Customer Service Training Manual
Customer Service Job Description
The job of the customer service worker is to answer questions, resolve issues, and provide customer satisfaction.
The Customer Service Workplace
Customer service workers provide a number of functions in most every industry, sometimes working face-to-face, other times in customer service centers using telephone and computer technology.
Qualifications and Preparation
The typical customer service job is full time, and frequently doesn’t require more than a high school diploma. Most customer service positions will require some in-house training, and possible licensure depending on the nature of the job.
Important skillsets to develop in this course include communication, problem solving, and specific customer service tactics.
A CSW must engage sensitive listening and speaking skills to accurately assess and respond to a customers’ questions and needs. The worker needs to be comfortable with communication media including telephone calls, email, and live chat; and be able to communicate clearly and accurately, with proper use of written and spoken styles.
To help resolve customer issues, the CSW needs to be able to analyze problems, research answers, and help customers implement solutions. These problem-solving skillsets may be considerably expanded for positions such as
computer support specialists, bank tellers, financial advisers, and other positions requiring special studies and certifications.
A CSW needs to handle questions and problems with a friendly and professional demeanor. Customers may come from many different backgrounds, be frustrated and confused, be angry and difficult—so the CSW needs to be patient, understanding, sympathetic, polite, and create a positive relationship to help resolve the problem at hand, and represent the company well to help ensure good ongoing business standing.
Give your customer your full attention, and handle their questions or complaints effectively. Let your customers feel at that moment, there is nothing more important to you than helping them. You may have a line of other customers needing assistance at your help desk, or a number of callers waiting in the queue. Still, you can only serve one customer at a time, and the customer you are serving now should feel that he or she has your full attention and focus.
Two other important customer service tactics are to 1) talk about benefits, not features. Customers don’t need to know all the technical aspects of a product, but how is it going to improve their lives. And 2) know your competition; not to criticize them, but to better understand some of the options your customer may be considering.
Three phrases that help ensure the highest level of customer service: listen, empathize, and take charge.
Give your customers your full attention, dealing with one customer at a time. Handle customer complaints efficiently and effectively. Pay special attention to these customer service features:
Know your customer.
* Give customers special treatment.
* Do the unexpected.
* Talk about benefits, not features.
* Know your competition.
* Listen, empathize, and take charge.
Understanding the Customer What the Customer Wants
Most customers say they simply want polite and helpful service. The primary response from customers is they want to receive polite, helpful service. A customer typically wants to complete a transaction as quickly as possible, minimizing the amount of time and energy it takes to serve a need or resolve a problem.
What the Customer Needs
Customers aren’t sure exactly what they need to do, only that they have a problem: it is your job to help find a resolution. It may be they simply need to better understand their purchased service or product. A good customer service strategy is to work with your customers as partners in the quick, smooth, satisfactory completion of a transaction. Always give you top effort to create a satisfied customer. Customer needs might include explanations on how a product or service works; replacement of a product; and return or cancellation of a product or service.
Verbal and Nonverbal Communication
Verbal Communication Techniques
Speak with short words: our customers may be highly educated, but when it comes to their particular product or needs, you are the expert and should gently help them understand potentially confusing concepts.
Nonverbal Communication Techniques
Present a calm relaxed face, especially if your customer seems agitated, confused, or angry. Smile warmly and try to put some friendliness in your eyes. Maintain intermittent eye contact.
We should stand with a confident yet non-threatening posture, smile with a calm face, maintain appropriate eye contact, use open gestures, to encourage customers while they’re speaking.
Handling Customer Issues
An apology goes a long way and can help alleviate a customer’s agitation. Resolution to a customer’s problem should equal or exceed the customer’s loss.
Handling Challenging Customers
There will be times when you will have a difficult customer. Although you cannot control how a customer reacts, you can control how you respond. Remain focused, alert, understanding, caring unemotional and patient.
Defusing the situation by showing empathy and suggesting a way to fix their problem may help. Remember to speak slowly, use short sentences, be tactful, and follow the golden model of customer service: listen, empathize, and take charge.
Do not interrupt while your customer is explaining a problem, other than to help clarify an issue. avoid telling your customer to calm down. That may make you appear adversarial to agitated customers, rather than as a helper trying to understand how they feel. Likewise, don’t feel a need to defend yourself. This can also create an adversarial relation. Rather, try to assure your customers you hear their concern, and you sincerely want to help.
Don’t take a customer’s anger or insults personally. Instead, show you are on the customer’s side. You might say something like, “I can understand why you’re upset.”
Involve the customer. This returns a sense of empowerment to a customer who may be feeling powerless. Ask, “How would you like to see this resolved?”
Provide clear options and steps to a resolution. Say, “Here is what we are going to do.”
Exceed a customer’s expectations. Let the customer know, “… and here is what else we have for you.”
Finally, assure the customer that you will advise management of the problem to prevent a similar situation in the future.
Customer Service Telephone Skills
Telephone and telephonic communications can include many different types of equipment and connecting platforms.
In the absence of visual cues, our voice and the voice of our customers become the essential medium of communication. We should speak at a proper rate of speed and volume, with a tone that conveys commitment and competency.
Ask for permission from customers before placing them on hold, initiating a transfer, and connecting them with a new service representative. Introduce them to the new contact, and inform them that you have explained their problem to the new representative.
Be sure to thank your customers for their patience, apologize for any delays, and assure them that a solution to their problem is on its way.
Customer Service through E-mail and the Internet
E-communication involves messaging through business platforms such as e-mail, corporate websites, social media postings, and other forms of electronic writing.
Writing for electronic media may necessarily be brief, yet must clearly and succinctly convey important detail while maintaining a cordial tone.
By using template copy where possible that has been customized and tested, you can avoid unnecessary work, typos, ambiguities, and misinformation.
Pause for a little time before sending or posting your messages, and double-check for errors.
Customer Service Teamwork
Working well to create an effective team may be one of the most challenging aspects at a workplace.
The three primary components of an effective team are a common vision, complementary team member skills, and bonding that holds the team together.
A diversity of skills and perspectives among team members helps create a dynamic team. A standard process in team development includes forming, storming, and norming.
If you can work for the best interests of the team, and help to resolve team problems and conflicts, you may be recognized and rewarded for your efforts.
Customer Service Worker Self-Care
your personal well-being is going to be outside their realm of responsibility especially since they will be rightfully concerned with their own well-being. the obligation for your own care and personal development is going to fall on you.
This means forcing yourself to do things you might prefer to avoid, motivating yourself to work on personal growth, and sometimes just saying “no” to things that might hinder your self-development.
Both you and your supervisor need to ensure you take regular breaks. It’s important to protect yourself from the draining influences of dealing with problems all day long, and to make sure you don’t take the issues home with you at the end of your shift.
Finally, put all that you have learned from this manual into action and you are on your way to become a great Customer Service Worker.