What is it that makes some people go to the same coffee shop each morning to get their day rolling?
Is it the taste and quality of the coffee?
Is it conveniently located across from their office or just steps outside their front door?
Is it the fact that with tax included, their prices are always on the dollar, and they don’t have to dig for loose change?
For me, it would be a combination of all of the above. However, there’s always a factor that plays a larger part and contributes to a customer’s overall experience—the service.
Pretend it’s brew-o’clock.
Think back to the last time you went to a coffee shop you loved. I’ll bet your experience was shaped largely by the people providing the service. Hopefully, the barista smiled and asked you how your morning was going. Or maybe they communicated exactly how long it would take to prepare your perfect latte. Maybe they even went the extra mile and ran to return you the credit card you left on the counter. By the time a barista with great customer service is done interacting with you, you should feel more valued as both a customer and a human being than you did before. These are all examples of advanced customer service skills.
Today more than ever, customer service expectations are high. The culture of instant gratification is here to stay, and hundreds of brands enter the market each day to fight for customer dollars. For this reason, it’s important to focus on effective customer service strategies and make sure we’re practicing them and yielding a more cost effective form of customer loyalty.
For the customer service folks in the room…
Effective customer service starts and ends with the ability to listen. You must seek to relate to, connect with, and understand the truths of your customers. Your customers want to feel heard by you and validated. Empathy plays a crucial role in providing quality customer service because it’s the root of what makes us more customer-focused, empowering, attentive, and curious to customers. Understanding how your customers feel and emphasizing your investment in their situation will lead to more effective communication in customer service every time.
The fact of it is, good customer service is invaluable. This is why it’s so important to approach every interaction with a “serve-and-deliver” mentality versus simply servicing your clients. They’re not machines—they’re humans. Choosing to serve a customer means shifting the focus of the message forever and always onto the other person. It helps us as customer service pros experience others-centeredness. This is the idea that we need to tailor the questions we ask to matter to the customer. The result? Shared meaning and long-term trust and rapport.
While serving the customer, you must also deliver results and answers to your customer efficiently and respectfully. Examples of good customer service delivery include:
- being hyper-responsive
- acknowledging your customers across all channels
- communicating timeframes
- maintaining appropriate transparency
- equipping and educating your customer for long term resolution and success
A customer service team is the one-way bridge to hearing direct feedback from your customers. They represent the tone and voice of your brand, and ultimately, a great CS team is a resource to continually improve the experience you provide your customers.
Companies that listen to the voice of their clients and understand the importance of customer feedback become committed to their audience. The feedback that you receive by practicing good customer skills is tangible, valuable data that if listened to, will help you adjust your business or product to more accurately fit their needs.
Applying an emphasis to these effective customer service skills will allow you to better serve your customers so that both you and your customers can do better work, and ultimately live better lives.
Eager to read about more examples of customer service? Look no further—Lessonly is serving some up!
Ready to take your customer service from good to great? Lessonly is, too.
Elevate your customer service employee development with powerfully simple software. Lessonly’s training tool makes it easy to continuously train teams, so new reps can practice and perform like never before. Get a demo to see how you can Do Better Work today or get ideas from our Better Work Guide to Customer Service Training.