As we put the year to bed, it’s time to start considering the ways we can improve our lives. A new year offers a fresh start, and there’s no better time to make changes to both our personal and professional habits. When it comes to working in the customer service world, adapting to the needs of customers is a never-ending challenge. With that in mind, these six resolutions can help ensure a year of stellar service. Not only will this lead to happier customers, but you’ll experience a greater sense of pride in your own work, too!
After a busy holiday season of frenzied callers making demands, it can be difficult to stay motivated. When you stop interacting with customers as people and start seeing them as just another problem to be dealt with, your conversations with these folks will inevitably suffer. Engagement can be difficult after enduring long shifts of annoyed callers. Still, you and your team owe it to your clients to treat each issue with care and kindness.
If you’re feeling burnt out during a particularly stressful day on the job, take a moment to practice self-care. Go for a brief walk around the building, grab a sip of water or refresh your cup of coffee. Even during the busiest moments, it’s important to take care of yourself, too. You’ll find yourself more patient, invested and engaged in each call you take.
Own Your Mistakes
Nobody is perfect. Whether you personally made a mistake or if you’re just the bearer of bad news about an error made by your company, owning one’s mistakes can be oddly refreshing. When callers are frustrated and looking to make things right, admitting your error and apologizing can instantly relieve tension and allow you to relate to the caller. In most cases, the caller will feel heard and be more willing to work with you to find a solution.
It can be difficult to admit when you’ve made a mistake. It can be even harder to shoulder the responsibility of an error someone else on your team made. This struggle gets at the very heart of customer service: practicing empathy toward clients even when you’re not personally at fault. If you find yourself struggling, take a moment to breathe and then imagine someone you love on the end of the phone. Assisting a frustrated grandmother-type becomes easier when we think of our own loved ones in a similar situation.
Use Technology to its Full Potential
No matter your industry, the world has come a long way from its earliest forms of customer service. Switchboards manned by overworked operators rarely set off a call on a good foot, and customer care departments were small – if they existed at all. Now, there are countless tools at our disposal to make the customer experience as painless as possible. Of course, such tools are only useful when they are used properly, and to their full potential.
Rather than rest on 90s era call center technology, bring your company into the 21st century by partnering with a service like MAP Communications. Offering round-the-clock service seven days a week, MAP employs highly-experienced virtual receptionists who have been trained to handle any call that comes their way. Not just limited to the skills of the workers, MAP also features a number of back-end tools to help business owners monitor every call they receive. This makes it easy to dial into a specific call and gauge how well a customer was handled in their hour of need.
While these kinds of advantages might seem like luxuries, they’re becoming the standard. Without such technology to help take pressure off of your team, you could be left behind the curve.
Make Feedback Easy
One of the best ways to upgrade your customer service this year is to really take the time to listen to your customers. After all, there’s no way to improve without first understanding what changes need to be made. To collect this information, you’ll want to make feedback easy to give and receive.
Start by understanding the ways your customers currently give feedback. If reviews online are your only way of gauging customer satisfaction, it’s time to up your game. In addition to gathering these reviews, develop your own brief customer survey you can offer callers at the end of each phone call. Don’t want to bother folks with a questionnaire over the phone? Instead, make your feedback options clear and easy to access on your website.
Once you’ve collected surveys and gained insight into the frustrations of your customers, leverage that data to make real change. Gather your team for a deep dive into what the numbers reveal, and create a plan of action to tackle each pain point. While the solutions aren’t always immediately clear, giving serious thought to the struggles your customers face can put you on the right path towards finding a solution.
Find Your Allies
No man is an island. That’s why we encourage anyone struggling to upgrade their customer service to look for allies. By surrounding yourself with tools and people who are experts in the customer service world, you’re bound to benefit. Of course, finding your allies can be a challenge in and of itself.
Thankfully, MAP Communications offers round-the-clock support for businesses large and small. If customer service support has become too much for your team to shoulder, consider unloading the tasks into our capable hands. With nearly three decades of experience and a passion for making callers smile, MAP is ready for any curveball thrown our way.
Here are some related articles you might be interested in:
New Year’s Resolutions for your Business
Seven Things Your Business Should Stop Doing in the New Year