Today’s fast-paced, mobile customers have come to expect quick responses and personalized attention in their interactions with customer service groups in the companies they do business with. The consequences of a poor customer experience can be swift and direct. A recent study by PH Media Group found that over half of respondents would switch loyalty due to one negative service experience with a company. One improperly trained individual can affect the performance of an entire team and reverse or erase company goodwill in the marketplace.
What does this mean for you? It means every interaction counts. It means you need to deliver an optimal experience to customers each and every time. It means your service, tone and messaging must be consistent. To deliver this level of customer service, you need a deep knowledge of your products and services, as well as an understanding of the resources and tools available to your service team.
During a recent webinar, analyst Paul Greenberg said that 71 percent of customer service agents admitted to not have a single, all-encompassing resource to assist them in delivering consistent service to all customers. Even more important, Gallup shared findings in which only 41 percent of survey participants could confidently say they knew what their employer stood for and what made their company different from the competition. The need for effective, consistent training is clear.
This means that before any member of your customer service team goes out into the field they must know what separates your company from the others, how to interact with customers according to your brand and how to best utilize the resources available to them. A single interaction from an under-educated service representative can unravel all the hard work put in to gaining a new customer. Make sure they’ve mastered all the materials available to them.
So, how can you teach your customer service team to best serve your customers? Empower them to be in control of their education. An in-depth training of your company, its services, its differentiation and preferred messaging will help set your team up for success. Allow the team to teach each other; one of the best ways to learn is through teaching. Give the customer service team the opportunity to be confident in their playbook.
Make technology available to detail customer service interactions; tools such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software will keep all details in a central location for all to see, view and use, including sales and marketing. Notes and activity history in a CRM system lets your team peer into past interactions with customers to see what issues the customer had and how they were addressed. Task list and reminders allow users to easily follow-up with customers to check on their status. CRM dashboards simplify search time, allowing users to view all priority information on one screen. With all the details of each customer’s profile in one place, customer service agents will be in the driver seat to delivering strong, consistent service. Training in CRM will help service agents build the confidence needed to serve your customers better and more efficiently.
The members of your customer service team are your front-line ambassadors to those who do business with you. Properly trained, they are the best way to improve customer service and gain more loyal customers. Invest in your team’s training so each time a customer calls, emails or interacts with your company, they receive a consistent, positive interaction. Empower the entire team to help prepare each individual. Remember, it only takes one bad apple to ruin the entire bushel.
About the Author:
TopLine Strategies delivers the complete integration and development of sales, marketing and customer service technologies that enable corporate clientele to improve revenue streams and strengthen customer interactions. Our project management and consulting is designed to achieve timely delivery, 100 percent user adoption of the technologies we implement and deliver measurable returns on investments for our clients.