Imagine going to a coffee shop, ordering a coffee, and then waiting for over 20 minutes to receive that coffee.
You will probably be pissed off.
Because the person whom you made the payment said, you only have to wait for five minutes.
However, you have a meeting, and your lead is still waiting to start the meeting, and 15 minutes are already wasted.
You’re pissed off; with a fake smile, you start your meeting, which ends up terribly.
As a result? You will never go to that coffee shop anymore.
Why? Because the server could improperly be communicated with you for your order.
The situation could avoid the above case if only the server communicated with you properly.
Aka. have developed a proper Customer Success Skill.
… but, Customer Success Skill is not just about Communication. It’s a lot more.
Let’s dive in and learn more so that you don’t lose your customer the next time they enter your coffee shop.
What is a Customer Service Skill?
Customer service is defined as the ability to deal with customers and ensure their satisfaction.
Customer Service can be a deal-breaker and the biggest reason why your company could end up failing.
No matter how incredible your product/service is, people need help, and when they are paying you for your product or services, you are entitled to provide them with good customer support.
Good customer support can quickly turn into a great customer success skill that can result in many benefits.
Fundamental Principles & Benefits of Customer Success:
- You could end up gaining more reviews.
- Good Customer Success will lead to a strong word of mouth recommendation, which is the best form of marketing.
- It will help you acquire new customers.
- It will help you retain existing customers with a lower churn.
- It will help you to build a passionate and robust brand ambassador around your product.
However, that’s not it; there are many more pieces one needs to master to improve their customer service skills.
Let’s dive in.
I can understand; it can get frustrating and challenging at times. It may be because of the language barrier, maybe for some other reason. However, if you want to win your words, you need to do with love and passion, and not hate.
There are exceptions. If a customer is using foul language, then that is not acceptable at any given standard.
However, patience is the number one skill every person in the company needs to develop, especially the startups, since they have to fight to retain every customer.
The next time you see an angry customer, even if it’s their fault, be patient, and send your reply politely.
Bonus Tip: Send them your brand T-shirt using services like Printful, and watch them becoming your biggest fan with an instant smile on their face.
2. Communication Skills & Language Barrier
Not necessarily English is the primary language of every individual. At least, it’s not mine.
I have spent many years trying to learn and perfect my English writing and speaking skills, but it’s far from perfect. However, I still ensure I am as straightforward as possible.
During the initial days of my career, I had instances where my words got misinterpreted. That can quickly happen.
What did I learn, though?
“Use simple words to convey my message.”
Communication skills are equally important as having patience. Providing customer service is not an easy task.
Avoid using complicated words, keep your sentences short and crisp. Ensure to proofread before hitting that send button.
In case of a language barrier, be clear on your website what languages you support for your product or services, as this will help you set up clear expectations.
Bonus: Though not perfect but I have often answered in Spanish, French, and few other languages with the help of Google Translator whenever I have received a query in any different language, followed by providing the same answer in English with a note that the translated response is generated using the software.
It might not be ideal, but sometimes it can make it very easy to bridge the language barrier.
3. Product & Service Knowledge
Have you ever sent an email to a company, only to get into a response loop? Do the tickets keep on getting forwarded to another person with no possible resolution?
If it can be frustrating for you, so can it be for your customers?
Whenever you onboard a new customer service officer in your company, please ensure that you have a full training module ensuring that they know everything about your company, product, or services thoroughly.
It can take few months for a new person to understand your company, product, or services altogether. As a company, you need to keep your patience with them.
Introducing “Support Levels” can help if you have a company with over 100+ team members.
If it’s a smaller team, your support can be very lean divided into different departments.
We at Little SaaS, Inc. are still a small team of just over fifteen team members.
We have built a department inside our helpdesk – Communication.
If you are a user/customer of Communication, then simply head to Menu > People and create a team. Now add the respected team member to that team.
Building a team can be helpful because when you assign a ticket/thread to a team inside Communication, it sends a notification to everyone in the team.
We will also talk about how you can automate many pieces of your Customer Communication using Communication’s workflow automation.
Bonus: Most users hate contacting companies directly and believe in self-service to get their queries solved instantly. Use Communication’s Knowledgebase Solution and turn all your questions into a usable knowledgebase to lower your support queries.
4. Desire to be helpful
All it takes are choosing the right words and just being there for your customers.
I know it can be frustrating at times, but if you don’t have the desire to help, you will never win over your customers.
You desire should help your customers at all stages because their success is your success.
We at little saas take customer success as the topmost priority and can go beyond to help our customer to a point where we even get on a call at times, even though that can get very expensive for us.
Nothing is more important to us than ensuring that the customer keeps their trust in us.
5. Positive Attitude & language
Always keep a smile on your face with a positive attitude.
No matter how terrible things are going on in your personal life or having a lousy day handling your customers, you need to keep everything aside and wear the mask and serve.
Having a positive attitude towards every query can set a great example not just with your customers but within your company.
Bonus: Compliment your customers; it can be gratifying.
We at little saas are always grateful for every suggestion and feedback we get from our customers. Your angry customers will give you the most honest feedback, stay positive and turn that into your asset.
