Things Every Customer Service Super Star should know

“One hundred minus one can’t be ninety-nine in the hotel business. It may be zero. If one employee out of hundreds gives a bad impression to a certain customer, it will be one hundred percent damage for our hotel image for that customer.” – Ichiro Inumaru (Japanese renowned hotelier)

When you read this quote what strikes you is how critical it is for everyone in an organization to be a customer service super star. This also adds pressure and responsibility on the shoulders of the direct front-ending customer service staff. If customers have poor interactions owing to an error lapse by even one member of the front-ending team, it spoils the overall image of the entire team and company. To provide that impeccable standard of service, every member of the team must work together and aim to be a customer service super staff. Supervisors and managers must constantly monitor performance to track deviant behaviour and either up-grade their skills or move them to a position that does not have direct customer interaction.

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There are ways to getting better and pleasing customers. Either display more of the ‘right’ attitude or cut down on the image wrecking actions or the best of all – do both. Every customer service person can aim to be a super star through the right combination of skills, knowledge and attitude. There is no particular sequence or a fixed set of these to improve on a daily basis but the list below should point you in the direction of moving up to being a customer service super star.

– When customers call, they are usually hassled about something or have a query that is bugging them. At the point of contact, if the customer service person is able to form a relationship by being genuinely concerned and empathetic, they will not only find it easier to pacify the customer but also create trust leading to loyalty. The interaction should not just be about getting ‘rid’ of the customer but actually resolving the issue and ensuring that it does not arise again. By becoming the resource who finds solutions and builds bonds, you are most certainly on the way to becoming a customer service super star

– There is no doubt that customers can be very unreasonable. However, if they are shown respect and treated with due importance, they will be ready to listen and give you a chance even if there has been a service lapse. A customer service super star will never offer reasons or excuses but will be able to accept the error, rectify it immediately and provide an answer or solution that will be acceptable to the customer and the company they represent. Being able to customize the solution to meet the pertinent need proves indispensable in having happy customers.

– As the first point of contact, customer service staff must have adequate product knowledge to be able to show the customer the value of the brand being promoted. Getting the customer to see beyond the initial cost and onto long term benefit of the product, will make the job of the sales and marketing teams a lot easier. Being a customer service super star is about being a great team player and effectively collaborating with all teams.

– Customers now are increasingly demanding timely (read as immediate) and accurate information and replies to queries. The reason for this demand being the access to so many channels of information and they expect companies to have invested in the technology. Customer service staff must be trained and skilled in using these sources of information and provide information in the way and timeline dictated by the customer. Earnest customer service persons will make sure that they keep themselves updated so that they can serve the customers better. Information is power and a customer service super star will manage this power to help customers with their issue, concerns and needs in an empathetic and timely manner.

– Sometimes customers call only to find out about the product or service to make their own decisions. A customer service super star will be able to identify this need as opposed to someone who is calling to actually buy. Providing the information and then backing off gives the customer as feeling of space and comfort that they would need to make a buying decision with your company. This seems like a trivial issue but there have been instances where overwhelming thrusts to buy have not gone down well with customers. No one likes being hounded!

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– Know your limits and commit only as much as is within those limits – both of the company and your own. A customer service super star will never over commit and under deliver rather it would be vice versa. Customers feel they can trust the staff when commitments are consistently kept and will reward the company with business repeatedly. Remember that although not apparent customers are watching and monitoring a company’s habits with regard to commitments, actions, follow-up and communication. If there is consistency customers are very vocal in expressing their pleasure. Wowing customers with service ensures loyalty, positive references and will also push business your way.

– Customer service staff move from being ordinary staff to super stars by consciously improving their skills, product knowledge and remaining technologically sound. In the long run, it means being successful in the company and in your realm of work since with knowledge they can serve customers better. Being motivated and proactive in this area is vital since many times managers and supervisors may just be happy that things are running smoothly. However, as the person dealing directly with customers, you would know best where you need to improve and what added skills will help you serve the customers and company more effectively.

– Out of the entire day, every customer service staff gets roughly 8-9 hours of work time and this must be used judiciously in serving the customer. In the hours available, a customer service staff member is expected to deal with customers, make notes, interact with team members, find time for breaks and also invest in self-development. A customer service super star will be able to manage time effectively and make time for all that is required for getting better at the job.

– It is never easy dealing with customers. However, a proficient customer service staff member will be able to draw out decisions and needs from a customer. Customers most often either find it hard to make a decision or are unsure of whether there decision is correct. Being able to show them the strength of their decision is what makes a customer service staff a super star. Customers are in the market to buy and do business. Showing them an attitude of respect to their conundrum and helping them make an informed decision will veer a customer’s buying decision towards your company.

– Be genuinely passionate about your work but never try to control the conversation or make any remark that tells the customer that you think they are wrong. Ask pointed and useful questions and listen carefully to what the customer says. Let customers know about the products, useful links on the company’s website, self-help and troubleshooting pages and afford them time to adequately get themselves informed. Have a follow-up strategy in place that is well-timed so that you can contact them again after allowing a reasonable amount of time to have elapsed. You are giving the control and drive directly in to the hands of the customers and they will appreciate you for that.

Being a customer service super star means that you will be passionate and believe in everything you tell your customers. It will show in everything you do and customers will be drawn towards you and ultimately benefit your company. Your company will reward you for your stellar performance and accelerate you towards growth and success. Being a customer service super star is tough but is extremely rewarding – personally and professionally.

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”- Steve Jobs

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