Offering great customer service is a no-brainer for any organisation. Providing enviable customer care increases customer loyalty, sparks great word-of-mouth business, removes barriers to buying, and helps to bring in the cash.
But if providing excellent customer service has such clear benefits, why do so many of us experience poor service when we’re out and about?
Firstly, it’s important for employers to realise there are certain skills that employees should possess to be successful in these roles. Of course, training and coaching can improve performance, but certain traits and characteristics can be great assets to the customer service team. With these in place, as well as a sound training and development plan to make the most of your people, word of your second-to-none service will be spreading far and wide in no time.
The people you choose to send out to the front line every day should be patient, calm and able to keep their cool. Sooner or later your employees are bound to be confronted by a disgruntled customer. Short tempers spell a recipe for disaster.
Great Communication Skills
Your employees should communicate with your customers in a clear, concise and accurate manner. There should be no room for ambiguity when it comes to sealing deals, clarifying offers or talking terms. Great employees should also be able to use positive language and should be aware of how body language influences interactions. For help with communication skills, check out English Matters’ training programmes.
Attentiveness and the Ability to ‘Read’ Customers
Some customers may not say what they mean. Some may be indecisive. Others may need some persuasion to commit. As well as being fantastic communicators, your employees need to be intuitive listeners. Being able to ‘read’ a customer’s emotional state, personality and patience level (often without being face-to-face!) is essential to keeping interactions positive.
Persuasion and Negotiation
The end-goal of persuading or negotiating with a customer isn’t necessarily to make a sale or seal a deal. Your employees should realise the importance of creating a positive image of your brand, so persuading customers to ‘get on board’ could be more important than negotiating a fantastic deal, particularly when it comes to winning new customers and gaining loyalty.
To find out how we can help your people brush up on their customer service skills and make the most of their natural talent, contact us.