How to avoid creating the customer you never wanted

I am a Service Excellence Coach and passionate supporter of the many fantastic and truly dedicated customer service providers in any industry who day in and day out, work hard to provide great service to their customers. It can be a tough job as not every customer will be a delight to interact with and some customers can be quite difficult. I became a difficult customer recently and it was in response to some very poor service.

I'm not and never will be in the business of naming and shaming bad customer service providers. Lightbulb Training Solutions is a business that is dedicated to helping customer service staff improve by educating them with the soft skills they need that will leave their customers feeling valued and respected. Oh, and if they happen to be in a sales role, we can help them to increase their sales without the need to use pushy and obvious sales tactics.

Even though I was annoyed and frustrated by the level of service I recently received, I still felt empathy for the employees involved. I have to believe that they didn't set out to provide bad service - they just don't know how to do it better.

And they only had to do one thing better - COMMUNICATE.  (I've typed that in capitals and bold, not because I'm yelling but because it has to stand out as it is the Number One thing that when done poorly, will make even the most patient, trusting and Mother Teresa or Nelson Mandela like customers want to scream.)

5 communication rules to reduce customer anxiety and complaints:

  1. Reply to customer emails and phone calls within a maximum of 24 hours.
  2. At every step, confirm with the customer when you have completed promised actions or if there are delays.
  3. Reduce the amount of staff involved in your customers purchase - too many people increases the chance of miscommunication and mistakes.
  4. If you're not available, give the customer the details of one other staff member who they go to for help.
  5. Consider your tone of voice and body language - they tell a customer more than what your words do.

Things can and will go wrong in business and the fault can lie with staff and also customers but, if you want to retain existing customers, attract new customers, sell more and be successful - it's your soft skills that leave customers feeling valued and respected.

Remember: Your products may be what enticed your customers to you but if the processes in place for the customers to make the purchase and the people skills (soft skills) of your employees are poor, then the value of your product diminishes and the dissatisfaction of your customer increases. And unhappy customers tell people when they get bad service - they may even write about it.

Communication - verbal, visual and auditory between staff and customers is the key to success in any business. Communication improves with Soft Skill training.

If your business needs some help with Soft Skills in the workplace, contact Lightbulb Training Solutions to access our 6 Step ACTION program - the first 2 steps are free.