As a small business owner, generating leads and sales, keeping costs low, and marketing and retargeting consumers for future sales are just some of the difficulties you face.
Dealing with logistic issues and customer concerns may sometimes be at the bottom of your list, but customer service is crucial in all phases of your customer’s interaction with your brand.
Customer service extends from the first interaction with your customers to troubleshooting and addressing concerns long after the purchase has been closed.
For example, restaurants hire a host or hostess as the first person to interact with guests as soon as they walk into the restaurant.
Training them to say hello and offer warm greetings helps set the mood for the guests.
As the wait staff greets the customers at the table is the second time your employees interact with your potential customers. Having your wait staff and hosts offer friendly, engaging interactions sets the mood for the dining experience.
If there’s an issue during or after the dining experience, having a personable and engaging manager helps assuage the guest’s concerns and alleviates further problems.
For more traditional business interactions with consumers, having a front-facing team that handles the customer interaction and a dedicated customer service team to deal with potential issues after the fact is essential.
Skills for Your Customer Service Team
Consider your team training, and there are some skills you want your customer service team to be able to handle.
These skills can be taught with proper training, and reinforcing these behaviors when interacting with customers is essential.
The training you provide is the foundation of your staff providing proactive customer service, which mitigates some post-action customer services problem solving, creating a better customer experience.
- Empathy when listening
- Easy, engaging communicator
- Use of positive language
- Create possible suggestive selling options–upsells, cross-promotional items, discounts, etc.
- Flexibility in offering solutions
- Sense of ownership in transactions with customers
- Self-responsibility in handling solutions to issues
Recruiting A Superior Customer Service Team
Excellent customer service is the linchpin of your brand, so how do you offer outstanding customer service?
Finding and retaining your customer service team is challenging. Finding and retaining superior customer service talent is even more complicated if you aren’t strategic in finding, training, and keeping your team.
Recruiting good talent is a process that yields dividends in the future. To ensure that your customer service is on point, you must develop a philosophy that embraces superior customer service while holding true to your business’s core principles.
When recruiting talent, you need to be communicative about your needs,
Upfront Communication: It allows you and the potential employee to determine the feasibility of working together. Second, it will enable you to outline the role, expectations, and opportunities that are in front of the potential team member. Third, it will outlay what they can expect from you and the employer, what you can offer them in salary, job roles, and more.
Highlight Growth Opportunities: Offering realistic growth opportunities is an excellent motivator for employees and highlighting those opportunities in your initial interviews is a great way to attract potential top talent.
You can share detailed processes with potential team members that show pathways toward advancement, significantly attracting many job seekers and serving as an incentive for attracting and retaining good talent.
Have A Detailed Job Preview: Being able to lay out a realistic day-to-day expectation for the role that you’re attracting talent for is a significant highlight for many candidates. In fact, people often leave a job due to the realization that the workload wasn’t what was expected, either too much work or insufficient to keep a certain level of job satisfaction.
To create a detailed, realistic job preview, survey people already operating in that role within your organization and incorporate their thoughts into your discussion with potential new hires. Of course, for startups and the creation of new departments within your organization, you may need to go outside your organization to survey. Still, this step is crucial in helping create the framework you’ll use to recruit more talent.
Have A Good Employer Ecosphere: Having incredible growth opportunities and realistic job expectations for potential hires is essential. Still, if the culture and environment around the organization are subpar, it can lead to a harmful effect that negatively impacts attraction and retention.
It’s essential to create a professional work environment but also one where people enjoy working. It’s said that people don’t quit jobs but bosses.
That statement is saying between the lines that people who leave are claiming that the job role wasn’t what they expected, didn’t feel valued in their position and that the environment around their job wasn’t strong enough an ecosystem to keep them engaged.
The power of the work ecosystem is crucial in attracting and retaining top talent, regardless of the industry. It’s especially vital in providing an environment to foster superior customer service.
As you interact, interview, and attract potential new hires, you’ll want to create a screening process that may include outsourcing employee background check services, detailing the job role as accurately as possible, and creating an environment that enhances the customer service philosophy critical to your organization.
The systems you put in place will streamline your opportunity to attract, retain, and hire superior customer service members, furthering your brand’s reputation and potential growth.