The key to great customer service is great communication. It can be challenging to say the right thing when customers are frustrated or annoyed. There’s a fine line between sales talk and ignoring the customer’s needs. You must strike a balance between resolving conflict and encouraging the customer to make a purchase. Saying the wrong things can make or break a brand, aggravating the customers' annoyance as according to American Express.
1. “How can I help you?”
Always lead with this phrase. Customers like to feel heard and they want the opportunity to share their need or frustration. Never make assumptions about what a customer wants, what their buying power is, or what they’re feeling. Always open a door to discussion.
Tip: When setting up your phone system, use this phrase in your script for your virtual assistant.
2. “I don’t know, but let me find out for you”
You may know your business inside and out, but inevitably, there will be a question or request that stumps you. How you address these situations will shape the customer’s perception of your company. If you say you can’t do something and the customer later finds out that you could have done it, they won’t trust your company. If you don’t know the answer, inform the customer that you will research the issue.
Tip: If you can’t answer a caller’s question, use your VoIP routing system to easily route the call to a coworker who can. Be sure to minimize the customer’s hold time as much as possible.
3. “I understand your frustration”
Frustrated customers ultimately want to be heard; they don’t want empty platitudes or promises, and they definitely don’t want to be condescended to. Be sure to express to the customer that you understand how they are feeling and want to help. After all, you’ve likely been in a similar situation yourself. Let your empathy shine through.
4. “We’ll keep you updated”
If the problem requires a long-term solution, or if research is needed, establish a reasonable timeline for resolution and be sure to communicate this to the customer. Don’t tell them you’ll get back in five minutes if that’s not possible, and always inform them of any developments in the process needed to solve their problem.
Tip: Use our virtual assistant to integrate your VoIP calls with your CRM and project management system to ensure that all messages and contacts are documented and followed up on. Customers strongly dislike when someone forgets to follow up with them, or worse, when someone reaches out with no acknowledgment of any previous conversations the customer had with your company.
5. “We appreciate your business”
It’s important to express appreciation for your customers, but too often, companies take the easy way out. Be sure that your actions speak louder than words: Go the extra mile in communicating with your customers. That includes followup calls and surveys, thank you emails, and perhaps even coupons for their next purchase. Don’t rely upon a simple “thanks for your order.”
In general, customer service revolves around the axiom, “The customer is always right.” This phrase originated from the idea that the customer has unique needs that should be addressed, so don’t take it to mean that the customer can’t be wrong. Rather, use this philosophy as guidance for opening dialogue with the customer and leading with empathy.
A robust phone system that can easily connect customers with the person who can help them is an immensely important customer service tool. Being able to seamlessly route callers to the best person to handle their issue is a means of demonstrating to the customer that their business is appreciated and their time is valued. Check out Omni for a streamlined phone system to help you provide optimal customer service with amazing features such as an interactive virtual features, intelligent call forwarding and multiple extensions with zero hardware.