Posts

How Do You Know If The Customer Service Representative You’re Hiring Will Boost Customer Loyalty?

Customer service, the faces behind the business. When hiring customer service representatives, it is important to look for people that will represent your company well. They are one of a few direct contacts that your customers will get. Because of this, it is extremely important to leave a good impression. Having friendly and helpful service agents at the front line is important to the longevity of any business.

Tabatha Naylor writes, “Customers don’t buy from businesses they don’t trust, end of story. Luckily, building trust in a customer/business relationship doesn’t have to be difficult. While it does take effort, the steps to get there are easy if you are willing to be open, honest, and efficient when communicating with customers.” Finding people to hire for your customer service team is extremely important and these are some of the traits you should be looking for:

The Art Behind Hiring The Best Customer Service Representatives

1. Self control

You are sure to come across customers who will be difficult to deal with. For this reason, you must have self control. You must be able to handle both the easy and hard times that comes with serving the public.

2. Superior communication skills

If you aren’t a good communicator, then customer service may not be the field for you. Customer service jobs require that you deal heavily with the public. Do you know how to handle the many problems that come with customers? Communication skills are essential to get a good customer service job.

Communicating to tough customers can be hard, but they don’t have to be! Here’s 5 email templates to get you out of a sticky situation with an angry customer.

3. They are Loyal

Author Alexander Kjerulf says, “Happy employees make the customers happy”. It might sound rather straightforward, but happiness and satisfaction within a company will inevitably lead to loyalty.

When interviewing a candidate, pay attention to what they say about the previous companies they’ve worked for. There might be some underlying unhappiness, but a potential employee that speaks highly of their previous company despite having left is one that is both respectful and loyal. A loyal customer care representative will put the company’s interest first when dealing with difficult customers. They are likely try their best to protect the company’s image even in the presence of the most difficult customers.

4. Natural Problem Solvers

Companies that excel at customer service don’t wait for a problem to arise before addressing it. One of the great customer service skills is the ability to take a preemptive approach in managing possible risks and being prepared when a problem does arise.

Similarly, customer service employees must be able to provide a solution even before the customer poses the question (within reason, of course). In combination with a problem-solving nature, the candidate should also be a great listener in order to gather “clues” and read between the lines during communication.

In customer service, nothing is perfect and things will go wrong. This is not a failure. The best businesses show how they fix their mistakes.

5. Willing to go the extra mile to please customers

Hotel-CX-Customer service skills-customer success-communication-marketing-cmo-woveon

The customer always comes first and is ALWAYS right. You must be willing to go the extra mile to please each and every customer. Sometime, this can be at the expense of your pride. You must be willing to swallow your pride and move on.

6. They are highly conscientious

Look for candidates who are highly conscientious. The candidate that arrives late for the interview, looking completely flustered and confused is probably not the ideal choice.

Conscientious individuals are reliable, disciplined, methodical, organized, and goal driven. The Journal of Applied Social Psychology noted that individuals who are identified through tests as highly conscientious are more likely to be aware of how good interpersonal interactions positively affect customer service and are more likely to behave this way.

To a degree, conscientious individuals are pleasers in the sense that they are aware of what works for certain people and what doesn’t. They have a strong intuition about what is morally right and wrong as well as how to treat others.

When customers call a company they’re actively seeking help in resolving a problem. A conscientious customer service agent will be better equipped to pick up the clues interlaced in the customer’s words, which will allow them to resolve pain points.

7. Customer appreciation

A good job in customer service will require that you have a general appreciation to customers. After all, they are the ones who will be providing you with a job. Without them, your job would not be necessary.

8. They are Persuasive

A great customer service employee will also have some amazing marketing and sales skills. It’s not always about being a manipulator, but being able to steer the customer into a direction that is beneficial for both the company and the client.

