[Today’s guest post is courtesy of Wayne Baumgartner of HeadsetsDirect.com.]Customer service is one of the most valuable and irreplaceable products that your small business can offer. In fact, it’s one of the leading reasons that customers become loyal and continue to do business with any particular brand or business. Equally, poor customer service is one of the leading reasons for customers changing suppliers/providers.
Customer service is an attitude that a company has towards its clientele. How you treat them reflects how valuable they are to your company—and small businesses are in a great position to offer personal attention. And when it comes down to the bottom line, customers are the key to success.
However, customer service reps are faced with several challenges. Undoubtedly, having to deal with clients without getting to talk to them face to face is the biggest of these challenges. In fact, the majority of customer service is done over the phone. Therefore, exceptional phone skills are essential to any model of customer service.
Qualities of a Top-Notch Telephone Customer Service Representative
As a small business, you are responsible for developing loyalty through an excellent customer service response to their business—something lacking in some of your big-business competitors.
It is crucial that whoever your customers speak to is representing your company in a way that makes your customers feel welcomed, understood, and appreciated. Here are four qualities you should look for in a customer service rep.
1. Courteous at all times
Customers cannot see you; they can only respond to how you sound over the phone. Attitude is perhaps the non-verbal characteristic that the customer picks up on first in a conversation over the phone. How you respond, your eagerness to serve the customer (that’s the goal), can be heard through your choice of words and the manner in which they are spoken.
2. Cordial to all clients and considerate to their predicaments
In general, most customer service calls are made by clients who have a problem, so they are probably fairly upset at the beginning of a call.
Always consider the caller’s situation. While adhering to textbook responses can get the problem solved, it can make the conversation seem less human—and your customers want to speak to a human, not a robot. Customer service is about interacting and relating to the client so that you can better serve their needs and gain their respect.
3. Communicates with clear and concise languageCommunication is crucial to your conversation. When you speak, refrain from utilizing technical jargon that can confuse or belittle the customer. The goal is to help them, not to exhibit knowledge or expertise. Speak to the customer in a way that they will comprehend.
While it’s important to speak to the customer on their level, you need to be informative. If they don’t understand, take the time to educate them. This will help them better understand your company and appreciate the uniqueness of your customer service abilities.
4. Conducts follow-up calls
Making follow-up calls is potentially one of the most valuable tools you have available and are generally appreciated by the customer. While the issue may have been resolved, a simple phone call can make a client feel appreciated. They get to feel that they matter to the company.
Customer service is an essential part to any business because it is what the customer is truly seeking. Products and services can be replicated, but excellent customer service is the only thing that you can offer which makes your business unique in the industry.
About the Author:
Wayne Baumgartner is a small business owner who takes care of customers using old fashion customer service skills and specializes in one industry headsets! Find him at headsetsdirect.com.