While strict rules restrain creativity and spontaneity, that doesn’t mean proven principles to fall on deaf ears. There are a number of customer service tips that have been used time and time again to create great experiences, we think you need to know about them.
Positive language is a great way to avoid accidental conflicts sprung from miscommunication. While the change is subtle, the effects are drastic.
Say one of your products is back-ordered for a month and you need to relay this information to a customer immediately. Consider the following responses:
- Negative language: “I can’t get you that product until next month. It is back-ordered and unavailable at this time.”
- Positive language: “That product will be available next month. I can place the order for you right now and make sure that it is sent to you as soon as it reaches our warehouse!”
Redirecting the conversation from negative to positive places focus on the proposed solution. When the outcome takes center stage, it reduces the odds that customers will be upset.
2. RESPECT CUSTOMER COMPLAINTS
Harsh words are not always indicative of insight, and complaining customers are not always a sign that something is wrong. Be that as it may, sometimes great feedback is buried within the vitriol—give credence to every message.
To stay consistent in tone and process, use the CARP method:
- Control the situation.
- Acknowledge the dilemma.
- Refocus the conversation.
- Problem-solve so the customer leaves happy.
Receiving the same complaint repeatedly is the beginning of a narrative. This shouldn’t dictate what to do next, but it will begin to reveal what requires your attention.
3. HIGH STANDARDS, LOW RESPONSE TIMES
Inbox zero needn’t be a zero-sum game. Delighting users is impossible when the team’s morale is being crushed under the weight of a cluttered inbox. Keep it simple! Since basic, common questions are where your keystrokes go to waste, start by addressing them with editable templates.
Saved replies are valuable to a support department because the whole team builds on them. Set guidelines for identifying common questions and when a saved reply can and should be created. The more you add, the more useful your saved reply collection becomes.
4. BE DATA INFORMED, NOT DATA-MAD
Although great data cannot guarantee good decision-making, it’s better than flying blind. The right data will help you keep your team in the loop. “Here’s how we did this week” becomes easy and valuable. Satisfaction Ratings top it off by allowing you to see where support interactions went really well (or very wrong). Both are learning opportunities.
5. UNIFY YOUR TEAM
Pro tip: managing customer service without a playbook can feel as chaotic. Consider the time lost manually answering frequently asked questions. The same principle applies to explanations to your staff on the back-end. Encourage autonomy and eliminate confusion by creating unity through clarity.
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