technical Support

Call Center Service Tips for a Better Interaction

There is no one way to take a great customer phone call, and each person has a method that works well with their respective personality types. With that said, there are still plenty of standardized things you can do as a call center based customer service representative to improve customer interaction.

Here are four call center customer service tips that will help you achieve higher customer satisfaction and ensure an effective customer interaction.

Though the four points here are tailored for call center customer service representatives, there is no reason as to why you can’t apply these techniques to a face-to-face customer service interaction.  As you’re reading these, think about your job and how you can apply them to your everyday customer service routine.

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1. Restate the issue

When a customer calls in and they spend the first minute or two spewing out their issue or concern, they want to know that you are actively listening to them. Here a best practice technique that was created by a popular UK company called The Contact Number (TheContactNumber.co.uk): paraphrase what they’re telling you. Don’t match them word for word, but be comprehensive and acknowledge each of their concerns.

Another best practice: actively jot down what they’re saying into a wordpad program. This way you have an itemized list to read back to the customer.  This will assure the customer that you understand everything that they want done.

Here are some examples of how you can restate an issue back to your customer without sounding like a well trained parrot:

“Just to make sure we are on the same page, here is what you want done today [read off paraphrased list of issues]

“So what you are calling in about is [read off paraphrased list of issues].

2.  Refer to your customers by name

Believe it or not, the customers you speak with over the phone are people too. It is very easy to objectify them, as it is easy for them to objectify you. A simple technique that helps bring personality into the interaction and make it less of a “transaction” is to address customers by their names. This is universal with any interaction, whether it be over the phone or face to face, but lends itself especially well to a customer over the phone. Referring to your customer by their name helps bring a human aspect to the conversation, and it’s a great way to build rapport.

On the flip side, you don’t want to overuse this handy dandy “name” technique. If you address them by their name too often, you sound like you are following a script, and that’s insincere. Its recommended to use names in the beginning, coming back from a hold, and at the end of the interaction.  For especially long interactions, use names only once or twice more during the call. You also want to make sure you aren’t being disrespectful. You should gauge your customer appropriately. As a general rule, address elderly customers by their surnames until you have permission to call them by their first names. For younger customers you are usually in the clear with first names. Younger people haven’t been too exposed to being called Mr. or Misses just yet, and you don’t want the conversation to feel awkward for them. If you are having a hard time judging which category they fall under, its best to start with surnames and ask for permission to use first names.
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Remember this: it’s not always wise to assume age!  If you’re unsure, just call them by their surname and ask politely whether or not you are allowed to refer to them by their first name.

3. Build rapport with your customers

Some customer service representatives have a natural ability to start conversations about anything and everything with their customers. It contributes to a much more fun conversation and keeps things from becoming too “transactional.”  Here’s an easy way to add rapport into a conversation.  In the early part of the interaction, once your customer has given you the issue, simply ask “aside from this issue, how is you day going?”

Nothing could be simpler that, and it act as  a decent gauge as to whether you have a customer that appreciates small talk, or is one that strictly needs to get business done without any fluff. If they take to the bait,  there is nothing wrong with light banter about the events of the day or the weekend–just make sure you know how to control the call so they don’t ramble on. If they are short with their answer, you probably have a customer that really doesn’t want to spend more time than they need to on the phone. In either scenario, you have shown a human element towards your customer and that will resonate with both types of customers, improving the quality of the interaction.

4. Recap the solutions you offered

Many a customer service representative has the tendency to end a call without giving themselves proper credit. You probably did quite a bit of this–after all, you took care of whatever your customer called in about, what more is there to say?  There could be a little.  Why not remind the customer what exactly it is that you did?  Such redundancies will serve two purposes:

On one hand, you are reminding your customer what you did you help them today, and that will stay fresh in their mind by the end of the call.

On the other hand, you are providing a summary of your actions as prove to the addressed all of your customer’s concerns.
Either way, you and your customer are both coming out on top.  You are letting them know that you’ve helped them out, and your customers will remember that.  If you haven’t solved their problems let, this will prompt them to offer such tidbits, thus allowing you to get to the root of the issue and actually help them out.

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4 Ways Great Customer Service Will Grow Your Business

As the world changes, and similar businesses pop-up from every corner of the earth, the greatest business asset you can boost of is a loyal customer who will stick with you as your prices rises above competition. Such a customer is not moved by price reduction strategies but by something deeper, something he can relate with on a humanly and emotion level, something developed and cultivated by great customer service. Here is why great customer service will grow your business;

The Ultimate Marketing Tool

Your customer is the first marketing tool available to the business. This is only true if they love you and in which case they will make recommendations to their friends and family to buy from you. However, if you are on the wrong side of the equation well let’s just say they have the potential to torpedo your business and there is nothing persuasive advertising can do about it. So treat your customer to great service and you’ve got yourself a free marketer to grow your business.

