Good customer service is a cornerstone of successful businesses. So, it makes sense that every business leader wants their employees to deliver the best customer service possible. Are your employees already providing excellent customer service to your customers? Or, are there areas where they need a little polishing?
Most organizations find it’s easier to teach employees the “hard skills” they need to do the job well than it is to improve their “soft skills.”
But it’s the soft skills — signs of caring, empathy, listening, and concern — that matter most to the customer experience.
You can have the best product in your industry, but if customers don’t feel like you care about them, they won’t stay loyal. Here’s how the people who interact with customers can consistently show they care.
1. Be Present.
Give customers your full attention by taking eyes and ears off all the distractions around you when they talk. All too often, employees type emails or answer ringing lines while a customer is with them.
Leaders need to set the example here, putting aside distractions when they communicate with employees.
2. Make it personal.
Address customers by name to make the experience more personal.
Adding a memory — perhaps referring to a past experience or personal information the customers shared another time — shows you care about the person, not just the transaction.
Most databases leave room for notes. Encourage employees to make short notes that they and colleagues can use as references to past conversations that can and should be mentioned again. On the flip side, they might want to also take note of things that shouldn’t be discussed with customers.
3. Have Fun
Every conversation and exchange doesn’t have to be all business. Appropriate humor from you or customers is a powerful way to build stronger bonds.
At the very least, make fun of yourself for a little misstep — but never laugh about a major mistake that has customers upset.
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