Whether you run a business or work in the customer service industry, knowing how to handle the people who can make or break your business or career should be priority. You hear every single day about how some customers can be over demanding, set high expectations or judge your capacity or your business before you can even begin to tell them what they need to know.
Such scenarios result in two possibilities; either it ends well for you and the customer or it turns ugly and affects you personally and your enterprise. The latter is something you have to avoid because in this age and culture, people are empowered to share experiences and tell or re-tell stories with often provide or altered details, all before you can even recover from the situation.
More often than not, an ugly encounter with a customer results in a tainted image, which means a lot of work for you, personally and for the business itself. Here are some ideas on how to become the customer service guy or girl every customer wants to speak with.
1. Work on your listening, probing and reacting skills.
It is no secret that with all the mounting pressure we are forced to deal with every day, we become sidetracked when it comes to handling emotions. When the person on the other end of the conversation starts to raise his or her voice, you tend to react in the same way, simply because this is what society is used to being: reactive rather than proactive.
Participate in trainings and seminars, along with your staff, on how to better handle such situations. Remember that the moment you poorly handle an irate customer, you are giving your competitors the opportunity to become the better option.
2. Be honest to your customers.
Nothing displeases and does more disservice than a company that hides what their customers should know. If some issues have cropped up in the orders department, make them understand the situation and follow it up immediately with a commitment to fast resolution. Your customers are not entirely clueless and they will have some questions. Answer them as honestly as you can, and again, tell them you are working on a solution. You can expect some backlash, of course, but by being honest, you are taking this opportunity to build business credibility.
3. Make it a long-term goal to get to know your customers better .
To be able to interact effectively with people, you have to at least have an idea what they are talking about. The same principle applies to customer service. Unless you have an idea about the people who questions you answer on a daily basis, you'll only be doing half the job. Gather market intelligence through researchers, phone conversation recordings and surveys and other info-sourcing techniques to learn about your market.