- Be reasonable in your response time
One thing your customers hate is being ignored. If you want to keep them happy and make a bad situation better make sure you respond, within 24 hours is the general rule of thumb. If you do not have a solution for your customer at that exact moment, just let them know you are working on it and will get back to them within a certain time frame. Using automatic responses can also help with this and can buy you some valuable time.
- Be empathetic
Step in to your customer shoes and think of a scenario where you as a consumer have been in a position of dissatisfaction and you feel like no one cares. Don’t be patronising, but let your customers know that you understand why they are disgruntled or frustrated. Using words like ‘I understand your frustration’ or ‘I want to help’. You will mostly always diffuse any anger and aggression by making the customer feel that you understand their perspective and are there to help them.
- The customer is always right
Although this is not always the case, it is crucial that you do not criticise your customer or escalate the issue by responding in an accusatory tone. Refer back to point 1 & 2, be sure to respond in a timely manner and be sympathetic, apologise for any misunderstanding that may have occurred (it doesn’t matter whose fault it is!). You are there to help resolve the issue not to make it worse. It is also important to educate the customers and set the expectations from the beginning to stop any confusion occurring in the first place
- Make it personal (where appropriate)
It is really important that when you are dealing with customers that you personalise the interaction. Make the customer feel like they are the only person that you have dealt with today. You are also not talking to robots and you need to be human. Using first names where appropriate is a way to gain trust and make the customer feel comfortable with speaking to you. It is also great to sign off with your own name, rather than ‘Customer Support Team’, your customers want to know who they are talking to.
- Be thankful & appreciative for feedback
Very few customers get in touch when they have a good experience but when they do, find a way to thank them and reward them! Even though it is not always nice, negative feedback is a catalyst for change and growth. When you get negative feedback from a customer it can be a way for you to improve your offering for other clients. Make sure you thank the customer for the feedback and assure them that it is appreciated, they will respond well if you can show them that the feedback is utilised to improve service for the future.