Top 10 tips for excellent customer service

Treat customers with respect, and they will come back

It takes patience and special skills to excel at the customer service game.

Working in the customer service industry could be one of the biggest challenges in your life.

Regardless of what type of retail industry you work for, customer satisfaction is the foundation of a successful business and that outcome is based on the type of customer service being offered.

I have been enjoying and sharing my years of experience in caring for customers with the readers, as a contributing editor of this magazine. Since I started writing this column, I’ve received a tremendous amount of positive feedback from readers and would like to thank you for your continued support.

Generally speaking, customer service is a very rewarding profession, as long as you enjoy meeting with people and resolving their concerns to their satisfaction. On the flip side, it’s not that easy either. It is a big challenge and takes courage to handle all types of customers — good, bad and not so good!

What I truly believe is that you must feel affectionate and passionate about your profession. Having a good balance and blend of skills with passion, lots of extra patience, a positive attitude and persistence, will help you to succeed. Summarizing my own experience with customers, these are the best secret ingredients of your personal success in customer service.

To win customers, however, you must be armed with the right set of skills to meet their needs with excellence. Otherwise, your customer service reputation is at stake. As a forward-facing service provider, you are the face of your dealership and when you have been in the frontline, you will agree with me that customer service is not for the faint-hearted people.

Customer service skills that matter

In creating quality customer care to win your customers for life, you must master a universal set of skills. Without them, you could run the risk of finding your business in an embarrassing customer service train wreck.

Here is a short list of ten universal skills which are incredibly important to become a customer-champion.


Interpersonal skills

Team effort is vital for customer service. It takes a team of people working together to provide every customer with a positive experience. One must be able to work effectively as an individual but at the same time cooperate with others to achieve goals. They are able to handle office relations with ease and professionalism and give out great customer service results.

Pledge code of ethics

Integrity, competence and accountability are the main pillars of your success: maintain them in accordance with the highest standards of ethical conduct. Keep your promise and stand behind your brand and business. Great work ethic and a willingness to do what needs to be done (and not take shortcuts) is a key skill when providing the kind of service that customers talk about.

Proactive engaging

It is a natural ability and is essential to connect with customers and easily attract them to come back again. It speeds up issue resolution, shows value to a customer’s time and gives you an edge over the competition. Customers love personal interaction as they feel there is a “human touch” behind the brand they patronize.

Leadership

The capability of offering new solutions for customers shows a take-charge attitude, especially in tense situations, and displays a potential leader in your dealership that can help innovate
your customer service approach.

Adaptability

Customer service, no matter how predictable it may seem, will always have surprises every now and then. Discovering many ways to deliver solutions with resourcefulness to customers spells value for customer care. It is finding possible fixes, even when the expected resolve fails, to ensure that customers will leave happy and satisfied.

Cool temperament

Controlling and maintaining your temperament, and keeping cool are the core quality of any service provider. It’s a known fact that only with a cold iron hammer (you) can mould (motivate)
a red hot iron (angry customer) into your desired shape (satisfaction) with tender care. If you both are hot tempered, nothing can be achieved. Avoid arguments at any cost —you could win the battle, but could lose the war with your customer. Stay calm and cool under pressure, and influence others when things get a little hectic. Regardless,
if the pressure is from the customer or the workload, a good customer service person can handle it with grace and won’t crack even in an intense situation. Instead, these people can keep a calm demeanor while managing the customer or the task at hand.

Practice empathetic and attentive listening

It’s your tone, facial expression, and gestures. Customers love to be heard and to be understood. They want to know that the person they are talking to feels what they feel, and truly listens to what they are saying. You must have empathy for customers and always think that customers are people needing your care and assistance.

Effective communication

Speaking clearly, enunciating words properly and using the right terms at the right time are very important details when communicating with customers about procedures, resolving issues or even appeasing their frustrations with attentiveness. This also includes being able to use positive language and turning a frustrating situation to a pleasant customer experience. Language is a very important part of persuasion, and customers create perceptions about you and your dealership based off of the language that you use. More importantly, you need to be cautious about how some of your communication habits translate to customers, and it’s best to err on the side of caution whenever you find yourself questioning a situation.

Patience

First and foremost, connect your heart, mind and actions with a positive attitude. When dealing with various kinds of customers, day in and day out, you need a great deal of patience. Not only is patience important to customers, who often reach out for support when they are confused and frustrated, but it’s also important to your dealership business at large. Patience is also needed when you are fixing an issue, especially if it is challenging or recurring. Look and listen for subtle clues about the customer’s current mood, patience level, personality, etc., and you’ll go far in keeping your customer interactions positive.

Proficient product knowledge

Without knowing your product from bumper–to-bumper, you won’t know
how to help customers when they run into problems. Especially as new vehicles are made of high-tech sophisticated safety systems, parts and components with ultra innovated technology, you must keep track with training and stay updated on the latest innovation of your brand. Customers expect the best advice from you because they have selected you as an expert and you must know the ins and outs of procedures, specifications and technicalities of products and services — the features, and the benefits.


For more details please review my related posts:  http://www.canadianautodealer.ca/category/columns/the-problem-solver-columns/

As a champion in customer service, you act as the eyes, ears, and voice for your customers. You should “think of the customer first” whenever you make a decision after resolving customer concerns to their satisfaction. Learn what your customers want and see to it that their requirements are met for lifelong loyalty and retention.

Comments are closed.

Canadian auto dealer