Maham Riaz (October 5, 2015)
The words you communicate to your customers are really important in creating a perception or impression about your business. In order to improve customer experience and develop strong customer relationships, businesses need to take into account the elements of a powerful, persuasive and pleasant conversation. A CSR or customer relationship manager empathizing with a customer or making him/her feel valued during a conversation is likely to win that customer for life. Right choice of words, proper eye contact, positive body language and knowing the implications of what you are saying are the most important elements that make up an impactful conversation. Therefore, in order to provide memorable service, businesses need to focus on the following essentials that make an impactful customer service conversation.
Speaking with confidence is the first step which makes a conversation convincing. If for instance a customer asks a waiter about an item on the menu and he gets confused and starts mumbling, it would create a negative impression about that restaurant and the staff not being knowledgeable and professional. Train your customer service staff to communicate with confidence, a smile on the face and relaxed body posture. If they are unsure about something they should never share wrong details with the customers just to make a sale. Your customers are likely to judge your business by the way your staff communicates with them, so make sure they converse in a professional manner.
There are times when you have an angry customer yelling at a CSR and it becomes quite challenging to handle such a situation. A persuasive conversation involves conveying a message in the best possible manner. There are multiple ways of saying one thing, so think of all the possible statements and choose the most appropriate one to make your point. For instance, instead of telling the customer that his/her complaint will be resolved by another department, you should say, “I have contacted the concerned department and a representative will be getting in touch with you shortly. Meanwhile is there anything else I can help you with.” Conveying the message is the most important part of communication, so make sure that your customer service staff knows how to do it.
A calm, clear and professional tone of voice is necessary for an impactful customer service conversation. Whether an angry customer is arguing with you or you are conversing with a prospective client, always speak in a professional manner. Don’t converse with a customer in a high pitch voice since it might create an impression that you are rude. CSRs dealing with customer complaints have to especially be careful about the tone of their voice. An angry customer would definitely not want a customer service rep to respond in a high pitch. Therefore, while training for communication skills you should teach your team to tone down their voice and make it more empathetic and friendly.
In order to persuade your customers, your conversations should make sense. Therefore, while interacting with customers, use simple words, avoid technical jargon that is difficult to comprehend. Use meaningful words that are easy to understand for everyone. If for instance, you are running a packaged food company and a customer asks you to explain how your packaging protects food, instead of using technical terms explain your packaging features in a simple manner as if talking to a layman. Do not use wordy phrases with your customers, keep your conversation comprehensible.
During interpersonal communication, making eye contact and proper body gestures are vital to convince the other person. For those working in the customer service industry it is all the way more important. A rep who is looking away from the customer while he/she is inquiring about a product or a CSR biting nails while a customer asks for help would damage the image of a business. For a powerful customer service conversation you need to maintain proper eye contact with your customers and keep your body gestures affirmative with your conversation. Never cross arms while you are in a client meeting, use hand movements while explaining a point and control your facial expressions.
While conversing with corporate clients, you should not use slang words. ‘Ahan’, ‘umm’, ‘hmm’ should be avoided at best. You should converse with your customers in a friendly manner but always give them an impression that you represent a professional organization. Make sure your customer service conversations don’t contain nonprofessional words and phrases.
While greeting your customers or clients never say hey, use “hello, how are you doing today” or “Good Morning, how can I be of help”. While addressing a customer complaint never use statements such as, “If you had read our return and exchange policy”, “What is your problem” and “Just a sec”.
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