Humanizing Customer Service
Humanizing Customer Service!
Honestly, as a consumer are you seeing an increase or decrease in true American customer service? Are the businesses you patronize doing all they can to maintain your business and keep you loyal? If you’re dealing with a business on the phone do they sound sincere or are they just reading from a script? Here’s another question; why do they need a script to remember basic human relation skills? Why do some customer service reps act and speak as if they are Snooki or Kardashian wannabes.
My biggest complaint about today’s customer service experience is that the people sound so forced and rehearsed. If you’re not waiting endlessly for an annoying phone prompt, you end up speaking to a poorly rehearsed human automaton. Unfortunately we live in a world where our technology has surpassed our humanity. Our customer’s and people in general are fed up with technology and are longing to get back to the basics. Customer service has to be about people again. Our customer’s deserve to be treated with a human touch and dignity. My prediction is that businesses of the future will prosper not because they have the “Midas touch” but because they have the “people touch.”
Listed below are 16 actions that you can take right now to humanize your customer’s experience with your company. If after reading these nuggets you think they are over simplistic– then you’re right, they are! However, how many of your reps are using these tips on a regular basis, every day with every single customer? How often do the basics get forgotten because they are “too basic?” How often are you reminding your reps about the importance of human relations skills? If you’re interested in taking a step back to the basics, you’ll find your business taking a giant step forward to a level I call, “humanized customer service.”
Very little explanation is necessary for these nuggets since they are truly about common sense. However, for your convenience I have divided them into “Basic” and “Advanced” categories. I hope they help.
1. Be polite, smile a lot, be kind and patient, sincerely treat them as if they are your best friend or relative. (Read that again, it’s important.)
2. Constantly address your customers by name. Learn to make small talk to help build the relationship and be an excellent listener.
3. Relish your interactions with all of your customers—even the grumpy ones. Make them feel as if they’ve found a second home. Be sure they leave the interaction feeling good about you, your company and themselves.
4.Remember their children. Remember their names and birthdays.
5. Always ask for feedback or have a suggestion box. Remember many fortunes have been made because of the nuggets our customers leave in a simple suggestion box.
6. Accept full responsibility for errors and admit your mistakes. Always be honest. You can’t always be perfect, but you must always have integrity.
7. Always deliver when promised and maybe even sooner.
8. Tailor to fit their needs and find unmet needs.
9. Refer them to another company if you truly can’t help them. (Remember the movie Miracle on 34th Street.)
10. Invite them to special events – or visit them.
11. Patronize their business or company for an added WOW!!!
12. Display or give out their business cards.
13. Eat the tax, or shipping, or handling fees for great customers– if possible.
14. Send them gifts or unique occasion cards such as anniversaries or birthdays.
15. Sincerely saying, “thank you for bringing this problem to my attention,” and thanking customers for allowing you to fix their problems, and most of all saying, “thank you for your business.”
16. Think “WIN-WIN” and you will “WIN-WIN!”
I wish you luck & success!