You pay your customer service representatives to interact with your customers every day, but do you train them on how to do this well? Many managers make the mistake of thinking the interpersonal communication comes easy to everyone on their front line, but some reps may need more assistance in this area than others.
We have six ways to improve your customer interaction, whether you are working with brand new employees or simply want to strengthen your customer service with improved interpersonal skills.
Set the Customer Service Culture for Your Company
If you want to improve customer interaction – and your level of service overall – the example needs to be set from the top down. Every executive down to every front line employee needs to know and embrace your commitment to customer service.
Smile and Use Common Courtesies
This seems like such a simple, obvious component to effective customer interactions, but sadly, it is one that is often overlooked today. Train your employees to greet every customer with a warm smile and a question like "May I help you?" You might be downright surprised at how these simple gestures can make your customers' day.
Use Interactions as an Opportunity to Identify Needs
Instead of merely talking to customers, listen to what they say so you can accurately identify their needs and help them find solutions. Through the course of a simple conversation, you may discover that you offer a specific product or service that would make your customer's life more convenient. By offering that service, you raise the level of satisfaction and successfully cross-sell for your company at the same time.
Train Your Employees to Answer Inquiries Efficiently
There are certain questions from customers that probably come up time and time again, so make sure your front line customer service reps know the correct answers to those inquiries. Empower your staff to be able to handle a customer's needs without having to refer them to someone else in the company. The quicker customer interactions are completed, the happier your customers will be.
Keep Customers Up to Date
Engaging customers means notifying them of policy changes or upcoming promotions that may be relevant to them. It means treating your customers more like a partner in your business, rather than someone who must be serviced every time they walk through your door. Your front line reps are the perfect place to begin educating and updating your customers on information about your company that specifically applies to them.
Allow for Speedy Transactions
Time is money, and the more efficiently you can serve your customers, the more money you save them. Customers do not have time for slow service or habitual mistakes, so teach your customer service reps to handle their needs quickly, accurately and courteously. This step alone is sure to bring customers back to your business time and time again.
Raise your customer interactions to the next level, and you transform merely satisfied customers into loyal, engaged clients. Those contact points make all the difference in keeping your client base coming back to your business over and over again.
- Meredith Estep