First-Class Customer Service: Your Problem Solving Skills
Excellent customer service sets you apart from competitors. Not only is treating the customer right, the right thing to do, but it’s essential in our economy – when corners seem to get cut, just to make ends meet. The one thing that costs you next to nothing is treating people right. And companies that know this – succeed. We created the five Moments of Magic to help you deliver first-class customer service experiences. Today, I will be covering the final step. The previous steps include: MENTAL PSYCHE, THE GREETING, MEETING THE NEED, and FOLLOW THROUGH.
#5. HANDLING PROBLEMS
If there’s a product or service problem, there will always be a customer service problem. It ends and begins with the customer, which is why problems always affect your customer’s experience.
Now, all too often – this is where we begin. We get frantic, we’re rushed and have little time to help, so we want to get to the point: what’s the customer’s problem and how can we fix it? Although it’s great that we care, it’s important that we take our time getting to this stage – otherwise, we’re much more likely to misunderstand the problem.
The only way to really identify the problem accurately is to listen to customers. Get into their shoes by listening and empathizing with their situation. Apologize for specifics, which lets them know that you really get what’s going on. Don’t just throw a blanketed apology over the scenario – they will leave feeling unheard and frustrated. After doing all of this, solve the actual problem, to the best of your ability. And again, apologize for what you are unable to fix. And when appropriate and professional, provide the customer with details that might help them to understand the bigger picture. Providing details is not the same thing as making excuses. For example, if your store is out of stock on an item, don’t blame it on a distributor – but rather, share the next delivery date with the customer, so that she knows when to return.
Sometimes, all a customer wants is to be heard. So, it’s critical that you give customers the space and time to vent, without interrupting too quickly. Their emotions are important, and the more information you can gather during this process, the better you will be able to assist them. When emotions are running rampant, just remember, this is your opportunity to make a difference and to be different.
It’s simple to stand apart from competitors, if you have the patience to listen, empathize, apologize and solve customer problems. Knowing this and doing this – are completely different things.