How does having a positive customer service interaction make you feel? Pretty good, right? Now think of how you feel after interacting with someone who is rude, not helpful, or impatient. My bet is that it leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth. Whether it be in person, over the phone, or online, poor customer service turns people off and has the potential to lose them as customers.
Being in the service industry, it should be our goal to make our customers – or members – our top priority. Realistically, there is no way to please everyone, but we should strive to provide the best experience possible.
Below are three simple tips that can go a long way.
Respond within 24 hours. Even if your answer requires time to craft or if you are relying on an outside source, responding within 24 hours to an email or voicemail is important. There is nothing wrong with letting someone know you’ll get back to him. The important part is that you have acknowledged receipt of his message, thus ensuring that he is not left wondering.
Remember to smile. It sounds simple enough, but it’s harder to do when an angry member is in your face telling you what you did wrong. No matter how difficult it might seem at the time, a smile can demonstrate that you care and that your customers are important to you. This applies to phone conversations as well, as your tone of voice is key when facial and body expressions are removed from the equation.
Take a breather. I can think of more than a few instances where my immediate reaction to a complaint is far different from my actual response. It’s human nature to become defensive when on the receiving end of a criticism or complaint, but it’s often not in our best interest to respond in a defensive or angry manner. That’s not to say that a decision or policy can’t be defended, but it’s a good practice to step away and cool down before doing something that can’t be undone.
What are some customer service practices that you adhere to in your own organization or in your personal lives?