If you want to know if your candidates have this trait, ask a simple question in the interview such as, “Why should we hire you?.” This way they have to sell themselves in a persuasive manner while listing qualities, traits and reasons–a perfect, practical test of their customer service skills.

Get Out and Hire!

When interviewing candidates to become your next customer service hero, look for for these qualities, traits and skills. Look for someone who is communicative, persuasive, is polite, patient, conscientious, and loyal. Remember these are the people who will be serving your customers directly and you want a positive impact so your customers return again and again!

customer service charter template download cta woveon

Ensure Your Clients Always Succeed!

The one key area that you need to look at when you want to run a successful business is ensuring that you can keep your clients happy. When your clients are happy they will look at your lead generation, customer service and marketing efforts as a source of validation that all the hard work your team is doing is paying off! Businesses who understand this, then end up having many repeat customers, because people like surrounding themselves and working with successful businesses. This is why customer success is paramount. How can you manage this effectively?

The Customer Success Factor

So, why is success for clients so important? It is because every major business needs to realize the value of helping their partners achieve success as well. The fundamentals of business haven’t changed over time, but the only thing that has changed is that now businesses must ensure that their clients are successful. This can be tricky sometimes because you must do business with a company that wants to work with yours to ensure complete success in their industry.

SEE also: Intelligent Customer Conversation Responses

This means that every business strategy that you come up with, must also include how it affects the success of the client. This is done to ensure that all aspects are covered, and there are no disappointments after business is concluded. There are multiple strategies that you can employ with the right vision and commitment at the forefront to ensure that your business partners and clients are happy and satisfied. It is important to take the success factor into account, because you need to create love between your business and your customers.

The Customer is Always King

the customer is always right

Any business that places the interests of its customers above their own is going to be a successful business, because they are going to go out of their way to make sure that the customer is happy. Most businesses that fail, do so because they stop caring about their customers. This fact alone that 60% of consumers stopped doing business with a brand due to poor customer service should ring alarm bells for a few . Depending on the reports, this number can jump to over 82% of consumers. It is important that you always treat the customer properly, and remember that they are always the king.

If your business is failing to win over more customers, you should probably look at what kind of customer experience you are offering to your clients. There is enough data around that points to the importance of great customer experience in helping businesses retain and attract new clients.

  • It also states that 90% of businesses will go to a direct competitor if they are given poor customer experience.
  • Nearly 60% of clients are willing to pay more to receive better customer experience.

Businesses that fail to value their clients, and don’t care about their success are likely to lose out, and not get ahead in their industry. Therefore, it is imperative that you find out creative ways to ensure that you give priority to customer success. We want you to succeed, which is why we are going to provide you with 3 creative ways you can ensure that your clients always succeed.

1. Genuine Interaction – Treat them right

Make sure that you have genuine interactions with your customers, because it is the only way that you are going to help them feel at home. There is no secret about the fact that happy clients are much more willing to work with you and provide you with better word of mouth regarding your business. By treating your customers properly, you will ensure that you build a genuine interaction with them, and they will feel better in doing business with you.

2. Don’t come across as too strong

You need to always respect your clients if you want to keep them happy and satisfied with your services. That is the main reason why you should always treat your clients with respect, because if they are upset with you, then your business is the one that is going to suffer. Disgruntled customers are not good for business, and that is where you need to be patient, have empathy and listen to the customer.

You should do everything in your power to get your client in a better mood and try to resolve their issues. There aren’t going to be many clients lining up to work for your business if you don’t work with your clients in a respectful manner.

3. Hear their problems

classic telephone

Listen, listen, listen. You should always be listening to your customer’s problems so that you can help them in times of trouble. There are not many businesses that would work with a company that doesn’t take their feedback on board. You should have good communication with your client and always take everything they say into account, because that is the only way you are going to improve your situation and guarantee customer success.

