Customers are your company’s most critical asset.
When it comes to customer service, a positive customer experience can be the key to gaining and retaining a loyal customer. 87% of people say that good customer service changes their buying behavior. In fact, of people who reported having a bad experience, 97% claimed to change their buying decision. This is why it’s crucial that all employees, no matter what their role, are trained in the basics of customer service.
Essential Customer Service Skills
- Active Listening – Customers want to be heard; they don’t want to feel they are being dismissed. While an employee might deal with the same customer situation multiple times per day, it is the customer’s first time experiencing it. It’s best to address each situation separately from the last.
Team members should demonstrate that they’re listening and genuinely care by acknowledging what the customer is saying and not interrupting. It’s OK to ask clarifying questions, but the questions should be thoughtful and clarifying to reflect the situation at hand.
- Patience – If you maintain your composure or take a calming approach in a sensitive or heightened situation, your customer will most likely do the same. They’ll see that you’re in control and will feel confident in your ability to manage the issue at hand.
- Positivity – The saying “A smile goes a long way” holds true when it comes to customer interaction. Customers appreciate when an employee has a positive attitude and is pleasant, which will increase their overall satisfaction.
- Empathy – Empathy is one of the best skills an employee can have. Taking an empathetic approach will allow the customer to feel understood, letting them know that the employee will truly do what they can to help.
- Ability to Manage Employee Expectations – While “yes” is always preferred, there are times when it may not be possible to fulfill a request or gain a new customer. It’s best to help your team manage their own expectations in these types of situations. There will be customers that don’t fit your target audience, or you might not offer the exact service that someone needs. It’s important that your employees accept this reality and move on to the next potential customer or job.
- Problem Solving – If there’s not a clear resolution to a customer problem, learning how to create the next best solution to alleviate conflict is a fundamental aspect of providing excellent customer service. Problem solving can be as complex as reconfiguring a service to suit the customer’s needs, or it could even be as simple as getting a manager involved if an associate doesn’t know the right solution.
As a manager, it’s necessary to equip your team with the tools and education they need to provide quality customer service to ensure your company sees success. At Spring Green, we provide our franchise owners with the training and development support they need to manage customer satisfaction. Learn more about our business opportunity.