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Developing Customer Service Skills
in Your Organization
For any business or consumer organization, effective customer service is a crucial part of growing and retaining your customer base. If your company is a start-up and you’re not yet certain what your customer service team will look like, there are a few vital customer service skills you should integrate into your business to ensure your customers walk away with an exceptional experience after interacting with your company.
Here are a few steps to developing customer service skills in your organization.
Establishing a Solid Customer Service Policy
In order to have employees who exhibit excellent customer service, your business will need to have an established customer service policy that your workers live by.
While good customer service can seem like a pretty basic concept, leaving policy rules and decisions up to the employee can leave room for error. Dissatisfied customers are often looking for an efficient interaction and quick results from employees who hear their complaints; and when employees are unsure how to proceed with an unhappy customer, they can only do so much.
The best way to ensure they serve the customer the way upper-level management would is to have an elaborate customer service policy for them to follow under any circumstances. Before writing out the policy, however, it’s important to establish a customer service ethos that serves as a foundation and conceptual framework for the way customer service is approached. This is often a concept that reflects the company’s business practices as a whole, and the ethical framework of the company and company leaders.
The customer service policy can be as simple or elaborate as you’d like, but covering more situations is likely to give employees a better chance at doing a good job. Popular store policies are ones that allow employees to reimburse customers for a wide range of products and services and offer future discounts and coupons if a customer says they were unsatisfied with a product. These types of compensations encourage unsatisfied customers to give your organization a second chance with limited risk to the money coming out of their pockets.
Providing Training for Specific Issues
Mitigating situations with difficult customers can be uncomfortable, and is a skill that often requires training for employees who are inexperienced with customer service.
Depending on what your organization specializes in, you may need to put employees through a short or long training course for them to learn how to handle high-tension situations. If your organization is based in retail, the training will probably be more straightforward than if you’re offering a service, as calculating the cost for reimbursement may be more complicated.
However, no matter what your customer service department is helping customers with, there are a few basic approaches they should take when dealing with an unhappy customer. One of the reasons customers are so upset when they receive low-quality service or products is because they trusted you with their business and feel they were not valued. Therefore, one of the best ways to handle an upset customer is by letting them know their voice is being heard, showing them you understand their concerns, and letting them know you will address their problem.
After establishing that you are paying attention to their problem, it can help to apologize for their negative experience. This can be difficult when it feels like the customer is overreacting or you don’t feel the problem was your company’s fault. Even if it just seems like the customer is having a bad day and taking it out on you, taking some of the blame and apologizing often makes them feel better, and finding a resolution to customer concerns is always a step in the right direction. Establish an escalation plan so customers and employees know what the next step is if they are unable to find resolution during the initial interaction with the customer.
Customer Service Training and Workshops
If you’re unsure what kind of customer service policy or training to integrate into your company, consider learning from the best companies to do customer service.
Disneyland considers itself the happiest place on Earth, and they are famous for putting customer service at the forefront of what they do to ensure that. They do this by training their employees to offer world-class service to customers, turning negative experiences into positive ones, always trying to fix the issue and never making promises they can’t keep. These are important customer service guidelines to have employees remember and live by to minimize problems with customers.
By providing elaborate training and workshops to teach employees how to handle customer concerns, you’ll be giving them the tools they need to succeed at their job, something that is highly valued in a workplace. Preparing employees for situations they may find themselves in, and showing them how to handle them, is an investment into your customer service department that ensures they know how to offer effective customer service and properly represent your company.
This training should extend to customer phone service too, as customer phone calls are an important part of running a successful business. Although the internet has lowered the need for phone service, many people continue to depend on customer service through the phone to get answers to their questions. Customer service training for phone calls is often more important than training for in-person situations, as it can be easy to forget you’re speaking to a person on the other line.
Effective customer service skills are a crucial aspect of any successful organization and can be the difference between satisfied and unsatisfied customers.
By developing a strong customer service policy, providing proper training and workshops to employees for various issues they may encounter and taking notes from the best customer service organizations today, your organization can thrive and ensure customers are happy to be working with you.
This requires special care and attention to the employees you bring onto your team, and ensuring they have specific training for areas of customer service they may be struggling with; but with a solid customer service policy, they should be prepared for any situation that comes their way.
About the Author
Magnolia Potter is from the Pacific Northwest and writes from time to time. She prefers to cover a variety of topics and not just settle on one. When Magnolia’s not writing, you can find her outdoors or curled up with a good book. Chat with her on Twitter @MuggleMagnolia.