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Three Customer Service Tips That Will Knock The Customer's Socks Off
Customer service is the most important part of any business. This statement is strong but it is unequivocally the only statement which needs to be embraced by every type of business. No matter what the business is doing, basic human interaction will make or break them. Customer service is the forefront of every other interaction - and transaction - within the business.
"We Don't Have That"
Yes you do. Never, ever, ever say this phrase. As soon as a customer service representative makes this statement, the conversation adapts a negative tone. Saying, "We don't have that" tells the customer that the company not only doesn't have their stock, they don't care to guide the customer to something different. It's just poor taste to turn a customer away like this.
Instead, say, "Well that isn't available right now, but we have this similar great product which will suit your needs!" This guides the customer to other products in the same brand while taking their mind off the missing item. Customers feel cared for when the necessary time is spent to get them to an alternative product which will fit their needs.
Stock might run out. There might be times between vendor delivery and customer demand. Perhaps the product suddenly became popular and sold out. No matter what the reason, a great customer service representative knows the products well enough to direct customers to a similar product to still generate sales.
Emotions Sell, Not Products
A customer service representative needs to know how to understand a customer's basic needs. Customers approach a company due to a specific need, and the customer service representative must understand those needs. For example, think about a company which sells pencils. Customers can get pencils anywhere. Repeat customers purchase from the same place every time because of the customer service.
Selling on emotion rather than product became essential when Internet shopping entered nearly every home in America. The competition rose quickly and businesses needed to keep up. When a customer can type, "pencils for sale" into a search engine and receive pages of returned results, companies need to answer and give customers something that is above all the rest. The answer lies in customer service.
Customer service representatives need to get to know the customers. They need to keep track of how the customers are doing and how well their needs are met with the company's product. Often, customers call to talk to a specific person. They might already know what they want to buy, and they know they can get it a hundred different places. They call to talk to the customer service representative who makes them feel better about their purchase.
Understand the Customer
Customer service representatives need to understand the customer. Whether the calls are outbound or inbound, a great customer service representative will learn to recognize their customers by the sound of their voice. The representative needs to know about the customer's business or main reason for purchasing from the company.
Consider the company selling pots for flowers. Customers will call to order the pots for their personal use and businesses might purchase in bulk for their own selling or reselling use. The customer service representative will get to know the individuals who purchase often and will know how to generate good feelings in each and every phone call.
A customer management system is great for this purpose. Using a computer database, the representative can pull up a customer's file based on the last name and get familiar with the customer. Occasional customers as well as continuous customers are in the database to give the representative an advantage.
Customer service representatives need to know their customer database. It helps when each representative is assigned a few customers each; much like a group of friends, the representative will be able to get to know a smaller group of people better.