Leaders of Customer-Facing Teams Need to Master These 8 Keys Right Now
Published on July 27, 2017 by arothstein
Smart businesses strive to please the savvy consumer. Having stellar communication tools and well-trained, happy customer service staff will afford your business every opportunity to meet or exceed customer expectations. Outstanding customer service has significant impact on a company’s bottom line. Not only does it lead to repeat customers, but it also attracts new ones via positive word-of-mouth advertising.
Millennials, in particular, are likely to rely on social media and word-of-mouth to assist them in making purchasing decisions. They trust the opinions of real people, often discounting brand names, company hype, and advertising. Customers today demand the truth about the products and services they purchase. It is critical to the success of any business that products live up to the expectations of today’s social and mobile customers.
8 Keys Customer-Facing Teams Can Master for Success
Purchases made today are no longer just about price or brand. They also center on support customers receive while making their purchasing decision as well as the experiences each customer has while interacting directly with staff. This also extends to their experience post-transaction.
Customer-facing teams should have specific skill sets that are vitally important for business growth. Master this short list and your business team will be positioned for rapid and successful conversions.
1. Slow down and listen
Staying patient and taking time to fully understand customer requests and problems will foster understanding, an accurate exchange of information, and faster delivery to satisfy the customer’s need. In short, the less customers have to repeat themselves, the more efficiently and effectively you will solve their needs.
2. Offer training
Staff should be provided ample opportunities to acquire thorough knowledge of the products or services your company offers—and to get excited about them. If you have an online business, be certain your staff has instant access to an abundance of written information about your business’s offerings. The more your staff knows, the more confidence consumers will have in your company. More confidence translates to customer loyalty and repeat business.
3. Use role-playing to practice for all kinds of situations
Role-play scenarios with your staff utilizing company-approved guidelines which offer solutions for common problems. Questions about returns or refunds? Here’s the answer. Questions about product descriptions? We’ve got you covered. Answers should be second nature to your staff and flow easily from their knowledge base to the consumer. Whether by phone, email, chat or in person, having a knowledgeable support team is key.
4. Balance service with conversions
Becoming a master of persuasion to turn interested customers into product purchasers takes education, time, and enthusiasm. A little fence-sitting is common when consumers are making purchasing decisions. Training your staff on the tools, vernacular, and attitude to inform consumers in their purchasing decisions is critical. For example, staff should be confident in the product or service without being overly pushy. Informative without being tedious or boring. Enthusiastic without being off-putting. Finding that delicate balance truly is key.
5. Support your team internally
Your customer-facing staff are important. Carefully listen to their requests, questions, and concerns: They are the face and voice of your business. Give them a safe forum to express concerns or frustrations that they may experience. Aid them in understanding processes to alert managers when there is a problem. Giving your staff an in-house voice is vital.
6. Go the extra mile with employees (not just customers).
Staff who exceed expectations when assisting customers make all the difference. Follow their lead and go the extra mile for your employees. Offer incentives to your customer service representatives for their can-do attitude. Staff who know you are willing to create a healthy work environment for them are more likely to translate the feeling of positivity over to your customers.
7. Get to the finish line
Make the customer feel that every issue they have has been addressed and resolved. If it requires a circle-back, make sure you do so in the essence of time. Utilize technology to keep track of unfinished requests, to get back to your customers quickly.
8. Improve your own customer service skills
Always have a willingness to learn more and improve your own customer service skills. As an employer, the more you learn, the better you will be valued as a leader, mentor, and guide to your staff.
Online Businesses Require a Set of Tools in Addition to Excellent Customer Service Staff
If your business is online, your customer-facing website support tools are just as vital as your customer-facing staff. Ensuring your customer support software within your website contain these easy online communication tools will pay off.
- Install dedicated tools for managing customer emails
- Make sure that contact links, email addresses, and phone numbers are very visible
- Add online chat software to your website
- Make sure the links to your social media profiles are present and that these channels are adding to the customer experience
In the 21st century, customers use social media and mobile devices to make purchases of products and services with more convenience and speed. With all the options available to them, customers’ demand for customer service is stronger than ever. Focusing on the needs of the human element in these transactions is the best way to have a successful brand and business experience while keeping media feedback positive and credibility enhanced.
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