By Rhonda Campbell
To be effective, customer service features have to keep how the customer feels as top priority. Sales, increased customer interest and revenues cannot trump how the customer feels. You understand this during the marketing and promoting stages.
Generating confident, happy, sexy, trusting and adventurous feelings in customers is what marketing is primarily about. Tie welcomed feelings to your product or service and you could see a pick-up in sales as customers start to believe that getting your products or services will create those welcomed feelings within themselves.
Customer feelings don’t stop with marketing and promoting
Why abandon the focus on customer emotions when customers call your service line to tell a representative that the product arrived in the mail damaged, that a repair technician refused to uphold their warranty or that pricing was 10% higher than it was advertised? Give your customers the best experience by listening to them fully.
Ensure that customer service representatives receive sufficient and focused training. Teach customer service representatives not to cut customers off when they are voicing an issue or challenge. Patience is an absolutely necessary customer service feature.
Other absolutely necessary customer service features are empathy, a positive attitude, communication and clarity. Grove goes into each of these and other customer service features in more depth.
Organizations that offer customer service training include:
Colleges and universities also offer training programs that focus on customer service. After your representatives are trained, make sure that you have enough representatives. This prevents workers who communicate directly with customers from feeling stressed and as if they don’t have enough support and bandwidth to perform their job effectively. All of the training in the world won’t make someone feel good about their job if they’re working 12 or more hours a day.
Customer service features showcase representatives
Reward customer service representatives when they positively resolve complicated customer service issues. It’s not uncommon for representatives to be located away from other employees, spending hours responding to one telephone call after another.
Recognize your representatives. Put them in the spotlight and don’t hide them away. After all, other than sales professionals, few (if any), people connect with customers as much as customer service representatives.
Thank customers for telephoning or writing in an issue, bringing a potentially larger issue to your attention. Keep in mind that you could have one customer to satisfy or that customer could remain silent and you end up having hundreds of angry customers to face. So, the first customer who brings an issue to your attention could serve as an ally, keeping a challenge from growing.
Check in with customers
Measure customer service satisfaction by surveying customers. Give customers a gift, price discount or other incentive to take the survey.
Keep in touch with customers by sending them holiday greetings, birthday cards (print or electronic) and anniversary greetings. For example, if customers bought a new laptop from you, send them an anniversary greeting and an invitation to save 15% on a laptop accessory, all because it’s the second anniversary for when they purchased their new laptop from you.