how to improve employee customer service skills

Here’s What You Need to Know About Boosting Employee Customer Service Skills

Research shows that up to 90 percent of Americans use customer service as a factor in deciding whether or not they will do business with a company. It is not hard to see why: as a customer, what stood out the most to you during your experience with a company? Their marketing tactics or their customer service? Chances are the latter.

Customer service gives you the opportunity not only to solve your customer’s needs but also to connect with them and show that you care. Well-executed customer service, therefore, is bound to resonate with your clients for a long time.

As such, this is why you should put as much emphasis on training your customer support team as you do with your sales and marketing teams.

Are you looking at how to improve employee customer service? Read on to learn everything you need to know.

What is Employee Customer Service Training?

If you have been contemplating how to improve employee customer service, then it has probably dawned on you that you need to invest in some sort of training, and you are right.

Customer service training refers to various techniques used to teach employees how to make each customer interaction valuable as well as unforgettable. As such, it is an iterative process which involves forging skills, competencies as well as the necessary tools that allow customers to get maximum satisfaction during their buyer’s journey.

Online customer service training is the most efficient way of getting those skills, tools, and competencies today.

Which Employees Should Undergo Customer Service Training?

Any staff member that comes into contact with customers should be well-equipped to handle interactions with them. As such, every employee should undergo customer service training. In fact, if all members of your staff can get the training, the better. This is because each member of your staff should be working to keep your customers happy. Happy customers are what offer you the best opportunity for growth.

Training Tips on How to Improve Employee Customer Service

While it is recommended that you seek out professional training for your employees, there are various strategies that you can incorporate in your business to help your employees offer better services. They include:

Demonstrating that the Customer is Important

A lot of staff members are quick to quip that customers are the most important asset in the business. However, they often end up making decisions that show that they did not take the customer into account. Nonetheless, if you are looking to change this script, you must prove to all your employees that the business’s customers are its lifeblood. Doing this will allow you to foster a culture in the company that is customer-oriented.

There are various arguments you can use to demonstrate this mindset. For example, you can remind them that it is the customers who pay their salaries, awards their bonuses at the end of the year, and are even responsible for the shareholder’s contentment.

Therefore, everyone in the company should understand that good customer service directly impacts the business’s bottom line.

Establishing Fast and User-Friendly Customer Service Processes

Unfortunately, a lot of businesses spend the majority of their formative years creating barriers and hurdles to customer service. Nevertheless, if you are looking to make your customers the real bosses of the company, you will have to embark on breaking down those walls.

The first step will be ensuring that communication between the business and the customers is as smooth as can be. Additionally, you must make sure that customer support is fast, for example, a client shouldn’t have to wait for more than 30 seconds on the phone. Therefore, you might have to establish various touchpoints, such as email, chat service, telephone, face-to-face contact, and more.

The point here is to establish processes and mechanisms that allow your business to be quick at dealing with customer inquiries, complaints or product returns.

Hiring Professionals Who Appreciate the Value of Customer Service

If you never want to search ‘how to improve employee customer service’ again, then you should consider hiring individuals whose mindsets believe in giving the most value possible to your customers. That is how you build a customer-centric company.

As such, when hiring, always ask your prospects whether they have experience in customer service. If they do, create hypothetical scenarios involving inquisitive or disgruntled customers and ask them what they would do in such a situation.

The ideal hire is a person who displays empathy, friendliness, and is a good communicator. After spotting a good hire, be sure to let them know what values you are looking for the most from them.

Empowering Employees

Renowned customer service guru, John Tschohl, has gone on record several times to state that employees need the freedom and capability to make quick decisions that will benefit the customer. This means employees should be empowered.

Often, efficient customer service delivery is inhibited by staff having to check with or seek approval from their supervisors before they can make a decision pertaining to things such as product returns. This can only serve to further aggravate the dissatisfaction that the customer already has.

As such, you should look into recurrent customer service issues and allow your employees to make on-the-spot decisions.

Using New Technologies

Even though face-to-face contact is the best way of dealing with customers, if you have hundreds or thousands of potential clients, you might lack sufficient human resources to make that a possibility. As such, you should utilize technology. However, this should be technology that has been specifically developed to enhance the customer’s experience.

Therefore, it can include tech such as a live chat service that runs 24/7, automating product returns, or even free delivery.

Remember, your goal is to have your customers experience seamless interactions with your brand. Fewer things can help you attain that goal than relevant technologies.

Performing Evaluations

Even the best customer support teams have their limitations. Your aim, therefore, is to identify these weaknesses so as to make the relevant adjustments that will allow you to deliver even better customer service.

As such, this means that you shall keep performing evaluations of your current service delivery techniques. Start by looking at the reasons behind customer complaints, and if they point towards a common factor.

