Customer service skills in the digital world
Contrary to what is sometimes thought, technology does not have to imply a depersonalization of customer service.
What’s more, you should assume just the opposite. The key is to make smart use of technological tools within a global strategy of excellence in customer service.
Your clients will always appreciate feeling heard, seeing that their circumstances are taken into account and that their time is valued in the right measure.
In fact, in these cases, customers tend to be much more understanding and tolerant of possible mistakes made by the company, which they will end up rewarding with greater loyalty.
5 keys to improve your customer service skills
When we delve into the question of what is a quality customer service, we can see that there are certain attitudes or skills that always stand out. Without a doubt, the following five are usually decisive:
1. Reintroduce personalization
As we said at the beginning, all the tools that current technology provides us (Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning …) should not hinder the personalization of your relationships with the client.
On the contrary, all these tools must serve to provide an increasingly personalized and quality service.
In this sense, we are increasingly able to have a deeper and more specific knowledge of our clients, in a less intrusive way. Data collection and analysis tools provide us with a volume of information that was unthinkable a few years ago.
Therefore, the objective should be not to waste all this knowledge capital in the interaction with customers. Whether it is chatbots, telephone or email service, your client must feel that they receive a personalized treatment. That is one of the keys to customer service skills.
2. Provide quick responses
Within what is usually considered good customer service, speed is usually a determining factor.
Even if you are not able to offer an immediate solution, your client will appreciate feeling heard. If you can’t solve their problem, at least inform them properly, take their circumstances into account, and offer them alternatives.
For example, you could ask him/her if he prefers that you contact him/her by phone the next day or, on the contrary, via email as soon as you have a solution. Providing alternatives and taking personal circumstances into consideration is the best strategy so that the client knows that you value their time.
On the other hand, do your best to make that quick response decisive as well. Without a doubt, the First Call Resolution ratios are a good predictor of customer satisfaction.
3. Clarity and consistency in an omnichannel environment
The voice of the company must be unique, regardless of the communication channel or the agent that attends the query.
The challenges posed by omnichannel are not few, but they should never lead to inconsistencies or contradictions in customer service.
In the same way, if maintaining a certain channel means lowering the level of customer service, it is preferable that you deactivate it while you cannot implement an adequate solution.
For example, it is almost useless to have a channel on a certain social media if it takes us several days to answer the user’s queries. What’s more, it tends to be counterproductive, generating additional frustration for the customer.
4. Know how to listen (and interpret) the voice of the customer
As you know, having a Voice of Customer program can redefine what quality customer service is.
Without any doubts, correctly interpreting the doubts and demands of a client is not easy. However, it is perhaps one of the most important customer service skills that you can have.
As a consequence:
- Always listen to your customers, even when they are not interacting directly with you. Social media are usually a place of sincere relief when the user does not feel properly heard by a company.
- Solve your doubts. Don’t risk misinterpreting your customers’ demands. Ask questions, confirm suspicions, and take nothing for granted. Erring in the diagnosis always leads to wrong solutions.
- Be proactive. Try to find new ways to interact with the customer or reinvent classic channels. Start the conversation. Ask, question, ask for suggestions.
5. Sincerity and realism
As everyone knows, generating false expectations or promising miracle solutions is a bad long-term strategy.
Although sometimes you may think that a client asks for the impossible, it is never a good idea to over-promise. In the end, most users are open to honest answers, even if they do not fully comply with their demands. One of the most important points of Customer Service Skills is undoubtedly knowing how to empathize with the customer and make them understand that we will do everything possible to solve their problems or help them achieve their goals as long as they are realistic.
Conclusion: the value of personalization in customer service skills
As you can see, all these recommendations can be redirected to the incorporation of some factor of closeness and personalization in communication with the client.
Ultimately, the main point is that you should not perceive personalization as an isolated element within good customer service.
On the contrary, you have to ensure that this variable is contagious to all the factors that take part in your interaction strategy with customers. Personalization is not just another tool, but a special way of conceiving customer service.
If you want more satisfied customers, it’s worth a try.