6 Treats To Avoid Spooky Customer Service
You should see how my colleagues at FCR do Halloween. Let’s just say they put my hot dog costume (pictured) to shame. Furthermore, Halloween has apparently become an entire week around here. Don’t believe me? Just wait until the end of this post for all of the incredible pictures.
Ask anyone to rattle off a top five list of bad customer service experiences and you’ll be hard pressed to find a one who can’t name them in thirty seconds or less. Chances are their list will include a cable company, an internet service provider, a cell phone company, a bank or credit card company, an airline, and probably a healthcare provider. According to this Net Promoter Score Benchmark, those are the usual suspects.
“Bad” might be the wrong word for this level of customer service. Some experiences can be downright spooky. In honor of this scary, silly, sugar-filled day, I’d like to share six little treats to help you avoid hearing those bloodcurdling screams from your customers.
Smile, don’t scowl
It may seem a bit cliche to say “answer the phone with a smile.” Though smiling absolutely works, it does require a consistent effort. Let’s take a moment to look at the effects of a scowl. The scowl says you are unhappy and unapproachable, and in perfect Halloween fashion, will send your customers running.
Listen, don’t lunge
Listening is so critical in every customer service interaction. It’s the gateway to connecting with the customer and understanding the issue at hand. Many eerie experiences occur purely because someone made a lunge at solving a problem that they didn’t fully understand.
Acknowledge, don’t attack
This goes right along with listening. Customers often contact support angry or frustrated. Engaging your empathy to recognize where they are coming from and acknowledging that you are sorry they are in this position is important. The most frightful thing we can do is to ignore their emotional state or make them feel like they shouldn’t have come to us with the issue.
Own, don’t offend
Taking ownership of an issue instills confidence in the customer that we are going to see it all the way from their initial interaction to a resolution. It ensures that they won’t have to continually haunt our phone lines to get the issue resolved. Raise your hand if you’ve been offended when you called for help and were been pushed off the phone before your problem was solved.
Document, don’t ding-dong-ditch
In a customer service environment, documentation is critical. It ensures that if the customer has to call back and speak with someone else, they don’t have to explain everything all over again. We all know that feeling where we think someone is at the door and it turns out they ran away. No one likes calling customer service and learning that there’s basically no record of anything that was promised to them on the previous call.
Be Grateful, don’t bag snatch
We must always tell our customers we are grateful that they continue to choose to do business with us. Don’t be one of those companies that snatches their bag of candy (time, money, etc). Instead, ask nicely and provide great service, and more times than not, they will happily share their candy.
Speaking of candy, take a moment to enjoy a piece, preferably something with peanut butter and chocolate, and check out these fantastic pictures of our colleagues.