Perform these evaluations regularly to ensure that your support teams do not start slacking on the job.

In your quest on how to improve employee customer service, you should find the tips above to be incredibly beneficial to your efforts.

Customer Service Techniques

While the tips above are helpful, they only set general guidelines. As such, you will have to tailor-make solutions that fit your specific business. So, what about the day-to-day interactions with customers – how should you go about them?

The following are techniques on how to improve employee customer service, which you can employ today.

Take it Seriously

Unfortunately, customer service often comes as an afterthought. This is due to the misconception that all one needs to provide good customer service is professional etiquette. However, that is not enough; you need training.

Just like how a salesperson needs to learn how to sell to people, so does a customer service representative. They need to be trained on how to handle different personalities, at the expense of their personal feelings.

Customer service cannot be left to chance. Therefore, consider getting the appropriate training through an online customer service training solution.

Listen

The next tip on how to improve employee customer service is simple. Listen. Any interaction with a customer should be based on what the customer wants. Whether they are interested in a product lodging a complaint, the person attending to them must listen objectively to them and be sure not to miss any details.

While it sounds quite straightforward, a lot of customer handlers will routinely interject customers or not pay as close attention as they should. Ultimately, they are unable to fully satisfy the customer since they might have missed out on the details.

Therefore, consider working on the listening skills of your staff so as to avoid unnecessary problems.

Be Human

Even though you might have been speaking to customers all day, it shouldn’t be an excuse for becoming mechanical in your approach. All too often, customer support people start sounding like robots since they already have answers to what the customer needs.

However, a client wants to feel like they are talking to a real person. As such, ensure that your employees are always personable.

Apologize

At times, you may not be at fault for the customer’s complaint. Nevertheless, that is irrelevant. As the company’s representative, it is your job to apologize. Businesses that apologize to their clients show that they care.

As such, even before you handle the problem, ensure to say that you are sorry so as to calm them down. It is much easier to handle an appeased customer.

Communicate Easily

Start by trying to find out exactly what the client is looking for. This may involve politely asking several questions. Next, express yourself clearly using vocabulary that is not too technical for the customer.

Solve the Issue

Customers need and want to know that you can solve their issue, not give them excuses while bombarding them with technical jargon. Instead of trying to absolve yourself from blame, focus on getting to the root of their needs and offering solutions.

If you are not in a position to help them, direct them to somebody who can. Always ensure that you have offered the client some kind of solution.

Stay Positive and Enthusiastic

Everyone wants to deal with someone who is not only polite but is passionate about what they do. To set the mood for a positive interaction, always start by asking for their name and getting to know how their day is going. While at it, be sure to maintain a natural smile as wit will help you come across as enthusiastic.

That lets the customer know that you are happy to see them and do not mind being of assistance. If you are interacting via an online chat, always make sure to ask them if there’s anything else you could assist them with before you end the interaction. If not, wish them a good day and remind them that you are there for them in case of anything.

Never Say ‘No’ to a Customer

Saying ‘no’ to a customer will always leave a bad taste in their mouth. As such, instead of saying ‘no’ or saying that you can’t help them, give reasons to why you cannot service their need at that moment, and when you can.

Understand the Product

Fewer things are more frustrating to a potential client than realizing that they know more about the product than the person working for that brand. It is the duty of customer service teams to familiarize themselves with every product in the company.

This allows them to provide the best value when interacting with customers.

Stay Calm

Customers come in all forms of temperament. Some might be polite while others can be rude or obnoxious, especially if they feel that they have been shortchanged. As such, you must learn how to stay calm when dealing with clients, as that’s what allows you to handle even the most difficult of customers.

Showing any form of negative emotion when dealing with a customer can escalate a simple complaint into a big issue.

Additionally, you must also work on your body language. Body language a lot of non-verbal cues that customers can pick up on. Work to have an open and friendly body language.

The above strategies on how to improve employee customer service should be drilled into your support teams so that they can always act appropriately with the business’s customers.

How to Improve Employee Customer Service

So far, this guide has detailed both guidelines and tips on how to employee customer service. Nevertheless, for you to be truly successful, you will need to get professional training.

An online customer service training course is your best bet since it allows you access to customer service solutions that would have been extremely expensive if you hired actual trainers. Online customer service training is especially beneficial for small businesses that are often looking to maximize their output without breaking the bank.

Customer service is what allows you to have loyal customers. By working to improve your employees’ customer service skills, you will set yourself up for long-term success.

Are you wondering how to improve employee customer service? Services Skills is an online resource that creates some of the world’s best customer-oriented solutions. Our online customer service training solution has helped numerous businesses create valuable experiences for their customers, building a reputation. Contact us today to learn more.