With the possible exception of donations and subsidies not linked to their own actions, each and every business that exists can survive solely and exclusively thanks to its clients, whether they are individuals, companies, organizations or even governments.
The products or services offered must be sufficiently attractive for the customer to want to come to us, but the truth is that a sale is not achieved only thanks to the product: the attention the user receives or the perception and image of the user about the product also has a great influence on getting or keeping customers.
Therefore, customer service is at all times a fundamental pillar of any company, being in many of them a pending subject and very improvable. That is why in this article we are going to see a series of tips and keys to improve customer service .
Tips for Improving Customer Service
Serving customers may seem simple, but it can be more complicated than you might generally expect.
Although some people have the advantage of having some mastery of social and interpersonal skills innate, this is not enough to know how to attend correctly. In this sense, it is necessary to take into account a large number of aspects and key elements, which will be summarized below in a total of 9 tips and keys to improve customer service.
1. Listen and empathize
Regardless of the type of business we are in, two of the main keys to maintaining optimal customer service are active listening and empathy skills .
First of all, it is essential to know how to listen to what we are told, to be able to interpret it and even go beyond it and try to detect what it needs and why. But not only listening is important: we must put ourselves in the other’s place, empathising with them and trying to detect how they feel, something that also contributes to understanding them and establishing a good bond . We have to treat our clients as we would like to be treated ourselves, being as authentic as possible.
On the other hand, we must also take into account that the client is not us and may not have our same tastes or needs, being necessary to be flexible and even if we are empathic not to merge mentally with him or her.
2. Maintain good customer relations
Another element to take into account is the fact that the client will be much more grateful for a good treatment and the presence of kindness (as long as it is not excessive and false) and cordiality in the treatment. In general , an optimistic and positive tone is recommended , focused on advantages and positive aspects not only of the product but also of the interaction itself.
Even in cases where the client goes too far and goes into detail in aspects that are not relevant to the transaction itself (something that is usual in many customer service calls), one cannot be rude, proclaim that his life does not matter to us and simply stop attending to him: in that case one would have to redirect the situation by directing the conversation towards the aspects that interest us or else lead to the completion of the contact but always maintaining cordiality.
3. The customer is always important
They say the customer is always right. Although this is not necessarily true, what is important for us is that the customer always: before the sale, in order to know his needs and provide him with what he needs, during the actual performance of the service or sale and after the services have been used or the goods have been purchased, in order to assess his satisfaction (something that may allow us to improve our product), to correct and deal with possible complaints and incidents and to contribute to making a good impression of us and of the institution we represent.
It is about the client feeling valued above all else and not being seen simply as someone who pays us and who no longer has any interest for us after that but as a complete and valuable person in his own right and whose well-being is of interest to us. In this sense it may be necessary to restructure the vision of the user or client that many professionals have regarding their relationship with users. In addition, in a secondary way this can make them loyal and even cause them to have a good image of our business that can generate even more clients.
4. Clear and concise messages
An endless message or one that does not make it clear what it is trying to do or what it can be useful for is a bad message: the information must always be clear and as concise as possible , highlighting the main elements without being redundant and without giving rise to confusion or different interpretations. In addition, a concise message is more easily retained and interesting than a long one, and it is necessary to reduce as much as possible (although without exceeding) the content of the message we want to convey.
5. It’s not just the words that matter
Many customer services are very focused on the oral message they convey to the user or client, but the truth is that when it comes to offering a good service and making our message credible, it is essential to bear in mind that everything we do is communicative.
That is to say, we must not only watch the message but also take into account that our gestures accompany it and enhance it, the look, the posture and even the physical distance that we put with the subject (which must not be too little, being invasive, nor too much, being distant). Also very relevant is our tone of voice, the formality or informality used or the volume we use, among others. Likewise, not only us but also what the business or company does as an institution is relevant: how it behaves in general with clients, the reliability of its services…
6. Security and trust are key
Uncertainty and doubt are a major obstacle to maintaining a business. We must project an image of strength, security and reliability that must be based on a well planned and executed performance. We must also be able to offer and defend our product as something of great quality and usefulness, knowing its advantages and disadvantages.
However, one should not confuse security with arrogance and stubbornness , being able to be flexible when the situation requires it and being able to accept and learn from possible mistakes.
7. Offer solutions and be prepared
Another aspect of great relevance comes from the fact that when a client or user comes to us or to our business, he does so expecting a quick and valid response. It is very important to be prepared and to have some kind of action plan in order to be able to give a solution to the possible problems that may arise with our product or service, evaluating in a decisive way different alternatives .
8. Persuade but do not harass
Many of you who read these lines have probably met on more than one occasion in response to phone calls from companies that continue to try to contact you and convince you again and again of the advantages of their services.
This type of behavior can harass the potential client, generating his anger and repulsion even to the point of rejecting offers that in normal conditions could be interesting. When we are in front of a client we must try to be persuasive, but not become tiresome .
Closely linked to the previous point, we find that slogans and texts are often used that are learned by heart and quoted verbatim (especially if the message is long), something that is easily perceived by the potential user and that usually generates a rapid mental disconnection and disinterest on the part of the user with respect to what is being said.
That is why it is very important to personalize the message offered to each user. Obviously we can and will need to comment on the characteristics of the product, but first we must make them meaningful to him or her.