7 Customer Service Skills Your Customer Support Team Needs to Have

Looking for a job in customer service? Looking to hire new customer service representatives? When it comes to service, there are certain customer service skills every representative must master. They make customer interactions quicker, uplifting, and successful. So stick around and let’s find out what makes these customer service representatives so successful.

Learn how Conversational Technology works, Request a FREE demo today!

The Skills That Matter When it Comes to Providing Excellent Customer Service

1. Patience

sand clock

Patience is important to have when it comes to customer service. Representatives have to handle lots of customers who are usually in a big rush, not willing to work with them, or simply can’t describe the problem very well. Plus, when it comes to customer interactions, great service outweighs speed every time.

2. Self-Control

We get it, dealing with customers can be difficult. But in customer service skills, self-control is a must. No matter how much you want to end the call with your client, it is important to remain cool, calm, and collected. If the customer is angry and impatient, just take your time and solve the problem at hand.

3. Attentiveness

cmo-marketing-customer service skills- conversation management-attentive

Believe it or not, a customer service rep can learn more from what a customer doesn’t say than what they do say. Being attentive to the customers can help provide the company valuable feedback.

For example, if a customer says, “I always get confused during the Bluetooth pairing process,” or “I can never seem to find the_____,” this is a clear indication that your company has room for improvement, and these more subtle feedback methods can really improve your product overall.

On the other hand, it is also very important to listen carefully to what the customer is saying. Chances are they don’t know exactly what is wrong and are just making their best guess. This is where you as a customer service representative have to use the clues they give you to try and fix their problems.

4. Positivity

Positivity is key in customer service skills. When dealing with impatient and unhappy customers, always remain positive to make the process as easy as possible. However, when helping unhappy customers, do not seem overly happy. This may upset them more, but being proactive and optimistic is your best bet for success. Make sure to apologize for the inconvenience and then add a positive statement such as telling them how your products can help them.

5. Empathy

empathy cmo-marketing-customer service skills

An important soft skill to have when working in customer service is empathy. When a customer is in need of help and has a problem with your product, it is important to show them that you understand the situation they are going through. If you find this difficult, just think of yourself as the one experiencing the problem. What questions would you be asking? Would you be patient? Chances are, you and the customer are similar, so be personable. You can try to make small talk but don’t get too off track because he/she is looking for efficiency.

Set customer service goals that align with your business goals with this free template! If your customer support has the greater picture in mind from the outset, it will only make it easier to reach your business goals.

6. Humor

Sounds funny, but among customer service skills, humor is a must have. Another appropriate way you can approach customer service is with humor. Having a sense of humor and being able to judge a situation correctly can turn a stressful customer into a happy customer. Also if a customer cracks a joke, make sure to laugh a little bit to show that you have interest in what they are saying. Just make sure that you are laughing with the customer and not at the customer.

7. Problem Solving

cmo-marketing-customer service skills

Lastly, and most importantly, a customer service representative should be a good problem solver. Being a good problem solver includes having lots of knowledge on the products you offer. Sometimes customers will not be good at explaining the problems they are having with your product, but if you are knowledgeable, you can offer some tips on how to fix common problems they might be trying to communicate to you. Being a problem solver will also help you when it comes to dealing with difficult customers. If you possess this trait, you can work through problems that aren’t ordinary. This speeds up the process and allows the representative to go more off script.

customer service charter template download cta woveon

Hack: Lazy Customer Service Tips To Get The Most Loyal Customers

One of the keys to maintaining a thriving business is a steady customer base. The Pareto principle states that 80% of business comes from only 20% of customers. This exemplifies the importance of your customer loyalty. Add to this the fact that the cost of attracting new customers is almost 6x’s more expensive and you have a powerful incentive to keep that core group of customers happy.

If your business’s goal is to live long and prosper, then any efforts toward building customer loyalty will certainly pay off. Following are 7 tips to increase and maintain greater customer loyalty.

