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Secrets of good customer service

04 Sep

A career in customer services can be exciting, dynamic and incredibly rewarding, allowing you to showcase your communication skills and problem solving expertise on a daily basis. Service industries account for a whopping 83% of all workforce jobs as of September 2018, with customer service roles encapsulating everything from support and service through to success and experience. If you’re involved in helping customers make purchasing decisions, explaining how a product or service works, listening to feedback or providing assistance at any point of the customer journey, you likely already have a handle on providing good customer service. But could you be doing more to keep pushing your career forward and ensure your customers are satisfied every time? Find out with our top secrets of good customer service:

Only promise what you can deliver

One of the easiest ways to improve your customer service is by remembering to always say what you’re going to do and then do what you’ve said. This includes following up after any customer interaction where a response is required and doing what you’ve promised you’ll do. Reliability and consistency are so important when you’re dealing with customers, and as part of this, you need to be realistic about the results you can get for a customer. This is particularly important when discussing timeframes, anything to do with prices, discounts and refunds and when providing detail on products and services.

It’s important to know your products and services inside and out so you can describe them accurately, as well as gaining a clear understanding on company policies and procedures related to customer queries. There will likely be processes in place for many different situations but if you come up against an unexpected question, you can ask your manager or team member for further assistance. Just be sure to communicate this to the customer – for example, by saying “I’m going to get further information from my supervisor on your query and will respond to you within 15 minutes.” The key is then to do as you say and revert back to the customer within the promised timeframe.

Listen more than you speak

As the foundation of any effective customer service interaction, listening is an incredibly powerful tool that can help you to turn a negative experience into a positive one – or make a positive experience even better. When you work in customer service, you should engage in active listening, where you listen for the language and cues used by customers and allow them to fully explain their question or concern before formulating your response. Signal to the customer you’re listening to them by making eye contact, nodding or explaining you understand what they’re saying – you could even summarise their question to make sure you’re both clear. Avoid interrupting and make sure you understand what the customer is saying before you reply. Consumers say that one of the most significant causes of poor service is having to repeat themselves to customer service representatives, so take the time to really listen to what you’re being told.

Be sincere and be yourself

While chatbots and other automated technologies can be extremely useful in some areas of customer services, the fact remains that 55% of consumers prefer to speak to human customer service representatives on the phone. If you’re in a position to speak directly to customers, this is a great opportunity to add a personal touch to your company brand. While there are always guidelines to follow, adding a touch of personality and authenticity can go a long way in building long-term relationships and developing trust. If you are passionate about working with and helping people, let that shine through in your interactions. If you love your product or service, express that in your interactions. When you’re engaged in your work, genuinely want to help people and are allowing your personality to come through, your customers are much more likely to have a positive journey.

Find your next customer services job with Travis Perkins

At Travis Perkins, we pride ourselves on putting our customers first. As such, we have a variety of customer-facing roles, whether they’re in branch advising customers on the best products to buy or on the phone development relationships and generating new customers. If you’re interested in a role that will make a difference to our customers, view our latest jobs here.

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