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8 steps to excel at customer service

Customers are king. This may be a controversial statement but if you are in business, you need a customer to buy what you are selling. Therefore, if there are no customers, there is in effect no business. So, what can you do to excel at customer service? Let’s look at the eight steps you can take as a customer service agent.

STEP 1: Listen actively

This skill won’t only help in business but also in your private life. When we listen actively, we repeat what people say in different words to ensure we understand them, and we ask questions to rectify any misunderstanding. You can learn more about listening actively here.

STEP 2: Understand the product or service thoroughly

You need to know your offerings inside out. You need to know how to use them and how they may size up to a competitor’s brand. With the internet, customers have access to a large amount of information about the products or services they wish to use. You need to ensure you are the voice they are listening to, and you do this by having an in-depth knowledge of your offering and the industry you work in.

STEP 3: Be empathetic

Having high emotional intelligence is crucial for a customer service agent so that they can connect and show genuine concern for the customer. This ability to empathise with a customer can help to build loyalty and trust between the customer and your brand.

STEP 4: Be positive

When you are speaking to your customers it is crucial to use positive language with them. Instead of saying “don’t hit the red button” rather say “hit the green button”. You will also want to have a smile when dealing with customers. Try not to increase your anger with that of your customer but rather try to remain calm as you help your customer solve their problems.

STEP 5: Be an expert on technology

You need to use the technology given to you by your business well. You need to know how to use the programmes and devices well. Ensure you know the platform your business uses inside out so that you can assist your customers smoothly.

STEP 6: Show gratitude

In today’s environment, saying “thank you” is seldom heard. By sending a handwritten thank-eyou note in your customer’s package you add a special touch. You could also add an extra sample to show your appreciation to your customer. By saying “thank you” you build positive rapport with your customers.

STEP 7: Be transparent

Making mistakes is human. Everyone has done it but how are you going to fix it? The first step is to acknowledge the error if it is on your or the business’ side. Then you need to explain to the customer you will rectify the error to the best of your ability. Use all the avenues which are available to you to find a solution to solve the mistake you have made.

STEP 8: Keep learning

It is estimated that things in the future will change even faster than it does today. Therefore, it is crucial to remain curious and keep learning about your industry and the environment in which you operate. If you remain still, you may be rushed over by the stampede of change that is coming.

By following these eight steps, you will be well-prepared to excel at customer service.

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