Our company prides ourselves on providing the best possible customer service. Which is why my recent customer service fail struck me so hard. Even as I hung up the phone I knew that I had not made the customer as happy as I could have. Luckily I have a great team to help analyze and formulate guidelines to provide the best customer service. Here are 3 rules to ensure you never have a customer service fail.
Rule 1: Give Both Your TIme and Attention
Unlike a dedicated customer service agent you may be juggling any number of tasks at the same time. This can often lead to multitasking. But the fact is if you’re multitasking you’re not giving your caller all of your attention. Although, you may believe you are a dynamite multitasker chances are the caller will realize that they are not getting your full attention. In this case even if you provide great information the member will feel they are not important to you and your organization.
You may be tempted to complete calls quickly, especially on busy days. However, it is important that your members feel like they are an important and respected part of your organization so you should always take time for pleasantries. If you are running short of time let them know you have a prior appointment and schedule a call back at a better time.
Rule 2: Don’t Be Afraid to Say You Don’t Know or No
We often don’t like to admit that we don’t know something. So we may give a partial answer or just a guess. Although this will end the phone call, when your member tries to utilize the false or partial information you gave them they will become very frustrated. It is much better to tell your member you don’t know and will get back to them later. Your member may start off unhappy that they have to wait for a solution but as long as you get back to them in a prompt manner the end result will be a very happy member.
It’s the same with giving a No answer. We are often told that “the customer is always right” which make telling a member no very difficult. We know it’s not what the member wants to hear and we want to make the customer happy. So, sometimes we may say maybe or yes instead of no. However, your member will eventually find out they can’t do what they want and be even angrier that they were lied to.
Rule 3: Always Follow Up
Whether your member was satisfied or not with the resolution you gave them you should always follow-up. This could be with an email that goes over the information you gave them or a phone call checking up on them. Even if you told a member no to something having time to share their grievance with you will make them feel they are important to your organization.
It is up to you to decide whether a phone call or email follow-up would be best. If you are giving a list of instructions, address or something difficult to remember, email is best. If not you will need to gauge your member and what they prefer. You could ask your members what form of communication they prefer when they join. You could also ask at the end of your phone call with the member.
So, which rule did I break? It was rule number 1. Our customer needed to contact a company whose product we integrate with for the information they were requesting. So I told them to contact the company directly. What I should have done is explained why they needed to contact them and provide the contact information to make it easier for them. It would have only taken me 2 extra minutes but would have made a world of difference in how the customer felt when they hung up the phone.
I learned my lesson the hard way. But with these 3 rules you won’t need to. You can ensure that all of your members are happy.
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