“Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” – Damon Richards.
How do you create exceptional customer service experiences for your customers and show them that you care?
Sure, you can solve their issues immediately. You can give them allowances that help to de-escalate the situation, you can even give them every bit of information imaginable to ensure that they are taken care of. These are all important components when resolving issues.
Building a connection with the customer
But the most significant thing you can do for your customer – and for your company – is to build a connection with that customer.
The voice on the other end of the phone is another human being with a life, feelings, friends, family, and problems that are not related to why they’re calling. Ultimately, they’re a lot like you. Recognizing this fact is the first step towards truly connecting with your customers.
Dead air is one of the best opportunities to make connections outside of the issue they may be having. Use these opportunities by breaking the silence with genuine communication. Try not to be generic with the usual, “how’s the weather?” Instead, ask how their day has been. Was there recently a holiday? Did they celebrate? If you hear a dog barking in the background, ask them what the dog’s name is and what breed it is. If it’s the beginning of the week, what’d they do this past weekend? Or if it’s a Thursday or Friday, what are they up to when they’re not going to be at work for the next few days? Baby crying in the background? How many kids do they have? These everyday connections are ones you can build over the phone, all while taking care of the issue.
Don’t confuse expressing empathy with building rapport. Most agents will use the “I’m sorry for the inconvenience,” response when addressing the issue and think the overused phrase is sufficient. But, if you begin by using real heartfelt communication in each of your calls, empathy will become a natural response when someone calls in with a problem. Building common connections along with expressing empathy will not only help build a strong, lasting relationship with the customer, but it can also help in de-escalating someone who is upset.
Personalize the conversation
Some other impactful things that can be done to establish relationships are simple measures like using their name, and saying, “please”, and “thank you”. Sometimes it’s not always easy, especially when navigating difficult calls. However, learning to separate the problem from the person is key. Recognize they’re not, “just being difficult.” They likely are not mad at you. They’re simply upset with the situation at hand. By letting them know you care, you’re there to help, and that you’re on their side while taking the time to make a connection, you’re showing them that you recognize their frustration and will ensure an exceptional solution.
Build those relationships and make them last. Customer loyalty will always follow.