Being in customer service will often test your patience and your ability to remain calm. Case in point: entertaining calls from irate customers isn’t exactly the situation we hoped to be in.
And let’s admit it—sometimes it is tempting to dash our patience to the ground and just respond in a fit of anger.
On the other side of the spectrum—there’s empathizing. Instead of prematurely responding to your irate customer, equip yourself with the necessary skills and desire to genuinely empathize.
It’s a radical response, but once you are able to stitch empathy together with customer service, it can solve a tantamount of problems. As a matter of fact, it directly values the customer’s need to be acknowledged and respected.
If you find yourself incapable of putting yourself in your customer’s shoes, then you came to the right place! The goal of this article is to provide you with some helpful tips on how to empathize with your customers:
This is probably the most clichè piece of advice—but in all honesty, it all starts with listening. Misunderstanding stems from the inability of representatives to collect adequate information about the problem. Thus, take the time to actively listen and gather all the details. Don’t interrupt.
And another vital fact you need to know: Customers hate repeating themselves! According to a survey conducted by Accenture Global Consumer Pulse, 89% of customers find it frustrating to repeat their concerns. By listening, you can immediately resolve this issue.
Conveying empathy goes along the lines of “I want you to listen to what I’m saying and to not what you’re hearing.”
It is a fatal mistake to reject and invalidate your customer’s concerns. No matter how trivial the problem may seem to you, the fact that they are forwarding their requests means that it is a big deal. Customers would appreciate it if you would jump on board with the situation at hand.
For example, you may say “I understand how frustrating it is when your modem isn’t working.” instead of saying “That seems to be a recurring problem here. Did you plug it in?”. Not only will you sound distant with the latter, but you have also failed to acknowledge the customer’s problem.
Treat your customers as partners in coming up with solutions. Don’t sound distant and inattentive. Always remember that customer service is always about what you can do for the customer.
Your company can be a cut above the rest when you are able to work as a team with your customers. When customers start realizing that you are genuine about teaming up with them, trust is established. Here’s an interesting video that will teach you the importance of teaming up with your customers.
Empathy is never fully materialized unless you can affirm what the other party’s concern is.
A great way to affirm and to combat the tension of dealing with an irate customer is repeating the concerns they have laid down. In this way, you are assuring your customers that you are fully present at the flight of their complaints. You can start your statements with:
Empathy is not just a social construct. It must be the very ground on which customer service stands on.
Are you looking for a team to partner with? Contact us now!
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Publish Date: January 19, 2016 5:00 AM
Researchers found that the waiters received a 24% increase on their tips just by offering mints to the customer along with the check. Read more about it here.
Pretty interesting, huh?
Of course, it wasn’t the mints that motivated the customers to give better tips. Rather, the results showcased the potential power of personalized services to benefit all types of company.
Fortunately, call center companies are able to preserve that personal touch.
There are several up-to-date technology that automates services with the hopes of improving customer service for cost and time efficiency. However, technology can only do so much. Since customer concerns are diverse and unique, automated machines are limited in addressing them.
Therefore, you need to personalize your customer support. These 3 tips will help you with just that:
The first step in personalizing your services is to incorporate features that will help you in achieving that. These features are for enhancing services, not replacing them.
Thanks to the advent of technology, you can integrate software systems into your services for a highly personalized customer-interaction. One example is CRM or Customer-Relations Management System. CRM is a commonly used platform that stores all customer information into a database.
As a result, when a customer contacts the center, agents can easily access information regarding the customer such as call history, demographics and preferences that will individualize your services.
The second step is crucial. Always remember that it is a must to engage with a customer as naturally as you can.
It is safe to assume that customers choose to contact call centers because they wish to talk to a human, not an automated machine. Thus, it is encouraged to engage in an unscripted and authentic dialogue with your customer.
First, ask how the customer wishes to be addressed. This simple yet effective strategy will build rapport and a relationship with your customer.
Afterwards, ask questions regarding the customer’s concerns. Actively listen and take down notes so you can reaffirm or rephrase the customer’s request to confirm that you understood the nature of the problem.
At the very least, have your customers understand that you are authentic about providing resolutions.
When you personalize your customer support using this tip, your customers won’t feel like another number; or just another account that you are trying to service. They will feel important and valued, which is very important if you want to keep them.
The last step is optional—but it is highly recommended if you want to provide exceptionally personalized services.
Once a call is ended, the interaction does not have to end there. Elevate the personalized experience by engaging in post-call services.
You can always provide follow up services via email or text messages. You can do this by:
This can significantly boost customer retention rates and build brand loyalty.
As you have learned, a highly personalized customer service can go a long way. It fosters relationships with customers, builds loyalty and promotes genuine interaction.
The bottom line is—you don’t need to offer mints along with your services! Just follow this 3-step guide to improve your company’s bottom line.