Importance Of Customer Service in Customer Retention

1. Stand For Something

Customers are more likely to ignore you if your company doesn’t stand for anything. Research from the Corporate Executive Board that included 7,000 consumers from across the U.S. found that of those consumers who said they had a strong relationship with a brand, 64 percent cited shared values as the primary reason. If you want loyal customers, you need create real connections with them. What do you stand for?

2. Communicate with Customers

Whether it’s an email newsletter, a monthly flier, a reminder card for a tuneup, or a holiday greeting card, set up a system for reaching out to the customers you already have. Dedicate time to creating and maintaining a database of contact information, including phone, email, and snail mail addresses. If there’s a social media element to your business, invite people to your page or website and keep that online element fresh.

3. Commit to Quality Service

Go above and beyond your customer’s’ expectations. Your product knowledge will engender confidence and trust and enable you to anticipate their questions, focus on their needs and guide you both to an appropriate solution to their situation. It’s almost impossible to ask too many questions of your customers. Once you know what they want, you will be able to deliver the right product at the right time. In simplest terms: Listen to your customers and go that extra mile. Listening to customers also often enables you to make suggestions about your services and products the customer hasn’t thought about and they will appreciate your knowledge and your expertise to help them resolve their needs.

4. Courtesy and Respect

respect-importance of customer service-marketing-cmo-conversation management-customer success

You know how you like to be treated when you’re the customer. We all like to be accorded courtesy and treated as a sensible adult. You NEVER argue with a customer. Even if you know your customer is wrong, resolve the sales question or service issue quickly and in their favor and you’ve made a friend. Research shows that helping a customer resolve his or her issue results in continued business and likely makes a customer for life. Repeat business, not to mention word-of-mouth referrals, is the lifeblood of bottom lines

5. Be helpful even if your business can’t help them

If you can’t get your customer what they want, offer to help them find it elsewhere. It lets them know that you are willing to help without expecting anything in return. That unselfish gesture will make you stand tall in your customer’s’ eyes and will have them return next time.

6. Train Your Employees Thoroughly

Your employees are the face of your company, and training can empower them to make your company prosper. Training sessions should be a positive experience; boring training sessions are a waste of time and money and foster a negative attitude toward the company.

Encourage your employees to engage in training and explain how it will help them on the job and why it’s good for business. An excellent way to teach is on-the-job training, which facilitates on-the-spot demonstration of best practices.

7. Follow Up With Your Customers

No matter what the product or service you have sold a customer, you can be assured that they will appreciate it if you follow up in a couple of days to see how it’s working out. And it may lead to further business and more customers when your attention to detail and customer service is passed on by a happy customer.

The Art of Customer Retention

Customer service is a never ending task that will continue to build your brand loyalty. Customer Service is a long term commitment to customer satisfaction. It’s time to re-think how you engage and interact with your customers. There are many tactics, but no shortcuts. The tactics above should hopefully give you some fresh ideas for approaching retention, but they’re not a cure-all. Your product and service will do most of the heavy lifting in keeping customers loyal, and there are no shortcuts for that.

While pleasing customers with superior customer service is important, don’t forget to align your customer service goals to your business goals! There’s no point if you’ve got good brand image, if you don’t use it to your advantage! Realign with the Customer Service Goals template.

5 Traits to Look For When Hiring New Employees

Want to know the top 5 traits of highly motivated and successful employees? Want to know where to start looking to ensure you have hired an A+ team? Summarized from various leadership conferences, case studies, and networking with rectuiters, I will save you weeks and months of anguish with the top list of qualities that are common with successful employees. These qualities make them outstanding candidates to hire to help your team be world-class and smash those management goals.

