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10 customer service tips you should never forget

30 Nov

When you work in customer service, you pick up on a huge array of rules, tips and tricks that can steer you through even the most complex and tricky situations. The importance of delivering a positive customer experience cannot be understated - bad customer service experiences reach more than twice as many people as news of good customer service, for instance – and it’s vital that professionals in this industry stay up to date with best practices. We’ve compiled ten of our top commandments to follow in order to keep ahead of the curve.

Always listen to feedback

Customer feedback, particularly when it’s about a negative experience, can be hard to stomach at times. However, it’s important to take all feedback on board in order to better tailor the customer experience. While negative feedback is never nice to hear, for every one customer who complains, 26 others stay silent, according to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, which means it’s likely that other customers have had a similar qualm. Take the time to listen to and absorb responses from your customers and learn from your mistakes.

Make sure your customers feel important

It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book, but using a customer’s name and telling them you understand their issues can go a long way in helping build relationships and trust with your customers. No problem should be too small, and you should always treat your customer as an individual – no matter how many you deal with each day.

Try to exceed expectations

Where possible, go above and beyond to deliver more than your customers expect of you. According to a 2011 American Express Survey, 7 in 10 customers are willing to spend more with a company that they believe provides excellent service, so a good level of service could come back to benefit your business in spades.

Respond to everything in a timely manner

The failure to respond to a problem in a timely manner is one of the top two reasons for customer loss, according to a 2010 Customer Experience Impact Report. Your organisation will likely have policies in place with regard to response times, so make sure you adhere to these.

Train your staff properly

If you’re in charge of a team of customer service staff, ensure they are trained and empowered to deliver a service that is in line with your – and your company’s – expectations. Proper training is the key to any successful customer service team, so invest the time to get it right.

Avoid using too much jargon

If you’re working in the financial services industry, it’s likely that your customers will have an understanding of at least some of the more technical terms you use on a daily basis. However, it’s important not to overwhelm them with jargon – ensure each customer understands what you’re talking about and isn’t confused by any language used.

Pay close attention to customer information

As a customer services professional, you’ll likely have access to a significant amount of customer data that can help you provide a better, more tailored service. While it’s important not to be intrusive, you should pay attention to key information that can help you understand your customers and therefore give them an improved service. Big data analytics can help with understanding past customer behaviour and predict future patterns.

Use technology to its full potential

Your customer pool will likely want to use a range of technologies in order to contact you and monitor their issues, from telephone and email through to web chat and even social media. Ensure you’re utilising the right technologies to offer better service.

Be patient!

It’s no secret that working in customer service can test your patience. Customers are quick to pick up on a representative who is becoming agitated or unhelpful, so keep your cool and take deep breaths where necessary.

Keep customers up to date

If you’re working with customers on ongoing issues or enquiries, or simply deal with them on a regular basis, keep up frequent communications to update them on where the matter is at. Customers appreciate being told before they have to ask, and this will help to build trust in your relationship moving forward.

If you’re looking to take the next step in your customer services career, we have a range of opportunities available here.
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