it is not only beneficial to consumers but also to the business. By doing so, you eliminate minor concerns so your team can focus on other complex issues and resolve them faster than usual. In turn, this increases customer satisfaction, trust, and loyalty.
Tip for Quality Customer Service #6 – Focus on the solution
Stay focused on finding the solution for your customers and try to help them as quickly as possible. While you’re there to solve their problems, remember that you’ll also need their cooperation which is why it’s important that you also gain their trust and confidence. After listening to them, make sure to ask the right questions to get down to the root cause of their problem. Get creative, think out of the box, consult your peers, and utilize all resources available. If needed, ask clarifying questions to fully understand the scope of the problem and pay attention to the details they provide. At the end of the day, the goal is to resolve your customer’s concerns, and if you get them to work together with you, you’ll end up with a happy customer who’ll stay loyal to your business.
Trying to solve a unique problem or an isolated case can sometimes be tricky, especially if it’s something you haven’t encountered before. Oftentimes, a colleague may have already solved this problem in the past but didn’t have the opportunity to share this information with the team. In this case, collaborative learning is essential so you can help each other with vital information to support your customers. With the right collaboration tool, such as EdApp’s Discussions feature, you and your peers can share a wealth of knowledge in a forum-style discussion. You can even share videos and images to resources that you found useful to solve a particular problem. If you’re worried about missing out due to your schedule, worry not as you’ll receive pop-up notifications whenever there’s a new activity.
Tip for Quality Customer Service #7 – Show empathy
While high emotions are inevitable during customer interactions, stay cool under pressure and do your best to patiently resolve their concerns. Don’t let your emotions get in the way and always stay professional and polite. Work together with your customer to gain their cooperation and gently remind them that you’re there to help solve the problem. You can do this by empathizing with your customers and trying to look at things from their perspective. Sometimes, all a customer needs to know is that you understand their situation and the reason why they may feel angry or frustrated. Remember that when they chose to purchase your product/service with their hard-earned money, they expect it to work seamlessly and without any faults. When a customer knows that you understand how they feel, they are more likely to warm up and cooperate with you.
Tip for Quality Customer Service #8 – Be proactive
Helping customers with their immediate concerns is your main job. But to provide quality customer service, you also have to keep an eye out for other issues that they may not be aware of. Listen carefully to your customers and get to know them to anticipate their needs and save them from future headaches. Let them know about any potential problems and nip them in the bud, if possible. Once you’ve resolved their concerns, this can also be a good opportunity to offer other products and services that may be valuable to them.
Being proactive shows that you care about your customers and are willing to go the extra mile to keep them happy. In turn, you’ll have advocates and ambassadors spreading the good word about the quality customer service they’ve received which will gain you more customers and increase brand awareness.
Tip for Quality Customer Service #9 – Ask for feedback
Want to know what your customers are thinking? Ask for their feedback! Not only does customer feedback let them know about how they perceive your product and service, but it also lets you know areas of improvement and other opportunities. Engage in a free-flowing conversation with your customers and encourage them to let you know their thoughts. Use relevant open-ended questions to get meaningful responses. This can be done by asking them how you can better improve your products and services or what features they’d like to see you roll out next. Getting to know first-hand what your customers want and need lets them know that you care about their insights and input so you can deliver quality customer service every time.
Tip for Quality Customer Service #10 – Appreciate your customers
No one wants to feel unappreciated and customers are no different. Customers that feel neglected may take their business elsewhere if they feel that they are not valued. This is why it’s important to appreciate your customers’ time, patience, and cooperation at every opportunity. For example, if they were going through some troubleshooting steps with you, let them know that their cooperation was paramount to solving the problem and couldn’t have been done without their help. Thank them for patiently waiting while you were trying to find the answers to their questions. This small gesture will go a long way and will leave a lasting impression on your customers.