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Demonstrates Knowledge

Great customer service involves answering skillfully and comprehensively all the possible questions a customer could have about your business. It transcends a simple smile and dressing smartly therefore being able to discuss in detail as per the questions from the customer demonstrates your knowledge of the subject and at the end of the visit the client can be confident he/she made the best choice.

Lasting Impressions

The image you portray builds your business profile in the mind of the customer and that will forever hold. You don’t want to be the guy she meets and can’t remember, you want to be the guy she can’t wait to call up and spend some more time with. If your business were “the guy” then great customer service is what differentiates the guy they don’t call and the guy they can’t wait to meet again.

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Humans are Social Animals

We want the same as that guy’s or we want to shop where he shops. Birds of the same feathers flock together. No one wants to be left out of the group so treat your customers to a great service and see you business grow exponentially.

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Four Top Customer Service Tips

Great customer service is an important component of your success. It is just as important as having great products or a talented team. This is so because even though customers prefer getting great goods or services, they also remember the direct interactions they have with you and your team. Most are likely to return if your customer service is great. Here as such, are great customer service tips that can help you rise above competition.

Smile and be Courteous Around Your Customers

A great smile sends off a hint of charm and works well to warm you your customers to you. Funnily, this trick works well even when you are on phone with your customers. An honest smile coupled with use of age-appropriate greetings is a mark of professionalism; a critical factor that most customers appreciate.

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Communicate Clearly

It is important to convey to the customer exactly what your deal entails. For instance, a huge difference exists between ‘50% off’ and ‘50% more’ of what the customer is buying. To achieve this, ensure your language remains simple but authentically positive and cheerful. End the conversation only when you are sure your customer is satisfied.

Have Admirable Work Ethic

Customers appreciate dealing with a representative who sticks with them until they have a solution to their problem. However, while giving your all to your customers; do ensure that you manage your time well so you do not end up keeping other customers in the cue for unnecessarily long duration. You can achieve this by creating reasonable goals that enable you balance all your customers.

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Develop a Thick Skin

Well, by now you know that your customer is not only right all the times but he or she is also king. You as such learn to accept negative feedback when it comes your way. This is important because your customers’ happiness should be on your mind all the time.

Pleasing your customer is your number one priority. While customers are varied, pleasing them should not be complicated. Applying these few customer service tips will see you inch close to Profitville in record short time..

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5 Customer Service Tips You Need to Know – Part 2

Customer Service Tip #3. Give trust to gain trust

You should always look upon your clients as your equals, placing trust in everything they say and encourage them to give you more details about their issues. Customers come to you because they need help, and you are there to help them. Never leave customers with the impression that they were wrong about you or your company. This is a sure-fire way to get them angry and send them away from you. Instead, listen closely to what they have to say and always look for a possible solution.

Trust is the base keyword in any business relationship. If you want your clients to look upon you as a trustworthy and reliable person, then you have to trust them as well.  To accomplish this, make sure to always be truthful with them.  If there’s a better deal elsewhere, don’t deny it.  If there’s a way for them to save money within your company, let them have it, even if your commision takes a little hit.  Trust them with this potentially “damaging” information, and they’ll trust you with their business.  A customer who spends a lot of money at your establishment is great and all, but remember this–a returning one will always be more valuable.What to remember: Trust customers with your loyalty, and they’ll return the favor.

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Customer Service #4. Taking ownership of a situation is a big deal

There will always be two big reasons why customers come to you: (1) To express a concern and (2) find a solution. There will be times when situations will feel out of your reach–but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go out of your way to provide assistance.  Even if problems are out of your “pay grade” (ooh, those words again!), get help from a co-worker or a supervisor, but don’t abandon your customer.  Be there every step of the way, own the situation, take charge of your customer’s issues and they’ll repay you with trust and loyalty.  Managers will also approve–”ownership” is directly related to “leadership,” a quality that can only help you in any given customer service situation.

Keep this in mind, though: when it comes to taking ownership of a situation, you should always think twice about what you have to say.  Remember that you are acting on behalf of your company, and how you communicate is extremely important.  Say the wrong thing, and it may even cost you a job. You are in your position to listen to the customers; this should occupy most of your time.  Don’t let the power of “ownership” blindside you into thinking that you always know what’s “best” for them.What to remember: Don’t let tough situations break you down into submission.  It’s cool to get help if you need it, but never give up on your customers.

