Ian Miller shares some tips on how to excel at customer service management.
Customer service is more than just a procedure or a philosophy to follow.
Great Customer Service Managers are excellent at what they do because they have a certain mindset in dealing with customers.
If you want your company to offer service that wows your customers and makes them sing your praises, you need to have this mindset from the minute you are hired.
Here are five ways to become a great Customer Service Manager:
1. Customer Complaints Are Golden Opportunities
Most employees see customer complaints as threats to their company, their competence, their position or their reputation. But the right mindset sees complaints as the greatest feedback you could hope for. They expose the weaknesses in your business that you wouldn’t have otherwise seen. You can learn which areas need improvement and you learn it from your customers’ point of view.
Keep in mind also that disgruntled customers who get excellent service from you often turn into your biggest fans.
2. There Is a Solution to Every Problem
To every problem with a customer, there’s a solution. That solution is the customer getting a satisfactory outcome. In order to solve their problem, it is your role to make it your own problem. Rather than representing the company in an adversarial or defensive position with the customer, work together with them in partnership to reach that goal.
Of course, if what they want goes against your company policies or is impossible, you can’t get it for them. But you can find other ways to make them satisfied. Always aim for a positive outcome for the customer.
3. Customer Service Is 24/7
In the age of social media, Facebook and Twitter, customer service is an ongoing concern, even when you clock out for the day. You need to respond quickly to customer concerns, questions and comments. This is one of the surest and easiest ways to impress people with excellent service.
In order to stay available, create a system whereby customers can access some type of customer support at all hours. This doesn’t always have to be a live person, depending on the nature of your business. It could be a knowledge base or a contact form. Just make sure your customers know when you will respond if you can’t do it immediately.
4. Make it Personal
Great Customer Service Managers see it through to the end. Try to avoid shuffling clients off to another department, another person, or online resources like an FAQ or knowledge base. Referring customers to online resources is common practice today, but it’s not convenient for the customer. When you do that, you take a big risk. What if their question isn’t answered? They’re likely to call you back and not be so patient this time. Stay with them and at the end of the interaction, ask them if they got everything they needed.
5. Perfect Your Processes
Technology now offers multiple ways to make tasks easier and more streamlined. Things like apps, CRM systems and ‘the cloud’ make transactions quicker and easier for your customers. After you’ve helped a customer, let them know that there’s a way they can do it faster on their own. Walk them through the process if necessary. They’ll appreciate the ability to get immediate answers when they need them.
A great Customer Service Manager walks in two pairs of shoes at the same time – their customer’s and their business. Your goal is to reach a solution that makes both parties happy and satisfied. Strive to always create a win-win situation.
About the Author
Ian Miller is Editor of Customer Service Manager Magazine – the leading resource and community for customer service professionals.