As a business, customer service is a critical component for everyday life and key to running a consumer focused company. A single misguided response or failure to respond in an acceptable manner can cause a domino effect. While a client’s positive experience can create opportunity for future business, a negative experience can be severely detrimental to a company, as consumers are more likely to discuss a negative experience with friends and family. Good or bad, customer service can significantly impact the longevity or your company. Providing in-house customer service training, positive reinforcements for top customer service employees and pushing the “customer is always right” mindset can help businesses develop a loyal client base.
Here are ways Oklahoma businesses can practice or improve customer service excellence:
- Provide proper training to front-line employees. People skills and effective customer engagement training can significantly increase your employees’ abilities in customer service and mitigate crisis with an angry customer. Evaluate employees to ensure they have the right composure and attitude for handling customer complaints. If employees are not cut out for the “people-first,” “customer is always right” mindset, consider moving them to a department that does not require direct contact with customers.
- Hold employees accountable. Providing great customer service is the responsibility of every team member and department within your organization.
- Celebrate accomplishments. Praising employees for their hard work and dedication to the customer experience will influence them to do their best
- Set a standard of excellence. Highlight what your top customer service employees do well and use them as role models for the rest of your organization. Use these employees to set the standard for the rest of your company. If possible, allow them to help mentor other employees who struggle with customer service techniques.
- Listen to and understand customer complaints. Take the time to truly listen and understand the customer’s concern. Bring yourself down to the customer’s level, empathize with them and let them know you will do everything you can to rectify the situation.
- Provide agreeable alternatives. Avoid telling a customer no. If a customer is asking for something that is not possible, offer an alternative, focusing on what you can do versus what you can’t.
- Offer a solution and execute it. The most important practices for great customer service are to take the time to listen and react accordingly. Offer a solution that will help meet their needs and execute it in a timely manner.
- Follow-up. Once a solution has been executed, check back in with the customer to ensure their concerns have been resolved in a satisfactory way. This will prevent additional issues from arising and deter any negative feelings the customer may have had at the beginning of their predicament.