Photo courtesy – © md3d / Dollar Photo Club
Publish Date: December 29, 2015 5:00 AM
Remember that the competency of your call center agents can influence the success of your company. Keeping them stagnant, unrefreshed and thirsting for new ideas will only hinder excellency and will promote mediocrity.
Do you want to keep expanding your agents’ knowledge, skills and capabilities? Then you should be committed to training them frequently.
Training is a good investment that ensures growth within your company where you can see the results manifest tenfold.
Listed below are 6 great tips in training your agents:
The best form of training is mentoring.
In his TEDx talk, Tai Lopez explained the law of 33%. He says that a third of your time must be spent with people you can mentor and another third for those that can mentor you.
Unfortunately, a study conducted by Intradiem discovered that 80% of executives thought that their supervisors were not competent enough to coach call center agents.
Executives should realize the importance of mentoring. In order to implement competency from top to bottom, top management heads should devote a third of their time in training and mentoring supervisors for the cycle to continue down to the agents.
Training is not a gold bullet that can hit all types of needs. Some call center agents will need a different type of training program apart from others.
One way of going about this is to identify your low and high performing agents. Set them apart and design a program for each. You can even be specific for low performers by identifying the key areas that need to be improved.
As long as the world keeps spinning, new ideas will never die out.
Your company must be committed to learning best practices in the field and discovering new ideas from experts. Attend seminars or hire an organizational consultant that can bring in fresh takes that you might not know yet.
Outsourcing is also a great way for acquiring new ideas for your company. External resources can help you see things in different perspectives.
In training, consistency and structure are factors that need to be considered. However, over 50% of call center supervisors fail to structure their programs.
Performance must be standardized so in order to do this, create a criteria or use metrics that you can use to objectify your training goals.
Training is a good avenue to reevaluate your goals. Remember what you’re here for—and that is for the customers and what they think greatly matters to your company
Gather all customer complaints, ratings and feedbacks and interpret the data to get a better look at how customers perceive your services.
Note: Even if the ratings are good, don’t be complacent! Continue to diversify your strategies because the customers’ needs are constantly evolving.
The effectivity of training will not reach its optimal level unless you see actual results. That is why your goals must be practical and attainable.
Try dividing your training sessions that target specific and actionable goals. After this, evaluate your employees in the workplace to see if they accomplished the objectives.
Maintain a working culture that centers on continuously seeking to evolve and improve. Be committed to training and your company will definitely rise at the top!
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Publish Date: December 22, 2015 5:00 AM
When you are only targeting your audience’s auditory senses, conveying your ideas can be quite difficult.
It is much easier to capture your audience’s attention when you have visual cues accompanying your speech like PowerPoint presentations.
It’s because of this that the jobs of the call center agents tend to be more taxing than it should be.
There is so much tension rising when making or receiving calls, that the agents tend to worry if they’re choosing the right words, and if their customers fully understand what they are talking about.
As a result, the agents end up sounding anxious.
Allow me to share with you 5 tips that will help make your agents sound more confident:
Upspeak is that tone in our voices when we ask questions or are unsure instead of declaring it.
One sign of being nervous is when we punctuate our statements with a question mark rather than with a period. Remember that you are the service provider so avoid informing your customers with a doubtful tone that seems like you’re looking for validation.
You have to practice answering your customers in declarative tones. Conclude your statements with a resolved pitch. This way, you will sound assertive and knowledgeable about your product.
It’s perfectly fine to sit down while talking to a customer over the phone. However, we tend to feel too comfortable by slouching on our seats. This body posture will cause you to sound lazy over the phone. You will find it difficult to be vocal to your customer because of your reclined stance.
If you really want to sound confident and professional, sit up straight or better yet, stand up. This will facilitate better blood circulation in your body causing you to be more alert, and you will not restrict oxygen to fill your lungs. This is the reason why singers stand up for better vocalization.
Speaking fast doesn’t equate to being knowledgeable. It will just make you sound anxious and in a hurry to get it over with. You have to slow down and catch yourself.
Slowing down your statements will benefit both you and and your customers. This will help you reduce stuttering and will keep your thoughts organized. Plus, being careful of your pacing will help your customer in digesting your words.
You can exercise by opening your mouth and stretching your jaws before talking to a customer over the phone.
Faking gestures can elaborate your point. During her TED talk, Amy Cuddy proposes that body language can affect the way we think and act.
Even when your customers can’t see you at the other end of the line, act as if your customer is really in front of you.
You have to be genuine. Smile, assume a proper posture, and you can even use body gestures using your hands in explaining yourself.
According to Farnsworth, effective speaking is like a couple fighting. When in an argument, they don’t mix up their words and clearly get their points to come across without hesitation.
It’s easier to speak up when we really know what we are talking about. Don’t overthink or elaborate your thoughts to sound fancy. The best way is to say what you mean and mean what you say.
If you are looking for a team of customer service agents to help you with providing your customers the best support, then you can contact us now by using this this form.
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Publish Date: December 2, 2015 5:00 AM