Characteristics Almost Every Successful Person Has

1. Disagreeable

The word disagreeable often has a negative connotation associated with it; however, progress cannot take place without someone willing to step up and do things their own way. I had the opportunity to attend a Malcolm Gladwellspeech where he emphasized that the most successful people are disagreeable. Now this does not mean they are disrespectful, they just know that to innovate, accomplish more than their peers, and be successful, sometimes you have to follow your own path and make decisions that nobody else is willing to do. For example, Dr. Freireich, the cancer biologist who is credited as the pioneer of cancer research and came up with chemotherapy, went against the whole medical field and designed his own drug. He risked his career, ignoring what his superiors were saying. Now this is an extreme example, and ignoring your superiors is actually not wanted in the hiring process, but the mindset of challenging set standards drives innovation and creates extremely successful employees. These people are often misinterpreted as disrespectful when making a first impression, but in fact, they just operate with higher standards of creativity and are willing to go off the beaten path to find their success.

2. Respectful

cmo-customer-service-conversation-management-woveon-respect

Respect is a simple concept. You should treat everyone how you would like to be treated. You wouldn’t want someone to work for you if he/she is disrespectful because he/she will represent the company. At a company, it is just as important to respect people’s time as it is their property. Before and after an interview the candidate should say thank you and give you a handshake. Most candidates forget to send follow-up thank-you emails, and it is these small gestures that separate the best from the average.

3. Inspiration

cmo-customer-service-conversation-management-woveon-Inspiration

Another recurring characteristic I see in great candidates is that they are inspired and want to inspire others. There is a great quote that says, “I want to inspire others. I want someone to look at me and say, ‘Because of you I didn’t give up.’ ” I have found that the people who look for inspiration at younger ages end up inspiring their peers as they grow up. These traits don’t usually come from work, but outside activities such as sports, art, and other hobbies. They then transform into their work attitudes and drive people to be successful in their jobs. This drive to be inspired and to inspire others sets them apart.

4. Drive

cmo-customer-service-conversation-management-woveon-drive

Out of all these traits, I believe drive is one of the most important. If you are willing to do anything it takes to accomplish your task, then you are resilient. Businesses should look for this trait because these people are extremely efficient in their work and want to succeed in their job. They will be up for taking on more responsibility early in their position and will be up for a more hands-off approach. They are the types of people who can be asked to do something once and will follow through on what was asked of them.

5. Leadership

cmo-customer-service-conversation-management-woveon-leadership

To be a true leader means to be able to step back and take charge with the people and not just bark out orders. Like I said before, I have been to many leadership conferences and I have learned again and again that it’s not always about the talent of the group, but the group’s ability to work together. As an ENTJ Meyers-Briggs personality type, I feel extremely at home in a leadership role, and I feel a leader should always lead by example. There are natural-born leaders, and then there are people who have to really work at it to gain respect from their peers. Either way, a successful leader knows that it’s more important for a team to work together than for a single person to be successful. Leaders are extremely adaptable and capable of working through hardships. It’s part of their resilience. Leaders have the ability to transform vision into reality, and they aren’t afraid to make tough decisions because they don’t shy away from failure; they embrace it. People look up to people who never quit and that’s why leadership, drive, and inspiration go hand in hand. A candidate who shows true leadership will always be a huge benefit to the team and willing to put in all the work asked of him or her.

Employee Traits

By no means do these exhaust the traits that a company should look for when hiring, but I have found disagreeable, respectful, inspirational, driven people who also embody leadership outperform many of their fellow employees. They are efficient, passionate and ready to take on any challenge presented.

Now let’s see how to put these employees to work. Check out 5 Customer Analytics You Should Be Measuring and Top 5 Secrets to Excellent Customer Service.

Top 5 Secrets to Excellent Customer Service

A company’s most important feature, without a doubt, is its product. If there is no desire for the product, a business will not succeed. But what else makes companies stand out from others?

The secret lies in customer service.

Read on to find out about some secrets of customer service and one business, Woveon, that is truly a forerunner in this not-so-new industry.