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Customer Service Tip #5. Serve the needs of your customers

If you only get one thing out of these customer service tips, then get this one: serve the needs of your customer.  What a concept, right?  Sounds simple enough, but it’s the one thing that you’re supposed to do, and sometimes it’s the obvious stuff that slips through the cracks.

The needs of your customers are always going to be varied, but as long as you get to the root of the issue, you shouldn’t have a problem.  Unfortunately, that’s often the hardest part to all of this.  Why?  Because 87% of the time, the customer doesn’t even know what their real problem is.  Okay, that’s a made up statistic, but the point still stands.  Customers will come to you for a varying degree of reasons.  Sometimes (or more often than not, if you prefer), there’s an underlying issue that they’re unaware of.  For example, if they come to you with a billing dispute, there’s a chance that they aren’t fully understanding how your company’s services work.  Serve their needs–explain the services, help them find a better “plan” if that’s how things work in your neck of the woods.  If they’re in the market to buy something that your company provides, make sure it’s something that’s really going to help them.  If there’s a product that better serves their–you got this–needs, make sure you bring it up. What to remember: Get to the root of the issue, figure out what your customers truly need, and give that to them.  It may not always be what they initially wanted, but they’ll be grateful for your insight.

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5 Customer Service Tips You Need to Know – Part 1

Customer service jobs are demanding.  They will test your patience, your level of irritation, your overall wellbeing.  On the worst days you may even feel like the world is out to get you.  Honestly, if that’s your outlook on customer service, it’s hard to blame you.  Customers aren’t always the happiest bunch of folk.  Your coworkers aren’t always going to be team players.  Your bosses, well, they have the power to make or break any given situation.  Raise your hand if you nodded when you read the words “boss” and “break.”

But there is hope!  Your customer service tenure doesn’t have to be filed under “worst job ever.”  There are a few things you can do to make the most out of your customer service employment.  First thing’s first, though.  You’ll need to hone in on a few important customer service skills.  When you feel ready to take the plunge into improving your customer service abilities, take a look at these these five customer service tips and think about how you can apply them to your job.  Take the effort to think critically about these points, and you’re bound to see improvements in customer satisfaction and retention.  Take them to heart, follow these five customer service tips, and you’ll be able to take your work performance a step further.

Customer Service Tip #1. The customer isn’t always right, but don’t let them know that

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“The customer is always right” is the classic mantra of customer service.  But you know this isn’t always the case.  There may be times when a customer is not entirely correct, but don’t let them know that!  Instead, suggest a better solution to their problems.  For bonus points, make them think that it’s all their idea!  As long as you never tell them that they’re “wrong,” you’re golden.

Another great idea: offer the customer a bonus for reporting an “issue” to you.  If you are allowed to, provide extra services offered by your company, or maybe offer a discount to a superior product or package. Customers are receptive to bonuses and discounts.  If your company allows you to offer incentives, chances are high that you’ll not only make them loyal to you, but you’ll also have them recommending your services to friends and relatives. Just make sure your customers original problem is properly diagnosed and treated.What to remember: Customers can be wrong, but never allow them to feel wrong.  Spin the situation so it’s advantageous for everyone involved.

Customer Service Tip #2. Negative feedback is actually a good thing

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Many customer service representatives take negative feedback as something bad.  It makes them feel like that the services provided by their company are not good enough to satisfy customers’ requirements.  Heck, sometimes it makes customer service employees feel downright inadequate. Don’t let that be you!  Negative feedback can actually be a good thing.  Seriously! When customers think something is wrong with the products or services you provide, then it means one thing and one thing only: there’s room for improvement.  Nobody’s perfect–we all make mistakes, and we all learn from our mistakes.  Look at it like a learning opportunity, and your outlook will change.

And there’s more!  When a customer gives you negative feedback, think of it as a shortcut to finding the root of their problems.  With this philosophy, you have the power to turn negative feedback into a positive outcome. Use the negative information, provide your clients with a remedy to their problem, and confirm that you understand the situation. As a customer service representative, you may feel like you’re at the bottom of the totem pole, but customers regard you as a person with a great authority in the company.  Give them the impression that they are right.What to remember: Don’t let negative feedback bring you down.  Take the information and use it your advantage and really help the customer out.  At the very least, learn from your mistakes so “it” doesn’t happen again next time.