Customer service wasn’t created so that customers could call in to a business and rave about how wonderful their experience was. That’s what reviews and testimonials are for.
Chances are, when customers are calling your customer support line, they are doing so because they have a problem. And if you want to make sure that the currently frustrated customer will be satisfied (and quickly), you need to have a problem management plan set in place to deal with unique circumstances. In this post, we will examine the three steps every business needs to take in order to offer their customers the best solutions to their problems.
Train Your Customer Service Reps to See the Customer’s Point-of-View:
Many employees, whether they are customer service reps or sales associates who work in retail, are familiar with the type of customer who comes to them with an impossible request. Your employee knows that what is being asked of them simply cannot be done. Understandably, this can cause your employee to become frustrated. However, to avoid letting frustration fester, train your employees to see the perspective of the customer. Chances are, the customer doesn’t know that what they are bringing to customer service is an impossible request. Teach your employees to be patient with the customer, not to judge the motivations of the customer, and to see their point of view. This will set the stage for easier problem-solving and a better relationship right off the bat.
Determine the Problem:
It is extremely common for customers to have a problem, yet not know how to articulate it or identify what the exact problem is. The problem they are having could be as simple as having a certain expectation for the products or services that your company sells and not having that expectation met. Firstly, train your customer service reps to identify the problem the customer is having, particularly when the customer himself is having a hard time identifying it. This will require active listening. Secondly, once the problem is identified, take the appropriate measure to restore the customer’s faith in your business. In addition to active listening, identifying the problem will require your customer service reps to ask some precise questions. Customer service reps should ask the customers when exactly the problem started, how much detail they can provide on the problem, and whether or not this problem has happened more than once. In addition to asking the customer questions, the customer service rep should ask some questions of the company, specifically, “is this a problem that has affected multiple customers or is this an isolated incident?” After reviewing the customer’s answers and the customer service rep still doesn’t know what to do with the problem, instead of dismissively saying, “I’m transferring you to someone else”, train customer service reps to apologize for the problem and ensure that the case will be resolved for them. Furthermore, customer service reps should assure the customer that they will speak to a specialist who does know how to deal with the problem.
Find a Solution, Solve the Problem, and Follow Up:
All three of these points are incredibly important and none of them should be skipped over or disregarded. Obviously, some problems will be more difficult to solve than others, but regardless of the level of difficulty, the problem must be solved and the customer service rep should be able to confidently tell the customer that this is the case. If this can’t be done, there is a very high probability that the customer will never do business with your company again or never have a positive thing to say about your company to other people. It is important to note that when a solution is offered, the customer may not be satisfied with it. That is why the best problem management plans implement a strategy that involves several possible solutions. If one does not work out for a customer, offer another. Once the customer has agreed upon a particularly solution, you can move forward to fix the problem. And this is where so many businesses go wrong. They make the mistake of confusing finding a solution with fixing the problem. Fixing the problem is the first part and it must be done swiftly. It’s quite likely that the customer will become irritated if they are told that there is a solution to the problem, but it takes several days or even weeks to have the problem fixed. Your problem management plan should include fast action to fix problems almost immediately after the solution has been found. After fixing the problem, you can go above and beyond by following up with customers afterward. Go beyond the simple, “is there anything else I can do for you today?” question. Follow up immediately and again a few days later through a phone call or email. This shows the customer that you have not forgotten about them and that you genuinely care about their needs.
Looking for more advice on how to implement a strong problem management strategy into your customer service? Or are you looking for other customer service solutions and products that will ultimately make your business better? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today with any questions that you may have. You can also keep reading our other blog posts for more free resources or visit our official website today. We look forward to assisting you!
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