Most organizations are celebrating this year’s Customer Service Week from October 2nd to 6th, 2017. The theme of this year’s celebration is Building Trust with Customers.
For any business, the operators know that customers hold the key to their business success and remains the bedrock of their service delivery. In order to promote excellent customer service culture, company’s interfacing staff with customers are hereby required to commit themselves to the ideals of better customer experience by adopting these 7 key steps of building trust with their customers;
- Be approachable and supportive. Every Customer Care representative and those on the frontline role must show good disposition to customer enquiries and be approachable at all times. They must be open, unbiased, courteous and welcoming. They must sit with the customer and provide them support while discussing their billing, product or service experiences. The focus must be that all customers they interact with must leave with a smile, a sigh of relief and a sense of fulfilment that their complaint is receiving adequate attention or instantly resolved to their satisfaction.
- Allow customers to express themselves and demonstrate empathy. A customer deserves a listening ear and they expectantly look forward to it. The minimum expectation of any customer is the right of being heard, no matter the sense in what they say or how they said it. The customer care representative/staff interfacing with the public must be patient, attentive and active in the dialogue process by demonstrating empathy. After listening to the issues, they must proffer solutions and make promises based on those solutions. For trust to be enhanced, the customer care representative must ensure promises made are kept. Where the immediate fulfilment of the promise is not possible, they must inform the customer of the delays and what is being done to make the promise a reality.
- Find out what the customer wants and exceed their expectations. Customer Care representatives must arm themselves with all service information and basic complaint handling procedures. When a customer visits the Care Centre, they come with a mission to relay their concerns with the aim that their issues will be resolved instantly or within the shortest possible time. At this critical moment, the Customer Care Representative must find out what the customer wants and exceed their expectations through instant resolution or with a promise to do so within a time frame. For the trust to be sustained, the customer care officer must be truthful about the issues, make promises that they can fulfil and secure the presence of their superiors before committing to promises beyond their approval limit.
- 4. Render services without inducement. Customers deserve premium service and they joyously pay for one whenever it is offered. For trust to exist, the customer does not need to bribe the company staff, their agents or give any form of inducement before they get speedy redress. Service failure issues should be treated within turnaround timeframe, without any form of financial inducement as this will be deemed as anti-customer behavior.
- Be fair and impartial to all customers despite their classes. Service providers know that all customers are not equal but they provide equitable platforms to deal with their issues. Truth is the troublesome customers who have the potential to generate bad-3will may not be the highest paying customers. Providing a fair, transparent and equal access opportunity to all customer groups are more helpful in building trust than anything else.
- 6. Enhance effective delivery through personalized services. Customers trust company representatives who are willing to build personal relationship with them through personalized services. By simply maintaining their phone numbers in their database and calling them from time to time to enquire about their customer experiences, the customer establishes friendship, fondness and extend social invitations to these individuals’ thereby developing connectivity and social ties.
- Be professional in dealing with customer issues. Customer care representatives and their staff must be professional in dealing with all customers despite their dispositions. They must be smart, courteous and should never lose their cool.
They must recognize the right of the customer to rant, be angry and even shout at them, when it is clear they are not the problem. The customer may be angry at the company product/services and that is ok. Our staff don’t need to take it personal or fight on behalf of the company.
Their primary focus should be how to win and retain the customer’s confidence. Winning the customer is the focus and no price is too much to pay for this. However, when the aggression goes beyond control, these staff can seek and obtain help from lawful authorities.