Regardless of how good your staff may be at serving customers, it is imperative that they also learn how to relate with customers when conflicts arise. To ensure your customers get the best service ever from your staff, here are a few tips to be considered;
- Service personnel should ensure they first identify a common ground with customers. This way, you humanize and advance the communication which makes it easier to overcome conflict situations. By treating them as humans, customers feel dignified and become endeared to your reps and the company as a whole.
- Another way is to encourage your staff to listen actively to customers. Customers need to know you aren't just ignoring them; they want to be heard. Always clarify with questions and paraphrase what customers say to eliminate any miscommunication error within communication. Show empathy and reflect back feelings e.g. “That must have been upsetting to you” or “I understand how this could have made you feel,” etc.
- If you are responsible for an error, be the first to admit it even before your customers complain. That’s how you build trust and restore the confidence of customers and advance your communication efficiency in your company. It also gives you the upper hand in ensuring the situation is brought under control, reinstate the interest of the customer and fix the problem.
- Even after an issue has been resolved, do a follow-up. This way, you ensure that the problems remain fixed and that your customers were satisfied with the service rendered. Again, this further endears your customers to you, and they will be willing to do business with you in the future. A perfect way to let your customers be aware that you care about them is by sending an email or using other forms of communication including feedback surveys.
Advance your customer service communication praxis and conflict resolution strategy
Unfortunately, technical and customer communication skills are not enough in dealing with conflict situations. Your organization needs to deploy strategies to make customers happy and keep them satisfied. There's need to be proactive in service delivery by ensuring your customers are happy before they come to you with their problems and a few ways to achieve that are discussed below:
- Personalize your service: Customers are real human beings and cherish the opportunity to communicate with actual humans, not robots or some FAQs. Offering automated email responses is not enough! Do not make the process unbearable with endless telephone prompts or by sending them to websites. Leverage various social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Yelp and respond promptly to customers when they lay their complaints on your page. Your website should have photos and bios of the team/organization; your customers need to know that they have real people serving them.
- Make yourself available: Making it easy for customers to reach you is all part of adding a personal touch to your service. For instance, if your business is mostly run online, from time to time personally meet with the clients and do video calls (like Skype) for customers that aren't close by. Whenever the need arises, put in some extra service hours in the beginning and the end of the day, especially if you are delivering service to people in different time zones. Customers also feel the ease of communication and trust you more if you provide the company's physical address. It also serves as a reminder that your organization has an offline presence as well.
- Show your customers you care: Ensure you are meeting the needs of your customers. For the sake of relationship building, you might want to think about assigning service reps to customers specifically. Show your appreciation by offering VIP treatment to your top clients. Think about what special treatment your customers may like. You can also get some ideas by putting together focus groups, interviewing customers, or running a survey.
- Create communities: When you treat customers as valued community members, they feel really good. There are several ways of bringing customers together to form communities. Examples include social media, interactive websites, webinars, trade shows and conventions. Keep in mind that in as much as customers attend these forums to know more about your company, there are so much more insights to be gained from them.
Be sure to keep your representatives at all levels of customer communication engaged
That you have the best skills in customer service or you have the best training in the world won't matter if your reps don’t use it. Ensure your customers have a wonderful experience by enhancing employee engagement. One way to achieve this is by empowering your representatives to better handle conflict situations easily.