Quality customer service drives your business growth. When you offer poor service, then your customers abandon your brand and growth grinds to a halt. Optimal customer service is difficult and requires a measured and strategic approach. Entrepreneur and customer service industry leader David Highbloom says transforming customer service from “okay” to “fantastic” requires building a team with impeccable service skills. Creating this team takes some time and effort, but the payoffs are impactful and long-lasting.
Over his more than 25 years in entrepreneurship within the business process and knowledge industries, David has served his clients with enthusiasm and services that are tailored to fit their needs. His current company OfficePartners360 relieves common pain points by offering outsourced back-office, customer support, and outbound sales capabilities. His company’s services are designed to reduce costs while also improving service levels, so his clients can boost their brand’s value and stand out from the competition.
To produce seamless customer experiences, brands need good customer service skills. The quality of these skills determines if a customer’s issues are addressed and they feel respected and “heard” by the rep and the brand. Highbloom says when this is done properly it creates positive feedback loops of referrals and viral reviews. When it’s executed poorly then customers are dissatisfied and are prone to expressing their experience with others.
A first step for offering optimal service is for your representatives to act with empathy. They should ask themselves questions, like “Am I listening to the customer?” and “Am I seeing this issue from their perspective?” Empathy sets the tone for the entire interaction and the customer’s journey. It enables you to reassure the customer that their issues are reasonable, you understand their concerns, and you’re going to make it right.
Highbloom encourages customer service reps to act decisively and creativity to solve problems and impress customers. He empowers customer service teams to leverage their knowledge to make decisions and to act with flexibility to manage every unique customer problem. The key is to act with assertiveness, but never aggression. You need to allow customers to vent their frustrations, and then respond with determination and assertiveness so you can develop mutual trust instead of an adversarial relationship.
Developing great customer service skills requires consistent feedback. Share negative and positive outcomes with the entire customer service team. Talk with individual reps about their feedback and how they can improve. Look at the customer responses in aggregate to spot negative patterns with your people or technology, and then make impactful changes in response.