According to Guy Winch Ph.D., “The goal of the customer service is to ensure customer satisfaction and to enhance customer loyalty.” Handling customers can be a stressful and challenging job. You have to deal with the customers’ personalities while attending to their requests, wants, and needs. If you think you are someone who does not handle stress in the best way in front of a customer, here is what you can do to understand them as if you are like their therapist.
Listen And Understand
The way to a customer’s heart lies in how you listen well to them. Whenever a customer voice out their concerns, may it be feedback, a question, or a complaint, you will always want to appear as empathic as you can, and empathy begins with listening. It is the best way to make a bond between you and the customer. “Before you head to the store or make that call, gather together everything you can think of that will help the person you’ll be working with understand your problem and find a solution,” explained Kit Yarrow Ph.D.
Let go of the urge to answer quickly. Some customer service representative, when faced with a complaint, tend to cut their customer mid-sentence to defend the situation or their product immediately. Listen to what drives their concern or where they are coming from and understand their needs.
If customers do not believe you make an effort to try to understand them, in return, they become uninterested to whatever product and service your company offers. If you genuinely listen to them, you can start making their experience a better one. Once a customer feels they can depend on you, they will become loyal.
Acknowledge The Problem
In every customer service situation, there is always a way to make things right. But having the customer’s concern acknowledged by you is the essential first step you can take. Do not brush the issues away. Instead, tackle them head-on by recognizing the main problem. Whether your website has crashed, or a particular product has stopped working, address it. “Customer reps ought to be trained to pick up on cues as to what consumers actually need and want. In most cases, a lot of staff have been trained to recite a brand mantra, that often sounds repetitive and truly inauthentic. Customers ought to be listened to,” explained Dr. Dimitrios Tsivrikos, a consumer psychologist at University College London.
If you or your company did something wrong, admit it. If you did not make any mistakes, and everything is just a misunderstanding, explain to the customer that you know how frustrating it is for them. You are not entirely agreeing to what they are saying, but you are respecting how they feel about the situation. In a way, you also give them the impression that their feelings are valid.
Acknowledgment may be in the form of statements like the following:
“We can do better than that.”
“I know this has been upsetting for you. Let me fix it.”
“I am sorry for the inconvenience this has caused you.
You always have to keep in mind that one of the essential emotional components of customer service is the acknowledgment of the inconvenience suffered by the customer.
Offer A Solution
Make good use of your critical thinking and try finding out a solution that will suit your customer the best. However, if you can’t deliver the solution, the customer is looking for, figure out how to provide the next best choice. Explore your options, but you always have to keep in mind the things you can and cannot do within your company’s guidelines.
It is also a good practice, not leaving your customer in the dark. Try to include them in every step of the process of your problem-solving. Keep them informed. In this way, they can also have an idea about the things they can do if ever the same issue arises again.
Avoid sending your customers away. It must be frustrating, especially if you, the customer service representative yourself, don’t know what to do. Remember, you are in control of the situation. Find something that can remedy the situation while focusing on what you can do as opposed to what you cannot.
When a customer presents you with a complaint or a problem, always remember that the issue is not personal. The person in front of you is frustrated because of problem present. He or she is not attacking you directly but rather the situation at hand.
It is easy to respond respectfully and act professionally when a conversation is going smoothly, but we can’t avoid customers with rude behaviors. They are part of the job. When tension arises, the other party tends to react defensively. Customer service representatives are always with this kind of situation, but they must be able to resist the urge of communicating aggressively in front of a customer.
In every angry customer situation, it usually boils down on how a customer service representative reacts. They can get into stress and defense mode immediately, but it is part of their job to leave aside their fight mode. It may need a will power to relax and calm down yourself, but to be respectful towards the customers is a must. Check out BetterHelp.com for more of these tips. You can view some of their encouraging posts on Instagram as well on their Facebook page.
Try to keep in mind that a happy customer is better than a satisfied customer.