If there’s one job that’s harder than it looks, it’s customer service. Anything that involves dealing with other people who may or may not have high emotions is hard, but being a good customer service worker? It’s tough – but rewarding to help others needing your product or service. So, whether you’re an HR rep, or a salesperson, here are our five underrated customer service tips:
- Always practice empathy. It’s something we take for granted because it comes naturally in certain situations, but it can be very hard to do when you’re faced with a rude customer. Be empathetic to what the customer or client is telling you – or possibly screaming at you – because there is most likely a way you can help them without it getting too nasty. Sometimes you can’t, but that isn’t your fault. Just remember to always give them the benefit of the doubt, and do your best to put yourself in their shoes. Empathy gets you a long way.
- You’re human, too, so show them! Identifying with the customer is one of the greatest ways to build their trust in you and your company. Express your similarities; if they like cats, mention your pet, or if they like a specific movie or movie genre, mention one you like, too. Too many customer service situations are approached with an automated system, and the splash of humanity gives them that breath of fresh air they so crave.
- Be honest. It’s easy to try and talk your way out of answering something you don’t know, but nine times out of ten, the customers can tell when you’re doing it, and then begin to distrust you. If you don’t know the answer to something, own up to it. “I don’t know” is an acceptable thing to say in these situations.
- Be accessible. It’s not something that everyone likes to do, but it gives you an added bonus when talking to a customer when you give them your contact information. That’s e-mail, phone, and some people even give them their personal number! (If that’s something you would like to do, just make sure you set up boundaries as to when they can and cannot call. They’ll understand.) Making yourself available at the customer’s disposal is another great trust-building habit you should cling to.
- Use positive language. The trick is to avoid negatives — can’t, won’t, isn’t, etc — when dealing with a customer. It’s not about what you can’t do, it’s about what you can! So, for example of negative: “I can’t get your shipment to you until Friday,” versus an example of positive: “I can have your shipment to you as soon as Friday!” The mood shift is what sells it.
In customer service, there are so many different tips and guidelines on how to do the job and do it well — add your favorite tips in the comments!