1) Listen and Relate
When a customer voices what they want, or their concerns over a product, service, or experience, they expect to be accurately heard without having to endlessly repeat themselves. A non-attentive employee who lacks listening skills will frustrate a customer and leave them thinking that the company hires incompetent employees who can’t understand their concerns. Most of all, don’t assume to already know what the customer wants. Even if it’s obvious, allow the customer to finish speaking before interrupting. Also be sure to gather all necessary information and research data before completing the interaction.
Listen and try to relate to an angry customer’s frustration. Offering excuses or belittling their concerns does little to resolve the situation. Customers expect real solutions and real empathy. While issue resolution should be a top priority, building a rapport with the customer comes in at a close second.
2) Don’t Argue and Don’t Take it Personally
If the customer is screaming at the top of their lungs, respond politely and with patience. Reject the temptation to go on the argumentative defense, and offer a sincere apology and desire to help fix the situation. Arguing with a customer does absolutely nothing to repair the problem. Remember that nine times out of ten, the customer isn’t actually mad at the employee personally, but mad at the situation or experience. If the customer is too out of control, politely ask if they would like to speak with a supervisor or inform them that the call will be terminated if the behavior continues.
Interacting with a smiling employee completely alters the customer’s perception of the business and overall situation. A smile is one of the first interactions with a customer, as well as the first step in establishing positive communication. Because an employee’s tone of voice is an indicator of their mood, when smiling (even on the phone), an employee’s tone of voice changes to a more uplifting and warm tone, which will impact the customers mood and view of the business. It’s been scientifically shown that smiling improves the mood, and it’s also known that moods are contagious. When in a positive mood, both the customer and employee are more likely to resolve issues.
4) Interact on Social Media
When a customer initiates contact on a social media platform, be sure to respond, making them aware that their contact was received an appreciated, and do so in a timely fashion. Publicly state a followup to their question and be sure to thank them once it’s resolved. If a customer simply voices their love for a product, forward them to marketing for customer out reach.
5) Ensure the Customer is Satisfied and Happy
Nearing the close of the customer interaction, it’s vital to ensure that the customer’s problems have been fully resolved. Before closing the interaction, ask if there are any other lingering concerns. If the customer is still unhappy, inquire as to what can be done to fix their unhappiness. Double checking with the customer guarantees their complete satisfaction and improves company reputations with these customers.