What is the most important thing you can do to be successful in your business? The answer is obvious as it is overlooked: great customer service! No matter how great your product is or how talented your staff is, one of the things that customers are most likely to remember is the direct interaction and experience they had with your company and its employees.
Here are some tips to improve on your customer service skills to be successful, whether it’s for your own company or to be able to perform better in your daily job.
Practice active listening
Behind every customer, is there a real human who has a concern or a question that needs to be answered. Even though it sometimes is difficult to deal with impatient and angry clients, it’s important to let the person feel understood and heard. Active listening can be developed and practiced every day with your co-workers, friends and family members. First, always let the customer speak and express what their concerns are. After the customer is finished, ask clarifying questions to make sure you understand what they are saying. Finally, finish the conversation with a quick summary to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Learn to empathize with your customers
Empathy is the ability to understand how the customer is feeling and where they are coming from. While some people have no problem putting themselves is someone else’s shoes, it is a skill that can be taught. When listening to the customer, try to see the problem through their eyes and imagine how it makes him feel. When clients feel understood by the person they are talking to, they will be more receptive and it can also de-escalate a conflict, which makes the interaction and conversation more enjoyable for both parties.
Be solution focused
Customer service work can be emotional and sometimes you’ll be dealing with people who are frustrated or angry. Everyone has emotions and it may seem personal in the beginning but it is totally the opposite. When you strip all the emotions away and focus on the bigger picture, you will realize that the client is only asking for a solution. Stay calm, positive and keep focusing on finding a solution that can favor both parties.
We are all humans and everyone makes mistakes. Admitting to them is often the quickest way to resolve the situation on a positive note. If you have misunderstood a customer’s needs or failed to do something you said you would do, be transparent. If the mistake is on the part of the business rather than something you have personally done, you can still apologize on behalf of your company and take the customer’s point on board. Be clear that you are committed to finding a solution for them to the best of your ability.
To conclude, customer service is and will always be the most important factor in whatever business you may have or are working in. Providing great customer service can generate more marketing and sales opportunities, which will keep your business growing successfully and will most definitely benefit each employee that gives their daily contribution to it.