Published on 8th July 2014
Good customer service matters. We have all heard stories from other businesses of how bad customer service has lost customers and clients, sometimes even loyal, long-term customers. Eight out of ten customers say they have stopped doing business with a company because of bad customer service. That is something your business wants to avoid, and there is an easy solution.
Find a great customer service advisor for your business.
Here are the five components that should help you find that perfect applicant:
They establish rapport with customers and clients
Communication is essential, but doing it right means creating a rapport with your customers. It is not about sales talk, jargon or buzzwords. Customers want to be treated with respect, and that means your customer service advisor must focus on putting people first.
They must be comfortable on the phone, ensuring they sound natural speaking to your client and focusing entirely on them. They should never sound like they are in a rush because your customers will notice. If your business has regular callers, your ideal customer service advisor will get to know them on a personal level, including being on a first name basis and being aware of certain aspects of their life that could affect their relationship with your business.
Solving problems will come naturally
No matter what business you are, problems will arise, and customers will ring up to find out what is wrong. No customer enjoys being passed along the chain when they have a problem. They want it sorting as efficiently as possible, not left on hold several times along the way.
Your customer service advisor should be able to solve the majority of problems without needing to pass the customer along. That requires them to have an aptitude for independent, critical thinking. It is essential, so if someone does not demonstrate that aptitude, you should not hire them for your business.
It is obviously not always suitable that they solve the problem the customer has telephoned for assistance with. However, they should be able to offer some guidance and explain the process for dealing with the issue. Your advisor should have a full understanding of your businesses’ functions and services.
Finally, no scripts. Customers know the difference between genuine assistance and a hollow script. Allow your advisor to help the customer the best way possible and if they require a script, then offer that assistance, otherwise, keep the pitches and scripts away from the telephone.
Listening is essential
Customer service is about listening. Your business is there to serve your customers and their needs. Your advisor should be an excellent listener. It means devoting their undivided attention to the customer, listening carefully to their needs and responding effectively to what they need.
There are always tales from customers about their experiences with customer services who do not appear to have listened to them at all and instead try to either sell them another service (not when they are angry at you) and pass them along to someone else who actually cannot help them. That confusion can be deadly to your relationship with your customers.
Not being listened to is one of the biggest complaints when it comes to businesses losing not just the custom but also the trust and loyalty of customers. Customer service is about the person on the end of the phone who has placed their trust in you, and therefore you need your customer service advisor to treat that person with respect and care.
Working in a team is right for them
Teamwork in customer service is one of the most important aspects of the job. Your advisor will be on the phone to customers for much of their time, but they will be a part of a team, and they need to be able to work effectively in that team.
If your advisor is going to understand what services and functions your business provides, they need to be able to communicate and work with each department within your business. That will require them to talk to senior members of those teams, but also other senior and junior advisors within their department. Your ideal advisor must be prepared to offer ideas and feedback on how the team and the business could improve.
Understanding what your business offers
Businesses are more than the service they offer. They have a brand and a story to tell. They are run by people who have personal goals and intentions. These all feed into how a business behaves and what services and functions they offer to their customers.
Here is a list of the company’s aspects that are essential for them to do a good job:
• Brand awareness
• Understanding the company’s values, beliefs and ethics
• Common sense to know which business practices make commercial sense and which should be avoided – provide feedback if necessary
Your customer service advisor will be the first point of contact for your customers, and therefore they need to be aware of all parts of your business for them to successfully their job. If they can be proud of where they work. As a result, that will make them more enthusiastic, which the customers will notice and appreciate.
There are clearly more diverse skills required for the role of customer service advisor, but at the core should be these five traits. If any of these traits are missing and the applicant is not willing to learn, they will not be a good fit for what you wish to achieve. If you do find the right person for the job, ensure they are effectively rewarded with proper pay, promotion and training because they are building relationships with your clients and ensuring they remain loyal to you.