“However this time… she is willing to listen. I explain the situation to her. She is immediately understanding. She looks at my problem, then comes back on and says that she solved my issue. I’m shocked….and happy.”
Having already three years’ of experience in the customer service setting and with a research psychology background, I realized that customer experience is more than providing an appealing product that covers customer’s needs. A good customer service entails an interaction of different pivotal elements, such as the customer's attraction to our product, awareness, discovery, cultivation, purchase and finally, the service itself.
Customer Experience is not just what happens when a customer approach us with an issue- it begins from the early beginning of the use of the website and the product. Customer experience and satisfaction it can really be a challenge, especially if we are not aware how to respond to frustrated and very dissatisfied people.
To my perspective, emphasis must be given on how to respond to all these elements and understand that sometimes is not our lack of skills but a combination of different factors. Yes, you do not do rocket science but you interact with a wide range of emotions in a daily basis, including anger, stress, denial, frustration, happiness and sadness. Moreover, although all of these feelings are natural after a bad experience, however, dealing with human’s emotions can be more complicated than a rocket science ….
I use to say that a good customer experience and service, it basically starts with you, the customer service team, as you are the ones, who actually have the opportunity to interact live with the customers. It’s not the product developer, content and language specialist or the user researcher, it’s you, the customer service employees. We might have the best product but if the people who deliver this product are not sufficient enough, the product will not achieve its objective. Thus, in the first place, it’s imperative to know your customers, listen to them, and then focus on delivering on their expectations while following yours company’s procedures and guidelines. Furthermore, each single customer irrespective if he is the first or the last one of the day, needs to be handled with the same respect and enthusiasm. Each customer needs to feel unique and valuable. At the end, we really need to treat our customers the way we want to be treated as customers!
So, how we can improve customer service satisfaction?
1. Pick up cues from the customers on how (and when) they want to be served
Simply ask: What could we and our company do to serve you better or to fix this problem? We all know that most of the times the customer will request a compensation or will have an unrealistic expectation, however by simply asking this question, your customer feels that his opinion is valuable and essential. In addition, if you ask more specific questions will give you a more detailed response, which is necessary to gain the insight for your action plan.
2. Be there for them
You need to give to your customer the impression that you are waiting to hear not only their concerns but also them. I am basically a person who is addicted to her phone, however, during a phone call, I keep my phone away. This is just a simple way to switch my focus and my attention to the person that I am talking to in order to fully understand him/her.
3. Sometimes it’s ok not to follow the automated process and take the initiative
Yes, automated process needs to be our best friend, as it does all the difficult work for us, even if we have forgotten the procedures. Undeniably, an automated process is one of the perk of working in call centers. However, sometimes, an automated process will not give you the opportunity to go the extra mile for the customer. If you believe that by skipping one step of this form will offer the best customer experience, then do it. Critical thinking, thinking out of the box and taking initiatives are hallmarks of successful employees.
Always seek knowledge. If you are not sure for something, if you do not believe that you are good enough, if you want to enhance you skills, simply ask! Knowing when and how to ask for help can make navigating this unknown terrain much easier and save you time by avoiding possible mistakes. Talk to your colleagues and team leader or join groups in Facebook.All of them have been through the same problems and would be happy to help you.
5. You need to apologize, but also you do need to find the best possible solution
People will accept your apologies, but they also want to see how you will make it right for them. Of course, you feel sorry for their bad experience and dissatisfaction, however, your purpose is to fix this experience and to focus on finding a solution. Instead on spending time on the experience, focus on the solution that you can provide. Keep always in mind that the first thing your customer wants is to solve the problem. Even if this is their fault …
Customer service, experience and satisfaction is an ongoing and difficult process. There always be this one customer that irrespective the product, the service, the empathetic employee, will always be dissatisfied. You are doing your best not only for the company and the metrics but also for you, to be happy at work.