Customers these days are very perceptive and emotionally intelligent, they can tell if a customer service representative is faking a smile or deliberately avoiding eye contact during a conversation. Research reveals that 60-90 % of everyday communication is nonverbal; body language is the most vital aspect of nonverbal communication that businesses can’t ignore. A cheerful smile, a warm handshake, proper eye contact and the right tone of voice are some of the essentials of positive body language that all customer service reps should be familiar with. Positive body language communicates interest, care and friendliness. Here are some body language tips to boost your customer satisfaction level!
To start off with the basics, do not check your mobile phone during a conversation. While talking to a customer you should always maintain eye contact and pay attention. However, never make the customer uncomfortable by staring, make sure to blink and look away at regular intervals. If a customer talks about an experience, an issue or a product, the best way to show you understand and agree with your body language is to nod. However, while nodding keep your face expressions relaxed so that the customer does not think that you are getting annoyed. Give a gesture that you are an attentive listener and truly care about the customer.
Smile is one of the basic skills that most businesses teach their customer service staff, however, it is always a genuine smile that stirs positivity, approachability and trustworthiness. Do not ask your CSRs to smile just for the sake of following a ritual instead ask them to use it as a strong body language tool to influence a customer’s emotional state of mind. For instance, if you are running a restaurant, if all of your customer service staff know how to stir positivity through smiling, a customer would feel delightful from the moment he walks in. From the first point of contact as the customer walks into a restaurant and is greeted with a smile, followed by a smile as the waiter takes and serves the order to the point of departure when the manager smiles and thanks the customer for visiting, all this would ensure the customer leaves happy with the friendly service received.
Studies reveal that the brain’s area which is vital for speech production gets fully active when a person is talking and using hands with the speech. Gesturing through hands while making a conversation lights up thoughts and improves your creative thinking. So if for example, you are in a situation where you have to give details about a policy to a customer or you have to improvise while solving a customer service issue, use your hands while talking to elucidate a point and see how it helps you with the flow of thoughts. Verbal communication is likely to improve significantly with hand gesturing, so use it to your advantage for powering up your ideas.
Being in business, you need to be extra cautious about the pitch of your voice, a slightly loud or harsh tone can drive away customers. While dealing with irate customers, you should always try to talk in a soft and low pitch. A lot of businesses dwell on communicating with the customers via phone, for them it is very important to teach their CSRs to converse in a polite tone. In order to make your customers feel comfortable and welcomed, keep your tone courteous, professional and comprehensible. For instance, if an angry customer comes to a help desk and starts bashing a CSR, he/she should converse in a calm and empathetic tone to handle such a customer, subconsciously it would impact the emotional state of the customer and he/she would feel heard.
A person might be able to control his/her body postures and face expressions during anxiety and stress situations but a person’s legs and feet would reveal the true emotional state. Teaching your customer service staff to read a person’s emotional state of mind by observing foot movements will help you in serving your customers better. It has been observed that some people have increased foot movement when they are nervous or anxious. For instance if you have a long customer queue you can get an idea which customers are getting stressed because of the wait, dealing with them according to their emotions would help pacify and satisfy them. Being a good observer of a customers’ body language would earn you an edge in understanding their expectations and help serve them better.
A study conducted by Income Centre for Trade shows on handshakes showed that, “People are two times more likely to remember you if you shake hands with them.” Touch is a meaningful and powerful nonverbal gesture and while you shake hands with a person you express friendliness, openness and cooperation. Shaking hands with your customers will make them remember and trust you more. They would even recall the name of a CSR who greets and treats them so personally. In order to give customers a memorable experience, shake hands with them with a smiling and welcoming face, such a gesture would make them feel as they are your friends and it would be easier for you to earn their trust and loyalty.
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