Customer service can make or break a business.
But what exactly is customer service, and why is it so important?
Customer service means providing excellent support to existing and prospective customers and nurturing relationships after a product is sold. The role of a customer service professional is to answer a customer’s questions through email, phone, and social media interactions with the ultimate goal of improving customer happiness and satisfaction.
Excellent customer service is vital because it can set your business apart from competitors and earn customer loyalty to your products, services, and brand. You may have a great product and talented staff, but the one thing customers are most likely to remember is the direct interaction they’ve had with your company.
In addition to this, the COVID-19 pandemic changed customer service for good. Customers now spend more time online than ever, and expectations around customer service have changed considerably as a result.
In this new environment where customers are more demanding and tech-savvy, businesses need to integrate excellent customer service at every interaction point and be prepared to evolve to meet clients’ needs. In addition to this, according to Forbes, excellent customer service is not just about having a standard process in place to resolve issues – it also needs to focus on each buyer’s unique needs.
Training your customer service team effectively should therefore be a top priority, as it’s the basis of your company’s success.
Let’s look at the benefits of upskilling your customer service team.
By effectively upskilling your customer service team, you’ll empower your business and staff to:
- Resolve issues with empathy and care.
- Answer client’s questions quickly and effectively.
- Improve the company’s brand credibility.
- Nurture relationships.
So what should you include in your training program to ensure your staff is upskilled effectively?
Here are some topics that should be included in any effective customer service training program:
If dealing with a disgruntled client, staff should be polite, smile, and provide professional customer service. It will keep customers calm while the issue is being resolved, and the client will remember the helpful and friendly way in which they were treated.
Having a customer-centered mindset.
Staff should have the mindset that “the customer is always right.” Even if the customer is entirely wrong, the staff member should find a quick and effective solution to the problem, proving the company’s service is professional and helpful.
If a client experiences that the organization and its staff care and want to build a meaningful relationship, customer satisfaction will increase. Adding a personal touch to a client’s buying experience will ensure that the business becomes known for its personalized and intimate customer care.
Quick turnaround times.
Missed calls and emails sitting in the company’s inbox for days will lead to frustrated clients. To avoid this and ensure that clients remain satisfied and happy, consider implementing a company policy to answer all customer inquiries within 24 to 48 hours.
The next important decision is how your training is presented- should the training take place online, in-house, or in a classroom? In-house and classroom training may be effective if you find the right instructor, but they are costly and complicated to arrange.
On the other hand, online training is affordable, straightforward, and makes adhering to COVID-19 regulations a breeze. Here are some benefits that come with online training:
- Everyone can learn at their own speed, which means staff can replay any lesson until they fully understand the concept.
- Your staff can access the course any time it suits them.
- The training is permanently available to students at any time of day for refresher courses.
- Visual aids and multimedia training is included, saving you the time to set up additional equipment.
This brings us to the next important point – what are the most valuable skills for a modern customer service team?
Here are some essential skills that every efficient customer service professional has:
Providing empathy in customer service means you acknowledge the customer’s feelings by allowing them to feel heard. It enhances the client’s experience and increases customer satisfaction.
Clear communication skills.
Good speaking and listening skills are essential to effective interactions. By listening without interrupting and taking a moment to formulate what you want to say, you keep the communication with your customer simple and leave nothing to doubt.
Customers who reach out to support are often frustrated and confused, making patience an essential skill for customer support professionals. Train them to take their time and show clients that they are willing to listen to and fully understand their needs and problems.
Using the right words.
Language is a crucial part of persuasion, and a customer’s perception of you and your company is often created based on the language used. Make a point of using positive and confident language, be polite and keep the conversation concise and relevant.
Excellent customer service is vital because it can set your business apart from competitors and make customers loyal to your products, services, and brand. It will also help you win more business, defuse difficult customers and build a loyal following.