Ways to Excellent Customer Service

1. Customer Loyalty

customer-service-loyalty

To start off on our adventure to world-class customer service, it seems fitting to talk about customer loyalty. When a customer is loyal, they will keep buying products, turning into more and more revenue. But how does a company identify and keep these customers happy? At Woveon, identifying important customers and helping with their every need is easy! Woveon has created AI (Artificial Intelligence) programs that identify businesses-valued customers in multiple ways. Say someone has shopped at an e-commerce website multiple times and has a great buying history but has now run into some trouble. If they contact the store via multiple channels such as social media or email, a representative from the business can pull up their information and understand they are a valued customer. They can focus on their problems more quickly, and this keeps up customer satisfaction.

2. Consistency

Much like loyalty, consistency is another key factor when it comes to customer service. Woveon makes it easy for a customer service representative to be consistent throughout their interactions with customers. The software records past interactions that allows the business to recall past services it offered to the particular customer and the means by which the problem was resolved. With all of this data, the company can provide consistent help to valued customers. This, in turn, can create word-of-mouth interactions, generating new customers.

3. Knowledgeable Staff

treat-your-customers-right

Nothing is more frustrating than calling customer service and feeling more apt than the “resourceful” representative. This is why it is so important to have knowledgeable staff who don’t just stick to a script and set of instructions. Your employees should be able to problem solve on their own. In order to do this, one should hire people who show interest in their business and understand its products. However, having knowledge on more than just the product is important. For smaller businesses, getting to know your customers and being able to talk with them more on a personal level can be very important. With Woveon’s technology, this is a walk in the park. Woveon’s recorded conversations not only help with consistency, but it can also help a customer service rep get to know the client more by reviewing past conversations. Although this may not apply to all businesses, small to mid-sized companies can really benefit from having personable customer service reps who are extremely knowledgeable about their product and clients. So before hiring any applicant, make sure he/she is enthusiastic about the product or service the company provides.

4. Response Time

clock-customer service-multi-channel-internet customer service-customer management-customer support-cmo-marketing

“Thank you for calling. Your call is very important to us today. Please hold while we transfer you to our next available representative.”

We’ve all heard this dreadful message. Five minutes later, you are still listening to the same terrible background music and just waiting for your questions to be answered. This is why it is so important to have urgency when conducting customer service. If you make a customer wait for five or more minutes, their frustration is almost sure to be rising as well. To help this problem, Woveon’s interface has a simple search bar that any customer service rep can pull up and see what the customer’s history is. It includes common problems the customer has had along with small subcategories, illustrated in a 3D model that is quick and easy to use. Woveon’s incredibly accessible database and easy-to-use software cut down time that the customer is forced to listen to background music and become frustrated. Having dealt with many customer service departments, I can say that the best way to keep a customer happy is to be fast and knowledgeable about all potential problems. But even if you can’t identify the problem right away, act with urgency and get the process started as soon as possible in order to retain strong customer loyalty.

5. Apologize and Move On

apology

Everyone makes mistakes–some you can control, others just happen. It is always better to apologize first and then move forward. When it comes to customer service, the representative is almost never to blame; however, the customer may think differently. A customer service rep should apologize not only for the inconvenience the customer is going through, but also so the customer can sense that the rep personally cares about the problem. If you are nice to your customers, they, in turn, would be more likely to reciprocate. Of course, there will be good and bad customers, but as long as you are willing to be upfront, apologize for any mistakes you could have made, and are ready to solve the problem, most customer interactions will go smoothly. Remember, solving the problem is only half of the interaction; being fast, knowledgeable, and polite completes the customer service process.

To help you out, here are 5 templates to get you out of sticky customer situations.

If you want to retain and build a bigger customer base, a company has to have great customer service. Word of mouth “advertisement” is 5x more powerful than any media ad. Because of this, a company’s customer service has to be efficient, knowledgeable, and polite. Luckily, with Woveon, customer service comes easy. Using Woveon’s software is a hack in itself when running a business, and if you are ready to bring your business to the next level, start with your customer service using Woveon.