Customer service involves working with a wide range of customers with varying needs and attitudes. It is your main duty to treat the customers with respect at all times, regardless of their way of responding to you. Customers are the individuals who decides whether or not our business rows. It is therefore our duty to ensure that our customers’ needs are met. Customers at times become irate and as such become angry when a product or service was faulty. Even though customers may seem angry with you, they are not; so it is important that you do not take their frustrations personal, as they are referring to the business in general. Never shout or become angry with the customers, but try to show them empathy and try understanding the problem from their point of view. Customers are able to interpret your verbal and nonverbal communication and gestures; as such, you should try to remain focused and professional at all times.
Speaking of communication, it is not professional or acceptable to use slang when dealing with customers. Be polite and friendly with customers at all times. Remember that you are the face of the business, so it is therefore your duty to ensure that customers are satisfied with our products and services in order for them to remain loyal to our business and also to be able to recommend us to other potential customers. If you are unable to assist a customer with a certain request or problem, then it would be best to pass the customer onto someone who has more knowledge or information about their desired product or service. Never hang up on a customer and ensure that you are able to solve their problem instead of having an unsatisfied customer. Your personal solutions may not always work with solving customer problems, so it would be wise to be able to adapt to new ways of dealing with and solving customer problems.
Every organization requires a customer service representative, as these persons are really the ones that pose as the face of the company. When applying for customer service positions, it is wise to complete some research on the skills required for the job. I you do not possess any of the required skills; it would be wise to get some training in achieving these skills. Another requirement is normally to attain a high school diploma and also be computer literate. In order to become an effective customer service representative, one must be able to handle customer’s anger and insults without taking it personal. You must be able to exercise patience and empathy to allow the customer to be comfortable with you and also to gain their trust. It is not hard to maintain a customer service position once you are able to comply with the rules and regulations of the company, and being able to keep the customers happy.
As a customer service representative, you are expected to be goal oriented, that is being able to meet deadlines, solve customer problems and also to grow professionally as an individual. You will also become accustomed to being a team player, as the job of customer service focuses on workers working as a team for the greater good of the company. It is important that you are able to communicate effectively with both customers and employees and also able to listen attentively. Be observant to every action so that you can easily identify acceptable and unacceptable behaviours and actions in the workplace. Be confident in yourself and your capabilities and don’t be afraid to take on responsibilities, as these may improve your role and position as time goes by. Provide customers with adequate and accurate information regarding products and services. It is important that your research on the products and services that you will be assigned to inform customers about, in order to have advanced knowledge on the products. This is important, as customers can identify when or if you have knowledge about the product or service being dealt with. As a customer service representative, it is also vital that you input customer information on the computer system correctly, in the case where the customer may call back or return to the business; another agent may have to access their information to continue their case. If complaints are made by customers, ensure that you record these complaints, as they can be used to see where the company is making mistakes in dealing with customers; and also to find solutions to handling these complaints. If you realize that you have tried all possible options to assist a customer and are unable to assist them, then it will be acceptable to transfer the customer to a team lead or the manager.
Never disclose customer information to anyone who is not permitted to receive such information, as this is considered a sin of confidentiality. When on the job and dealing with customers never handle your personal business or request while on the job; that can be done during break, before or after work. When dealing with customers, especially face-to-face, always wear a smile, even if you are having a bad day. This will refresh your customer and make them feel comfortable. Never take out your personal frustrations on customers or team members; once you are on the job, conduct yourself in a professional manner. When dealing with new software, training may be provided to equip you with adequate knowledge to utilize the software properly. Never be disrespectful to your customers.
You will come across customers from varying backgrounds, cultures or ethnic groups, and as such, you will be required to implement varying strategies to solve each of their problems; as each set of individuals beliefs may be out of bound with you way of handling the situation. Be careful also, of your choice of words and tone when dealing with various persons; as one set may not find a certain term or phrase insulting, another will be insulted or bothered by it. Learn to find different means of communicating and dealing with various kinds of people. Try to form relationships with customers to make them seem more of a friend than an enemy. Sometimes the reason why customers become angry really the way in which they were dealt with and not necessarily has to do with the product or service that was supplied to them. Some customers will understand thins from your point of view while others will not care at all. If you realize that customers are straying from the real problem, gently redirect the conversation back to the actual problem with coming off as mean.
When putting customers on hold, ensure that you tell them that you going to put them on a brief hold before doing so. Do not keep customers on hold for more than 1 or two minutes. If you plan to keep them on hold for a loner time, refresh the customer and then do so. When transferrin a customer to a supervisor or helpdesk; advise customer that you are trying to connect with supervisor before putting them on hold. After that is done, advise the supervisor that the customer wises to speak to them and update the supervisor on the customer details/ queries. After the supervisor has received customer name and details of the call, once you have received the permission to connect the call, you take the customer off hold and introduce customer and supervisor to each other and then connect their call and end yours.
If a customer calls in and you are unable to hear anything, if a procedure was given to handle calls like these, ensure that you follow the procedure. Customer service representatives should possess the skill of multitasking; as most times while handling a call, they will be required to write up a ticket which contains relevant information about the customers and also to recall procedures that they have not yet fully grasp. Once you have dealt with a customer and you were able to solve their situation, you are then entitled to close their ticket and give a report of how you handled the situation.
Try to learn as much as you can within the training sessions, because normally what you learn in training is what you will be expected to model during the real work environment. Don’t be rude to any customers even when they are being rude to you, it is best to remain silent for a while and take a deep breath. Remember to bear in mind that they are not angry at you personally but at the business itself and the way in which the service was provided or delivered to them.
Not every call that customers make deals with complaints. Sometimes they just want to give kudos to a specific employee or to commend the company on a job well done. Some days the experience will be good and some days it will be bad, but at the end of the day, it is a job that has to be completed; whether customers are fully satisfied or not.