In an age where digital peer-to-peer reviews are everywhere, having excellent customer service makes a difference in the success of your business. Regardless of the type of business you are part of (or own), customer service is what sets you apart from the competition.
Customer service skills are not uniform, in the same way, that your business is not like any other. You provide a unique product or service and have an internal workflow that makes sense for your operation. Further, your customers or clients are not like all the rest either. They come to you because they appreciate the way you operate.
Making customers happy leads to customer loyalty, and good customer service makes customers happy. But what, exactly, makes great customer service? And how can you improve your customer service efforts in your business?
The Dos of Customer Service
As mentioned, each business or practice is unique, with its own set of customers. However, there are still common best practices and tips for good customer service. Here are some of the more common ones:
Improve Your Response Time
If customers are reaching out to you, it is because they are in need of something. The reason could be that they want to schedule an appointment. Or perhaps they have a question about something in particular and want to speak to a representative, doctor, etc. Other times you might have customers calling with complaints.
Regardless of the situation, your customer wants to be heard, and they want to be heard right then. If there is an overarching “customer service tip of the day,” then it would be “don’t keep the customer waiting.” Because of this, your response time is crucial.
If you find yourself scrambling to balance customer service duties with business operation duties, it is time to make the shift. Have a dedicated customer service team to make sure no call is missed, no message slips through the cracks, and every emergency is addressed in real time.
Speaking with a customer service representative is different from speaking with an automated series of commands and responses. And it is certainly different from leaving a message on a machine. But this is not only because customers are speaking with a real person. Customer service reps also need to be personal.
Getting personal means listening to what the customer is actually saying. It means having empathy and compassion for their concern or request. Maintaining positive language and patience are customer service phone tips that you can’t ignore.
Customers feel more confident if they feel like their request has been heard and is taken care of. This could even lead to positive customer feedback on social media or your website. Remember, people leave reviews just like they read them, and if your reviews are intense and frequent, then you will continue to have loyal customers.
The Don’ts of Customer Service
It would seem obvious that since there are common dos, there are also common don’ts of customer service. At first glance, they might seem obvious. But as any experienced customer service rep knows, handling customer requests (or complaints) all day long can be difficult. It takes skill and training.
Don’t Be Too Quick
A major customer service tip of what not to do is “be too busy.” It’s true that a busy business is a good thing, but your customers want to feel like their needs are being met. They don’t want to feel like a number.
Having a dedicated customer service answering team can alleviate this problem. In one way, every call is getting answered and every message is taken down or transferred. In another way, call answering service professionals to understand the importance of not rushing a customer.
Some customers take a longer time to get their requests out than others. This goes back to your customers being unique. Treating them as such by having a well-trained answering team will help your business thrive because your customers will keep coming back.
Don’t Have All the Answers
Common sense would dictate that if a customer calls about something, they should hang up having received an answer. This is absolutely true. But don’t give them an answer simply for the sake of it. This tip leans more on the customer complaint side of things than something like a scheduling request.
To break it down, when a customer calls and is upset about something, it can be tempting to quickly try and solve the problem and put this person at ease. But it might also be that a receptionist wants to avoid dealing with an upset customer.
It is important to let a customer go at their speed. Therefore, your customer service team needs to listen to what they are saying. Sometimes a customer might call just to vent. Other times they might be confused about something.
Give them the space and time to ask their questions or get their frustrations out. Answer the questions that you can, or get the answers to them quickly. But, simply put, addressing a customer’s problem requires more listening than speaking. A professional answering service understands this.
Customer Service Phone Tips
While this isn’t so much a “customer service top-10 tips” list, the simplest dos and don’ts will go a long way in your customer service efforts. There are all kinds of recommendations out there, such as the Cs of Customer Service: Compassion, Composure, Competence, and Courtesy (among others).
But when it comes to the ultimate C of Customer Service, there is only one: The customer. By having a dedicated customer service answering service in place, you are prioritizing the customers of your business. And this will not go unnoticed.
Reach out to Answering Service Care and tell us about your operation, and see how a professional answering service can benefit your business.
Make your business more efficient and make your customers happy. Call or schedule an appointment today.