A single person on your team can cause you to lose a customer for life, or they can create decades of loyalty. That is why it is so important for your organization to focus on how you differentiate your customer service and experience.
Creating customer loyalty begins with your employees being positive and proactive in their service. They must have the skills, training and then the autonomy to be able to serve your customers in an efficient and effective way. When a customer interacts with you and your organization you want them to leave the interaction feeling like they have been heard and they have been served.
You create customer delight by the cumulative effect of delivering exceptional service to your customers, one interaction at a time.
Focus on the Soft Skills
When you are training and developing your employees to differentiate your customer service, it is important for you to focus on developing the soft skills. Of course having the hard skills to serve a customer are extremely important – but most of those can be easily trained and learned on the job. Soft skills have much more to do with your employees’ perspective and attitude, such as if they are inherently positive or negative, and how they cope in various challenging circumstances.
7 principles you should focus on reinforcing and developing in your workplace are:
For more information on these 7 Principles and how to implement them in your organization, read What’s Your Company’s Personalization Strategy and Why It’s Important.
“In creating service experiences, each one of us has the ability to make the little things – important things. – Peter Psichogios
How to Differentiate Your Service
Here are a few of the simple principles to follow to differentiate your customer service from others in your industry:
Train and Develop your employees with ‘soft skills’ that emphasize personalization. Review the 7 principles discussed above to focus on soft skills, but also be sure that your employees have the training and are enabled to serve your customers with the hard skills they need.
Use Real People instead of Automating with Robots. In this age of technology most people would rather interact with a real live human being who is enabled to solve their problems, versus an automated Robot. The key here, is that your employees must be enabled with the skills and tools they need to serve your customer, and they must have the autonomy and authority to make good decisions for their customer on behalf of the organization.
Honor Your Commitments to your Customers. Follow through with what you say you will do. Set the expectations of what you can deliver and be sure not to promise anything that you can’t deliver on. It’s better to under promise and over deliver than not be able to keep your commitments.
Listen!! When it comes to customer service, there is nothing more annoying than an employee who doesn’t listen. This includes the customer having to repeat themselves multiple times, being transferred to other departments (to repeat themselves), or for the customer service representative to not be clear on what the customer is saying/asking for. Some tips your employees can follow to address this include, being mindful and present with each customer, repeating what they are hearing back to the customer, and asking questions to clarify and assure both the customer and employee are setting realistic expectations.
When you create consistent positive customer experiences you will create a sustainable competitive advantage and it is also something that is very hard to copy or replicate.
The way that you listen, set realistic expectations, and respond will be one of the biggest factors in whether you create customers who stay longer, buy more and positively refer others.
When your employees meet (and exceed) all of the above differentiators, they will be able to provide your customers with fast, friendly and hassle-free service that will keep them coming back, buying more and positively referring others.
For more information on how you can train and develop your employees to have exceptional customer service, get in touch about our custom eLearning solutions. Plus, learn more about why you should reward your employees for their exceptional customer service with an employee recognition solution. Get in touch for a demo here.