Do you feel awkward in conversations with customers, pressured by your manager to improve your metrics, wondering where you can go to improve your customer service skills? If your company doesn’t provide extra training, scripting, or coaching, you can find several resources to help you improve your game. The first step is to figure out all the potential failure points in a day to come up with a plan to address each one.
Product knowledge is Key
Knowing your company’s products, services, and policies inside and out can make customer service seem effortless. If you’re constantly stumped by customer inquiries, this could be where you need to start. Take the initiative to collect some of the most common customer questions that baffle you, then go speak to a production manager or bring policy-related questions directly to your manager to ask for guidance on how to respond to these types of requests.
Also ask for product or marketing demos from your sales team so you can see the same things your customers see. Keep notes or make charts and lists to help you keep track of complex details so that the next time a customer has a complex question, you’ve got the answers right at your fingertips.
System Knowledge for Better Customer Service
If you aren’t comfortable moving within the software system you use for service tickets or other systems used to track company data, request more training or look for online training right from the software provider. You need to back up extensive product knowledge with expertise in quickly finding or logging data in the software systems that you access to do your job properly.
Ask other employees what steps they take to complete a task or find information; in some cases, information is only available based on user-level access, meaning you might be able to log into a system, but perhaps your view or capabilities are restricted by your user level. It’s possible this is company policy, but it’s also possible your lack of access is an oversight or mistake that needs to be corrected so that you can get to the information you need to help your customers.
In some cases, your current software suite might be limited in its capability to streamline your workflow. If you feel like you spin your wheels spending hours each day on busy work or things that could potentially be automated, then you might need more advanced software to help enhance productivity in your department. Taking the time to research automation software such as auto dialers by Bright Pattern and presenting the results of your research to a manager can give them ideas about ways to improve efficiency, which can then end up benefiting you and your co-workers.
Know Your Time Management
Hectic call center environments can place you in the crosshairs of multiple urgent priorities all day. Maintaining focus and productivity can be difficult, but this is a crucial part of excellent customer service. Call center reps who are disorganized and don’t follow up or give a customer closure on an inquiry earn some of the harshest complaints from customers for poor service.
People Are Your Most Important Asset
Understanding the underlying reasons why people behave the way they do is an important component of empathy that is sometimes called “emotional intelligence.” This is the bridge that builds a connection between you and the customer so that you can thoroughly investigate and resolve their complaint.
Two components are essential with people skills; understanding yourself and understanding others. People who are easily upset or who get “their buttons pushed” frequently may need to do some introspection about what specifically triggers the anger. Once that has been addressed, it’s easier to deal with angry customers while maintaining a calm, positive demeanor.
Above all, improving your customer service takes time and practice. As long as you eliminate the variables above, don’t be too hard on yourself. Take risks, try new approaches, keep your cool, and always keep learning.