Creating a positive customer experience (CX) is more challenging than you think. Sometimes businesses have a good streak with customers. Then, out of nowhere everything goes downhill. And we all know, when business is bad, everybody loses.
Here are 8 attitudes that will ruin your customer experience and a few suggestions on how you can train your customer facing teams how to wow customers everytime!
Making assumptions gets us in trouble all the time! Likewise, we can never assume we understand what our customer needs. When you are unable to identify what your customer needs, there’s no way that you can offer appropriate solutions. In order to solve customer concerns, we have to start by asking questions and end with listening to the customer’s reply. Then, we are able to put ourselves in the customer shoes, provide solutions to remedy the situation, and create a positive experience for them. An annual customer service skills training on problem solving, would go a long way to enable your team to successfully identify and resolve customer issues.
Are your CSMs really listening that what customers are saying? Poor listening skills is a known culprit for losing customers’ trust. When customers feel that they are not being heard, they will go elsewhere to get their problems solved. Forbes offers great tips on how you can improve your listening skills which are useful in any customer service setting. Being able to implement active listening skills puts you in the driver seat, to take control and take charge of the situation. Customer service teams have to be skilled listeners, capable of listening with an ear towards empathy. Provide a refresher course on active listening to remind them how to really hear what your customers are saying.
Having slow or no follow-up concerning customer needs, is one of the most detrimental things that will surely hinder your business as well as repeat business. Your customers want to know they are a priority! Everyone in your business should be trained on model behaviors when engaging with customers. Did your rep just end a customer call? A prompt follow-up email would be an appropriate next step. Did your CSM make a commitment to respond back to a customer? Make sure it happens. Your customer facing teams should understand the importance of follow-through. Although it seems like common sense, it’s worth it to focus an entire training course on your business values and how commitment and follow-up are integral to creating a positive customer service experience. Nothing beats a frown, but a happy ending. This is one sure way to help your CSMs put their best foot forward concerning the customer!
When egos and emotions are flying high, it’s hard to hear the other person. During times when the customer is upset, dissatisfied or confused, words get lost in translation. When conflict is on the rise, get into problem solving mode and approach things from an outsider point of view. The picture becomes clearer when you look at things from a different pair of lenses. This will help you see the situation in a way that will allow empathy to guide your interaction. Once that happens, you’ll be able to support your customer in the best possible way. Incorporate customer resolutions session into your CSM onboarding. Make it fun and engaging by creating role play scenarios.
In today’s economy, customer service is primary focus of every thriving business. And yes, it’s everyone’s job to provide a great experience for the customers. When you go above and beyond your job, your customer gets to benefit. Plus, you get the satisfaction of knowing that something positive happened as a result of your hard work and due diligence. This not only creates a positive experience, but it leaves a lasting impression for repeat business. Take the initiative to help customers that are in need, even if it’s not your job. Going the extra mile eventually pays off down the road. Train, train and retain on this. Everyone in your company and everyone engaging with customers, from partners to employees, should know that dealing with customer issues is everyone’s job.
When customer complaints are piling high, process is paramount! All customer success managers and service representatives should know exactly what to do when a customer has a problem. This is where having a well-defined process for resolving customer issues is key. Now, it’s great to have handbooks and processes, but it’s all meaningless if no one has been trained on where to find these helpful resources or how to use them. Make sure your customer-facing teams are adequately trained on how to manage, triage, and escalate customer inquiries, starting with where to find all the process documents. This way, you’ll create a roadmap for repeatable results and eliminate the guess work for others to ensure the best customer experience.
Visuals are very helpful. Thom Holland shares an example of customer service process should look like.
When your customer gets on the phone with anyone on your team, it should be documented. Whether it’s a general check-in or customer issue, call logs or email records should be retained! Poor documentation can lead to a long list of CX faux pas and can certainly create a challenge for the next person following up. Imagine the poor customer or prospect having to answer the same questions they answered last week. This issue is often directly tied to poor listening skills when customers are trying to articulate their concerns. Make sure your customer success team and sales reps are trained on how to properly document customer communications.
The true meaning of customer service is being professional, creating a positive experience and helping customers solve problems. When your team engages with any of your customers, they should always remember the mantra “the customer is always right.” Not that it’s always true, but the point is…it really doesn’t matter who’s right. It matters that your customer needs help and it’s your job to help them. That’s it. Arguments or disagreements can interfere with effective problem solving. It is not about who is right or wrong, but the focus should be on the bigger picture, providing excellent customer service.
Ensure that service teams are meeting your company’s expectations by providing necessary resources and learning opportunities to help them succeed. The right training starts with the right Learning Management System (LMS), which allows trainers and business leaders to track and measure training effectiveness. Any customer-facing members of your service team - including partners and contracted staff, should be well trained on your customer relations policies, as it is much needed in order to create a positive customer experience.
Keisha Stoute is a content curator with 11 years of business experience in a number of industries. She is also an adjunct professor, empowerment writer, well respected professional mediator and principal trainer at Stoute Communications.