There are certain customer service skills that every employee needs to master and every employer must train. Without proactive customer service skills, you run the risk of losing customers. Every business owner’s bottom line will depend on creating exceptional customer service experiences.
According to Gartner Research, 89% of companies now expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer service. Great customer support drives amazing customer experiences particularly when your team moves beyond reacting to problems.
Recently, I shopped a big box store. As they were ringing up the merchandise, one of the articles of clothing did not have a tag on it. The cashier looked at the packer. The packer threw his hands up. She threw her hands up. They both looked confused as to what to do next.
Having taught customer service training, I could see the signs that these employees were not customer service trained. The line of people behind me was growing.
In that moment of seeing the signs, I offered to run back to the place to get a similar article with a tag on it. I know what it is like to be the customer in the line waiting when this happens.
In this case, there was a breakdown in customer service. Several breakdowns. The tag was missing from the article of clothing. The cashier didn’t know who to call to handle it. The list goes on.
To create a proactive (and exceptional) customer service experience, consider these simple customer service tips:
1. Look at the root cause of your customer service breakdowns. Simple processes at the beginning or end of each day could help you avoid customer service breakdowns, like missing tags on articles of clothing.
2. Give your team the tools to provide customer service excellence. Be specific, like who they should call when breakdowns occur.
3. Train, train, and retrain. Just because you provided customer service training once, doesn’t mean the training sticks. Take a piece of the training and review it at lunch and learns or in company meetings.
4. Make customer service an integral part of your company’s culture. Whether you are an external customer or a team member, treat everyone like a customer.
5. Develop a service recovery process. When breakdowns occur, give your team the tools or authority to make it right with the customer.
What steps will you take to create an exceptional customer service experience in your company?