Brands with great customer service work tirelessly to train their staff and processes to embrace a customer-centric approach. Noted entrepreneur and customer service expert David Highbloom points out many brands should revise their customer service strategies if they want to stay competitive.
Highbloom encourages brands to revisit the definition of customer service. It’s the process of helping customers throughout their entire purchase or usage journey. This process involves multiple channels and interactions. And the primary goal of customer service is to exceed expectations and build strong brand loyalty for a long period of time.
How your customers feel about your firm shapes your entire brand. If they experience positive resolutions, then they refer your business to others and talk about it with enthusiasm. If they’re left disgruntled, then they’re more apt to share this negative experience with their friends and family.
Thankfully, companies can avoid most negative customer service outcomes by embracing some core customer service skills. A first step Highbloom recommends is to develop a culture of empathy. Everyone in the company must greet customer questions and problems with empathy and work to understand their perspective, not just the company’s goals. Armed with empathy, customer service teams must then communicate clearly using plain and direct language. Avoid using industry jargon or vague answers. If there’s a problem, state it clearly and then present viable solutions.
Customer service reps must excel at problem solving. Customers come to them with an issue, and the reps need to leverage their knowledge and resources to find a resolution. They need to understand the details of the company’s offerings and be provided some autonomy to fix problems with creativity and speed.
Acting quickly does not mean customer service reps should operate in panic mode or respond in kind to angry customers. Encourage your reps to learn de-escalation tactics and to speak calmly while searching for solutions. Give the customer some space to air their grievances, and then redirect them towards finding an outcome that will meet their needs. Highbloom admits this is challenging, but it’s what sets apart the best customer service operations. You need an optimistic mindset that any customer challenge is fixable. Adopt a positive attitude and act with determination to find resolutions.
Another core strategy for improving customer care is to prioritize issues. Customers are obstinate and want their problems solved immediately. Respect their demands, but also learn to prioritize the issues that need immediate attention and the ones that can be handled a little later. When all these tips come together, firms can greatly improve their customer service capabilities and delight their customers throughout their journeys together.