Getting customer service right is always a balancing act. Even with great representatives and ongoing support, you can’t always please everyone. But that doesn’t mean your company is forever forced to encounter the same problems or fail to offer the right solutions. As you expand as a business, your customer service strategies should evolve, too. These tips will help you build trust, inspire engagement and improve your reputation just by being present.
Respect and Embrace Different Communication Styles
You might think that you’re saying things clearly, but no matter how you phrase something, a customer just isn’t getting the message. What causes miscommunication in customer service? Often, it stems from clashing communication styles. Unfortunately, failure to recognize and respond to these differences can lead to frustration and even major conflict. Some companies have moved towards using Salesforce managed services to connect with their clients, but even if you do that, there are communication styles to know about.
A passive communicator tends to minimize their feelings and needs to appease others. They make excellent listeners, but they might not be able to provide sufficient detail when they face a problem. This can result in unclear statements. They tend to be easy going and laid back, but they might need more probing to get details. From an employee standpoint, these individuals should be given additional assertiveness training and learn how to express themselves confidently without feeling inauthentic.
A passionate communicator can express their thoughts and ideas clearly, but they may come off as too harsh for some people. Aggressive communication styles include declarative statements that can feel isolating or judgmental. Someone with this style is more likely to experience conflict or become defensive when they feel offended. Employees should be carefully trained in how to deescalate situations, provide assurance and maintain their own positive disposition when dealing with difficult customers.
Although this term is often used to describe a manipulative person, it is not inherently so. Instead, someone with this style may feel helpless or be uncomfortable expressing their thoughts and emotions. Rather than openly voice their needs, they’re more likely to make a fleeting comment or statement that leaves people second-guessing themselves. Lack of open dialogue can cause a passive-aggressive communicator to feel unsatisfied and unheard. Work on encouraging mutual exchange between customers and employees at all times to prevent this style from getting in the way of effective resolutions.
As the healthiest communication style, assertive expression should be the model standard for every employee. Assertiveness is not aggression, but rather than telling people what to do, assertive speakers are able to clearly share their own thoughts without making others feel inferior. They’re active listeners, promote equality and own their own feelings without making others accountable for them. Boundary-setting is important in customer service. Part of your assertiveness training should include letting your employees know when it’s okay to disconnect or end a conversation.
Tackle Technical Inefficiencies
Sometimes, human error may not be accountable for dissatisfaction. Instead, you may simply lack the technological resources to give your consumers what they want in a timely manner. Oversights can result in missed deliveries or poor experiences as well. Reduce these encounters by upgrading your business technology to support efficiency and accuracy. One way to do this is to install GPS tracking devices in all company vehicles. This allows drivers to complete jobs in fewer hours thanks to real-time insights.
Improve Your Product Training
Troubleshooting a customer’s issue isn’t easy when you don’t know how to properly use a product yourself. While an employee may use everything your company sells, they should be familiar with the ins and outs of your inventory. Make sure you have ongoing product training to increase your staff’s confidence and knowledge. This will allow them to provide more authentic assistance whenever someone presents a problem. Rather than giving the same copy-and-paste answers from a user manual, your employees will be able to give each customer personalized support.