The Art and Attitudes of Customer Service

John Krautzel
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For modern businesses, great customer service is more important than ever before. After all, with the tap of a screen, customers can share good and bad experiences instantly with thousands of online connections — often, with photo or video as proof. By viewing service as an art and approaching it with the right attitude, you can create a loyal audience and increase the chance of positive recommendations.

Change Your Attitude

Attitude can make or break a customer service transaction. An agent who is apathetic or irritated is likely to leave a negative impression, even if his words are polite and helpful. An agent who is genuinely caring and desires to help, on the other hand, creates a positive and supportive feeling that can defuse a potentially nasty situation. When agents reframe complaints as opportunities to help, they automatically create a better service experience.

Prioritize Training

Customer service is an evolving art, and regular training ensures that your employees are not hampered by their tools. If you add a new platform or channel to your service strategy, train agents before deployment. Ensure that each person is comfortable with the technical aspects of your system so they can focus on the customer. It's equally as important to provide training in your service philosophy and the attitudes you expect — these sessions can transform the service experience for agents and customers.

Take Responsibility

Transparency, either voluntary or forced, is unavoidable in the digital age. Companies that hide the truth or try to pass blame often wind up publicly embarrassed when proof arises. Take the high road and build a loyal following by enabling your customer service agents to accept responsibility when appropriate. State that the problem originated with the company, apologize for the ramifications and offer a solution. Later, when the customer has cooled down, consider sending an explanation of the problem and the steps you took to ensure that it doesn't happen again. Acknowledging mistakes or wrongdoing demonstrates humility, and following up shows customers that you are dedicated to improvement.

Know When to Automate

Online service tools enable your companies to reach more customers, but they also open the floodgates. Prevent agent overload and create a better experience by identifying which customer service tasks can be automated and which require human interaction. An automated system can monitor language on forums or social media pages and alert an agent when an important request comes in. Email triggers can check activity and trigger an email after a specific event, such as a specific period of inactivity or a purchase. Done correctly, automated service funnels customers to a live human when they need it most.

The right attitude and appropriate tools can transform your customer service department. With careful thought and planning, you can turn service into an art rather than an obligation.

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