The Worst Customer Service Mistakes You Can Make and How to Correct Them
Most errors and missed opportunities arising from unsatisfactory interactions between customer service reps and customers are easily avoidable if practical strategies are employed by Management/Human Resource personnel regarding their front-line staff. Your staff should act like diplomats who represent the public face of your company. When personnel receive their due respect and professional treatment from management-then it stands to reason that this feeling of self-worth and positivity will filter down to the floor level. This is a win-win scenario for both the customer service rep and their clients. As a result, profits tend to boost.
It all comes down to proper training. Positive work-related values are fostered to the employees who then exhibit them to the public. The key words all involve communication and how it all plays out. Let’s begin with motivation and incentive. How does the service rep communicate to the customer that he/she is interested in the job and the product? Due to good training appropriate to the task, the rep is endowed with self-worth. Not to mention a good salary/fringe benefits, and easy lines of communication between all levels –from top to bottom- these all contribute to better interactions.
Another important factor is accountability and the consistency to respond to customer needs in a timely fashion. Nothing turns a loyal customer away faster than a poor or dismissive attitude. A loyal customer has come to expect competence and a pro-active approach from their shopping venues. Where there is a lack of consistency, there are lost opportunities and dissatisfied clients.
This brings us to employee empowerment. Good communication empowers the employee to perform the job well-ensuring a happy customer. The empowered employee can ‘bend the rules’, and can display flexibility. When the employee feels good about his/her position, then good body language is translated into honesty and friendly interactions. Ongoing positive interactions can be maximized by remembering the names of loyal customers, as well as good record keeping.
Accessibility opens the channels to effective communication, thus avoiding unnecessary pitfalls. The customer does not want to waste time writing ‘to whom it may concern’ letters to a faceless bureaucracy. Timely feedback and concrete results for the customer will ensure continued patronage.
To sum up, the successful customer service rep is people-oriented. He or she takes pride in the work they do. Competence combined with proper attitude is the winning formula. The acknowledgement of errors and not trying to win the argument will impress the customer. Smiling, showing a keen interest, honesty in following through, and listening, are all vital attributes for successful outcomes. Exploiting the social media will also spread the message that the customer is king.