While most businesses in existence have at least some form of customer service, a lot of them fail to realize just how important this department is for the growth and performance of their company. In the digital business world, your brand is seldom more than an image on the screen, so, the customer support may be a first human contact that your customer has with your team. As such, it’s more than vital for their perception of your business. Similarly, it’s also a determining factor in whether they’ll do business with you in the future, as well. That being said, here are several tips on how to take control of your customer service.
1. Be clear about what you want
As soon as you bring in some people for the job, you need to tell them exactly what’s expected of them. Most importantly, you want them to be patient and attentive. Everything else can be improved or worked upon, yet, if they don’t have the patience to listen to a myriad of people repeating the same problem or request over and over again, then they have no place in the customer service industry. Aside from this, you also need to tell them that, at times, communication will be difficult. Their customers, for instance, may not have all the tools in their vocabulary (technical terms and knowledge) to describe the problem. So, it’s their job to learn how to read the information from limited data. This will get a lot of confusion out of the way and ensure that you’re off on the right foot.
2. Hire people with the right set of attributes
There are certain ways in which training can improve your customer service representatives and some things that it can do nothing to boost. For instance, hiring someone who has knowledge of the topic is not necessary, due to the fact that knowledge comes through training and experience. A sense of empathy, on the other hand, is something that some people just have while others can never develop. Communication skills can be practiced while having a thick skin and not breaking while on the line with a particularly difficult customer is something else entirely. Sure, you may argue that the adequate training may help in all of these fields but it can’t take you all the way.
3. Talk to your team
Previously, we’ve mentioned the importance of being honest and straightforward with your team about what you expect of them in this position. Now, you need to let them return the favor and tell you about some of their main concerns regarding this workplace. First of all, while you are trying to be a more considerate boss, there are some things that you simply can’t influence. For instance, there’s nothing you can do for your customers to become politer, reasonable or even articulate. What you can do, nonetheless, is tell your team that you’re there to have their back. Whenever they come up with a piece of constructive criticism, do your best to consider and enforce this as soon as possible.
4. Soft monitoring
Other than this, you also need to take control of your customer service by making sure that each of your representatives does their job even when you’re not watching. Making pretend cold calls is not only unethical but also outright insulting. More importantly, you’re committing corporate time theft and blocking the line for a customer who might have a real problem. Instead, you should invest in a real time employee tracking software and use this method to passively observe the performance of your team. In this way, you’ll be able to see if anyone is idling, without having to unjustly accuse productive staff members.
5. Insist on efficiency
Previously, we talked about the idea of wasting the time of your employees, yet, you won’t be the only one doing so or at least be from the risk of doing so. The problem is that some clients may call your team for no reason and, since it’s the client whose calling, your team might not have an easy time of ending the call without being rude about it. So, you need to train your team to walk a thin line between being dismissive and being too talkative. Make sure to teach your staff on how to guide these people from point A to point B in the shortest, most direct manner. This alone will make all the difference in the efficiency of your customer service.
At the very end, taking control of your customer service is not a simple matter, which is why you’ll definitely need some help. We’re of course talking about people who are actually involved in the process. In order for this to work, everyone needs to be on the same page. So, if the communication of your company to the outside world is to work, you need to invest in inter-office communication, as well. The above-listed five methods may help you do so.