Recall some scenarios you’ve likely experienced in your life. You went to a store to purchase something, only to find out it seemed as though they were out of stock. You have to find it by yourself. It’s the last one, and it was in the wrong spot. The staff was absent, or unhelpful. You get home to find out what you purchased was damaged. You call them, they give you the run around because they don’t have any replacements in stock until the next shipment, and it turns into a headache.
Now imagine that same scenario where the staff was there. They helped you find the last missing item, even though it was misplaced. It was still broken when you got it home, and they still didn’t have any more in stock. They call a new location, have another one brought over for you, and seamlessly complete the exchange while thanking you for your patience and understanding.
Both experiences have their downs, but which store would you return to? You would likely return to the store that offered you better customer service, even though the ride was rough. This is precisely why customer service makes all the difference in the world, even when transactions don’t go perfectly. Great customer service will keep people coming back, even when mistakes are made or accidents happen. It’s all about the way you handle things.
Doing Better in Customer Service
If you feel as though your customer service may be lacking, as evidenced by negative reviews or declining business, there are a few things you can do to hold your business to a higher standard. If you’re finally launching your dream business and you don’t know where to start with customer service, there are some important things to keep in mind. It all starts with being a little more patient and personable.
Having to deliver great customer service in person can be difficult, especially if a dissatisfied customer seems hostile. This is where you should avoid yelling or taking it personally, even if the customer is being hostile. If the person dealing with an angry, griping customer needs a break, let them take one. Pushing customer service staff past their limits will lead to a bad outcome for everyone. Always have a higher level employee available to relieve them of their duty.
Over the Phone
Customer service employees who work by phone need an extensive amount of training. They need to know how to access the information they’ll need immediately, and how to make empowered decisions to resolve problems. People don’t like being on the phone for a long period of time, being put on hold, or transferred. Make sure your support system is streamlined for ease of use.
On Social Media
On social media, everyone is watching. If someone leaves a negative comment, the worst thing you can do would be to delete it. This will only cause angry commenters to fire back with full force. Responding in a dismissive way, or even worse, adopting a defensive attitude towards a customer, will showcase your customer service in a negative light to your entire social media audience. Don’t create a PR disaster over a bad experience.
The best thing you can do is acknowledge the comment, apologize, and put that customer in direct private contact with someone who is ready to help. Take care not to release any sensitive information about a customer in your response, and if they’ve accidentally released it themselves, censorship may be preferable in that case.
Above all, measure your results. If you’re trying to improve your customer service strategy, taking feedback or sending out surveys about the service experience will allow you to collect the data you need to form a system that your customers deserve.
Merrigan Leone is a blogger and a businesswoman who currently works for Bizinfo.in as a Content Manager. She specializes in online marketing, career development and freelancing. In her free time, she enjoys traveling across the world and cooking.