Whether you run a corporate powerhouse or a small business, Customer Service Excellence is core for your business’s growth. It also reflects the image of your brand – be it positive or negative. Customer Service Excellence is at the heart of every customer’s purchasing process.
Organisations that give extraordinary service to clients are immediately distinguished from others in their competitive marketplace. This is the primary purpose why we at the HBB Group make this an imperative component of our business plan.
You and your business must also make a special effort to provide premium Customer Service at all times, in all environments. Have a look at the importance of the CUSTOMER EXPERINECE – read the graph below, and you will see the impact of customer experience on business growth. And it starts at the Customer Service level.
Customer Service Excellence requires ongoing attention and training. Let’s start with the core component of Customer Service Excellence – learning the 5 Crucial areas of Effective Conversational Skills.
1. CLEAR COMMUNICATION
Client service providers must convey information and thoughts positively and clearly whether it’s on the telephone, on social media, via email or F2F (face to face).
It is vital when we interact with customers every day, we know how to pass on information about products and services effectively and accurately. That means, we must be clear and to the point, without going into a tornado of features with no benefits or value.
If your Customer Service Officers (CSOs) can’t get their message across in short and insightful sentences then your customers will switch off.
2. KEEPING THINGS POSITIVE
A common trap to fall into is when telling a client “no” – and not giving them an alternative! Switch selling is a skilful technique to transform a negative into something positive.
“No, we don’t have any of those left”. That is a very different response to, “while unfortunately we don’t have those we do however have these and what they will do for you is…”.
Or “while unfortunately we can’t do that this week, we can in-fact do it next week and the benefit to you of that is…”.
Too many Customer Service teams focused on AHT, Average Handling Time, or the Quantity of calls. Also, too much concern is placed on the minimum amount of time a CSO spends in a telephone conversation with a client.
Quality of conversations is highly important to clients, who frequently need support when they are frustrated and confused.
Successful CSOs offer a good service rather than a fast service. This lets the client feel that they have been listened to, and cared for, even when they might not get the outcomes they wanted.
4. LISTENING SKILLS
Customer Service teams need to have the capacity to listen to a client’s issue, assess situations and find appropriate solutions. However, while common sense, not everyone has the ability to listen carefully.
Good listeners make the best Customer Service people. That is because they identify the customer’s needs accurately and quickly, and not jump in or talk over the client.
5. NEGOTIATION SKILLS
Customer Service teams are frequently placed in the position of negotiating with clients to buy an item or accept a certain policy.
To reduce ‘delayed service’ by escalating a decision to a supervisor, CSOs must have the ability to ask probing questions. This will begin the emotional contract and the road to discovering a shared ground with a client.
It is easy to spout a list of features, product specifications, timeframes, prices, and stock levels. This is usually done out of nervousness to get the customer off the phone quickly. But it doesn’t add value or strengthen the customer rapport-building.
Customer Service Teams must be given the skills and a basic structure so that they can negotiate with a client. They must be taught how to achieve a beneficial outcome for both the organisation and the client.
All employees should understand the importance of their role in providing Customer Service Excellence. This does not only involve helping the clients, it goes far beyond client fulfillment.
Going an additional mile to provide amazing service will keep clients returning and directly increase sales. And think of the power of word of mouth when your organisation becomes the industry benchmark for Customer Service Excellence!
Make your team the first on that path, get them on a Customer Service Excellence Workshop, onsite or virtual, it is all tailored to your team and up to you.