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With Christmas sales already ramping up, how is your business setup to ensure customer facing staff are prepared?
In the world of advanced technologies, customers have more power than ever to get their views and dissatisfactions across to a wider audience. The Internet has changed how business owners deal with customer service issues.
If you own a business the chances are you have an online store or have even gone one stage further and use a popular market site to attract customers. If you do then you'll understand how feedback can affect not only your brand but your business standing with such companies.
Complicated service levels tracking daily feedback on delivery, performance, product safety and compatibility are all part of the course. They do in fact help you to ensure your customers are receiving the best level of service.
Unfortunately, one bad review can have the ability to devastate your account.
If you have a social media presence you may spend hours creating content that will wow your customers. But instead find yourself battling with unnecessary comments when you're striving for likes and shares.
It's a difficult balance between being open as a business and trying to keep your customers quiet unless they have something positive to say. Ensuring your brand is squeaky clean is not like it used to be.
Sadly this equates to a fools errand, no company can be expected to maintain 100% of customer satisfaction at all times. Largely most unhappy customers don't complain they just jump ship leaving managers baffled as to what they did wrong. Loyalty isn't something that can be earned, it is something that needs to be achieved and can only happen with the right customer service team in place.
Here's 6 ways to prepare and grow your customer service team:
Not all companies invest in this crucial element of their business. They may leave it to the recruitment team assuming that if someone has experience, they will qualify as a good fit for your company. Regardless of skills every employee should receive internal training pertinent to the brand and the role they fulfil.
Plus, this isn’t a one time event but an ongoing requirement. If you regularly launch new products or services ensure you update those that are customer facing.
Some sectors require happy go lucky customer reps who can spin a yarn or two to keep the customer relaxed. Others need someone who can simply follow a script. Both have their place but put the wrong rep in front of the customer and you could be sending them out the door to the competition.
Ensure that you have a mix, at the end of the day one conversation or correspondence can be a deal breaker. You hire people because they aren't robots allow them to shine.
Deciding what type of customer service your team should be giving is based around the output of your brand, mission statement and strategy. If the team fails to understand the reasons, they will be unwillingly misrepresenting the business causing headaches and only serve to confuse rather than placate.
If the goal is to deliver a certain product the fastest in the sector then the customer service team needs to understand the timings and relate this against actual delivery received.
Trust plays a huge part in any customer service team, and by that we mean giving your reps room to move. Allow your team to listen and react accordingly rather than putting all customer complaints in the same box delivering the same outcome.
If a client phones with a compliant offering them a standard percentage off their next purchase is not going to work. Allow staff to realistically solve problems at hand.
One thing that really grates on any customer is a failed promise. A sales rep may feel inclined to talk up the service in an attempt to win the customer but in reality, the person who will receive the grief is the customer facing operational employee. In terms of approach there is a huge difference between selling and solving.
As both roles sit at the opposite ends of the business spectrum they need to communicate. This comes from defined internal processes and procedures, leadership and management.
6. Supportive environment
Listening to complaints and being constantly on the firing line is hard work. It is up to the management team to ensure that staff members receive the appropriate treatment and care. Equipping your staff with the necessary tools will serve them to deliver a good service.
This includes taking regular breaks, having the right level of support and being able to input on areas they have grown to understand.
All businesses should be tracking their performance, both on and off social media, web and market channels. Internal processes that capture data and monitor key customer service levels will enable management teams to track and deliver better results.
These should include individual staff contributions and the team as a wider group. Setting up in-house service levels will depend on the overall business strategy and must be aligned with company goals. They should be monitored and updated as the business grows.
Great customer service teams are the cornerstone of any business. Their role dictates that they will speak to the customer more than anyone else and this can have a huge impact on a customer staying or leaving for greener pastures.
Making sure staff members have proper training and support will help to cement a front line team that can withstand the pressures of the job.
Investing in the right staff, with the required experience and offering them an environment to grow will save you time and money. Not only in terms of sales losses but to also retain employees and attracting top talent to a business that cares for both staff and customers.
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01372 700 720