For someone seeking help over the phone, the customer service representative must be trained well to take bewildered telephone calls. As the CSR, you are usually sitting with your head under the drill press of unpredictable grievances that a customer may or may not have thought about methodically. Customers who cannot be easily appeased on the other side of the line require your unconditional understanding; they are like voters and their vote in your favor is crucial to your opponent’s defeat. This unconditional understanding is subject to how well you understand how a customer thinks. It’s important you don’t lose sight of what a customer wants. His is an unchanging stance, one that you should be determined to influence in your favor.
Customers Think in a Holistic Manner
For a fruitful interaction between you and your customer, don’t assume that customers think in a linear manner. They look at the larger picture. Hypothetically speaking, if a consumer ever asks for a return and refund on a chocolate he thinks is too sweet, he wouldn’t care about the grams of sugar, cocoa or preservatives that the manufacturer has used to make the product. He isn’t seeking support to share constructive solutions or to better the product if it does not give him value. He would just want his money back for the chocolate that is too sweet. The rule applies to services too. You should use this honest, holistic way of thinking to your advantage and should have a quick counter-mechanism to provide your customers with instant assurance and possible solutions to address the issue at hand.
Listen Carefully Before Dismissing a Customer for Irrationality
Sometimes the pretext to a customer’s dissatisfaction may seem irrational to you. A customer seeking professional help and attention may start with a detailed and colorful account of everything that he thinks is wrong with any given product or service. A smart CSR should not be a sloppy listener. It’s best to listen to each and every detail and respond actively and patiently. Remember, customers may call when they are angry and frustrated. You have to show exceptional levels of patience when it comes to providing them with solutions even in their panic-stricken state.
Give Them a Constellation of Solutions
A customer will always look for customer support over every detail he has to offer. A discontented customer may weave stories of how he has been wronged, may not be able to compose himself, may hurl orders and slurs, and may even get aggressive. He may even appeal to his right to best value for money even if he cannot get his complaint across concisely. He may not think hierarchically and may address his concerns to the wrong departments. Despite all this, you have to lay out premeditated solutions for the flummoxed customer to pick from.
Words Are All You Have
A customer may not be able to put forth an abridged version of his complaint but that does not give you license to waste away word. Superfluous, complex or repetitive solutions may wear out customers and they may decide against getting the required information or services if they feel they cannot confide in you. Sometimes, customers who are frustrated of having to seek help too many times, don’t have the exact records of calls they have made before, which makes it hard for a fruitful interaction to continue. If they feel misgiving and have had too many unsuccessful interactions seeking help, you have to assume the role of an eloquent and humble orator. You should start with accepting your business’s prior errors and then provide a constellation of stellar solutions to the customer.
Cater To Their Individual Needs and Avoid Being an IRS
Each customer should be provided with a tailor-made experience to address his concerns. You have to be vibrant and positive and your voice should exude confidence that things will be all right. If they wanted automated responses from an interactive response system (IRS), they would have chosen a different service or a different hotline. There should be concern as well as positivity in your voice while interacting with customers. The customer should feel all-important and his interaction should be exclusive.
The Lesson Learnt
The customer is always right. And is looking for the business to acknowledge its mistake, give him optimal value for money and customer satisfaction.
If you fail to satisfy your customers, it means bad station for your business as they would badmouth your business; to friends, to other customers, to everyone. All in all, since the customer is willing to pay a good price for any service, he has some preconceived notions and a number of expectations. He expects his issues are heard, understood and treated with courtesy and respect. It is the duty of the CSR to provide the best customer service possible, otherwise the customer will just feel alienated on the other side of the line.