Customer service is at the heart of almost every type of business. Whether you are a shop selling products, a services business or even an online business, dealing with customers is a key part of the job. That means you need to ensure your staff have the skills required to do the job, regardless of how they serve the customers.
Customers can be a bit vague – they might not know what they want or be uncertain of the exact details of what they came for. Or they might not be able to make up their mind. Staff need to retain the patience to walk them through the process and to help them make that choice. Patience can also be one of the hardest skills to master but after all, your employees are the experts and a customer is looking to you for advice.
Listening to your customer is the number one rule in good customer service. Restating what they have told you and confirming their points helps to build rapport and ensures you have a clear picture of the customer’s needs. Employees need to learn to pay attention and act on the information given, even if it is a little vague.
You can understand what people want by paying attention, but you need good communication skills to move them along the buying journey towards a purchase. This means being able to talk about the product or service, to help them clarify what they need or what issues they have.
A good understanding of the product they are selling is a crucial part of good customer services. This means being able to talk about what it does or why it is the right option but also answer questions. It is okay to need to clarify something with a coworker, but staff should be able to chat extensively on the main points and most common questions received about the product or service.
Assertiveness and positive language
Being assertive and using positive language are subtle ways to help people make a choice. This doesn’t mean bossy or being too forceful – just simply being able to move the conversation in the right direction and use positive language to reinforce why the product or service is right for them. Simple examples could be that something isn’t sold out, it is being restocked next week – positive language and then assertiveness to get the client to confirm that this is okay.
Handle the unexpected
You can’t train staff for every single situation that could arise, but you can train them to be ready for the unexpected and have systems to handle it. This might even be something as simple as knowing who to escalate a complaint to or where to get extra information from if a customer comes up with something out of the ordinary. By being ready for the unexpected, they are better placed to handle it if it does happen.
Our customer service training courses are dynamic and inspiring, and can be tailored to your business’ needs so you staff can master what it really means to provide good customer service. To find out about our courses, you can use our contact form or call us on 01454 203355.