Nobody knows how much you know till they know how much you care, is a well-known saying, that is used on most customer service training courses throughout the country.
The saying is as relevant today as probably the first time I heard it on a customer service training program many moons ago.
Somebody asked me recently has customer service changed?
When you teach people on a customer service training course what do you teach?
Well to be honest I don’t know whether it has changed, I do know there are certain elements of customer service that have changed, for example: Years ago we used to say on customer service training courses if you have an angry dis satisfied customer they are likely to tell 10 or 12 other people!
Think of the difference nowadays with social media, twitter, Instagram, trust pilot etc. A dis satisfied customer has the power to tell hundred, thousands or even millions just by the press of a button……..so things have changed in certain ways.
Funny enough I was asked by someone on a customer service skills training course to offer 7 quickfire tips so here goes.
Always use common courtesy, regardless of how the customer is speaking to you, we need to use them good old manners that our parents taught us. Words like ‘Thank You, Please and May I’ are words we should be using all the time with customers
I was taught many years ago by a participant on a customer service skills training program the we need to remember the Rs of customer service, so we have to remember words like Reliable, Responsive, Reassuring, Responsible, Respectful
Keeping customer is the loop is vitally important and it is one of the customer service skills that so many people get wrong. You see we need to manage customer expectations and where possible exceed the expectation. Unfortunately at times we are not able to meet the expectation and therefore need to contact the customer to tell them that the washing machine we promised to be delivered at 3pm will not be there till 6pm etc. We need to keep customers in the loop at all times.
Moving on from tip 3 the key thing is to try and remember to under promise and over deliver instead of over promising and under delivering
We need to understand the 4 basic steps in every customer transaction and although each transaction is unique we need to remember the 4 following principles
- Create a professional image
- Establish the customer needs effectively
- Provide acceptable solutions
- Follow through
Obviously with all the above there are lots of components to each part, for example creating a professional image may be the way you answer the phone or meet and greet etc.
Establishing customer needs is all about asking relevant questions and listening actively to the answers, clarifying verifying and summarizing etc
On a recent customer service skills training course we spoke of the importance of breaking all these 4 steps or areas down and creating best practice reminders for each step
Understanding the importance of effective body language for face to face customer service and tone of voice for telephone service. People also do not realise that body language on the telephone is also important, years ago we used to say ‘smile as you dial’ obviously we do not dial any more but the principle still remains
I learned very early on in my career from a trainer on a customer service training course that we tend to mirror image and a saying he used was ‘Behaviour breed Behaviour’
From that initial customer service training course, I have always remembered those words, How I am with my customers is generally how they are with me and vice versa. The main thing we have to learn is we cannot retaliate, we cannot react and we have to avoid the emotional knee jerk responses.
On our customer service training courses we often spend time on managing the challenging or irate customer as we can take years to build our reputation but minutes to lose it