by: Kristin Beaver
This post originally appeared on ICMI.com.
As customer service reps, we’ve all had the experience of dealing with unhappy customers and we’ve all had the experience where, in the end, that same customer left happy. Unfortunately, we’ve also had the experience of having the customer leave angry, and that’s never a good feeling. How can we prevent this from happening? There are many things that can be done to ensure every customer call is a positive one.
Listening is the first thing you should do, and I can’t stress that enough. If you don’t listen, you can’t get to the bottom of the problem. Most times, customers just want us to listen and they want to know that someone is there to handle their problem, no matter how big or small.
Understand the Problem
When we understand the problem we are able to provide a solution. If you don’t fully understand, don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you don’t ask questions and don’t understand what’s going on, you’ll never find a solution and you and the customer both will be going in circles. Along with understanding the customer’s problem, you must understand their frustration and apologize. Apologizing is key, in my opinion, as it helps calm things down. I normally start with ‘I am so sorry to hear that, I know that’s frustrating as that would frustrate me as well’.
No one has all the answers but don’t be afraid to put the customer on hold to find the answer. Consider that a learning experience for you and the customer. They will appreciate it much more if you are giving accurate answers. Also, point the customer toward your Knowledge Base and let them know they will find tons of useful information including tutorials, but let them know they can always reach a live person just by calling or e-mailing.
One thing that I have learned in my years in customer service is to find a way to connect with the customer on a personal level. For example, if you get a call and you notice that they’re calling from California (or any place for that matter), you can start by talking about the weather or some sports teams in their area. This will at least calm them down from being angry and they will realize you are there to help them and you are a real person and not just rushing them off of the phone.
I truly love working in customer service, because I feel that I make a difference with each call and e-mail that I handle. I am helping make someone else’s work flow a little easier even if they are just calling for a quick training.
Customer service isn’t always easy, but keep in mind, we have the power to turn any call around and make it a great one!
Kristin is a Support Coordinator for Citrix ShareFile. Kristin’s been working in customer service for about 10 years and got her start in the hospitality industry prior to coming to Citrix ShareFile. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems and is currently working on her MBA with a concentration in HR.