It’s essential to have tenacity when you are handling customers. You need to be fast and firm with your decisions.
You’ll need to communicate clearly, and that is mostly thanks to your ability to enunciate your words.
You need to have a good memory because you might need to remember a few things for the customers.
You also need to be good at dealing with people; this will help you feel more this will help you make the customers feel more comfortable.
The first thing you need to do is observe the customers.
You need to be very attentive to what they are saying. If they say that everything is okay, you need to write a note to yourself that they are okay.
This will help you remember that they are okay the next time you see them.
It’s essential to be smart when you are handling customers. You need to know your product well, have a good memory, and know how to use the information you have.
It’s essential to show that you are a problem-solver when you are handling customers. You need to know what the problem is and how to fix it.
It’s essential to be assertive when you are handling customers. It would help if you made it clear that you know what you’re doing.
A good customer service representative needs to be flexible. They need to be able to adapt to different situations to make the customer feel comfortable.
It’s essential to be a people person when you are handling customers. You need to be friendly and make the customer feel comfortable.
7. Accepting Mistakes
Accepting Mistakes when dealing with customer service is essential, and politely apologizing can take the company far ahead. It doesn’t matter how big the company is; they should always be willing to accept criticism and apologize if they’ve made a mistake that is their fault.
Risky or not, almost every company makes mistakes at one point or another, and being aware of these common mistakes will help them do a better job.
If you have made any of these fundamental errors as an entrepreneur, take a moment to reflect on what you could have done differently and how you can improve your business. Let us know in the comments if you think of any other common mistakes entrepreneurs make.
When in doubt, ask for help from your team members when you cannot help your customers.
If you are worried about these mistakes, take a break and think about what you can do instead.
You don’t have to do it on your own. We are here to help you grow your company, no matter how big or small it is, using Communication.
If you want to learn more about Communication, send us an email at email@example.com or click here to schedule a demo.
8. Be-Solution Focused
Be-Solution Focused when talking to customers and provide them with relevant step-by-step information to solve their issue.
Communicate with customers to resolve their issues and make sure that they’re satisfied with the resolution.
Handle escalations from first-line support to determine root cause and resolve issues.
Provide complex problem resolution to customers and ensure they’re satisfied with the solution.
Escalate complex customer issues to management for further review.
Troubleshoot and resolve customer issues via telephone, email, and remote access sessions.
Provide technical support to customers via telephone, email, and remote access sessions.
Provide a high customer service level by listening to customers, identifying their issues, and promptly resolving their problems.
Assist customers in resolving issues on the first call, and escalate to management only when problems are not fixed.
Document customer interaction and feedback to improve the customer experience
- Have the ability to work independently, and troubleshoot issues on your own.
- Be self-motivated and capable of managing your time and tasks.
- Possess excellent problem-solving skills.
- Have the ability to work well with others in a team environment.
- Be able to learn quickly and retain knowledge.
- Be fully bilingual in Spanish and English.
9. Show Care (It needs to be real)
Show care and mean it; when dealing with customer service, empathy goes a long way. It can help you establish an emotional connection with your customers, leading to strong word of mouth marketing.
Here is a quote from Zappos, “Design a company where the employees WANT to make customers happy and put them first.”
It is an excellent read on how to design your company to put the customer first.
Ensure your products are easy to understand; if a customer is confused about your product, service, or price, they will not buy.
Make it easy to buy whatever you are selling. Don’t make people jump through hoops or fill out forms; they will just go to your competitor.
Next, you need to make sure that your products are easy to understand. If a customer is confused about your product, service, or price, they will not buy.
Let the customer know what they are getting for their money, don’t be afraid of the word free.
Be transparent about the value to the customer. If your product is not worth the price, don’t charge for it. If it is, charge for it.
Ensure that your website is easy to read and navigate; here is an excellent article on designing a good website.
The customer will appreciate it.
If you are selling something of value, tell your customers why they should buy it. Don’t be afraid of the word free. It can be a powerful word.
Make your customers feel special, make them feel like they are a part of something.
Offer a reward for referring your product or service, and it is a great way to build a loyal customer base.
Give them something special for taking a chance on you.
Here are some great ideas for creating a customer reward program.
Make sure to give your customers something extra for taking a chance on you.
Here are some great extras to give to your customers.
Here is an excellent article on creating a customer reward program.
Here are some great ideas for creating a customer reward program.
And one more from Zappos,
Share your company’s mission and values with your employees so they can indeed be customer-centric.
Zappos has accomplished this by having a detailed employee manual that outlines all the company’s values and beliefs, including a section on how to put the customer first.
10. Keep it Simple Silly (Kiss Method)
Keep it simple with your customers when solving their problems. Ensure that your language is simple and easy to understand when replying to their query.
Write concisely and make sure that your words are well chosen. Create an informative and to the point tone, even in an email.
Be aware of your tone. Be careful not to sound too colloquial or too formal.
Always monitor your tone of voice and the use of slang.
Read emails out loud to ensure that they have a natural flow and sound good.
Be professional in all that you do. It means using formal language, avoiding slang, and ensuring that you have a clear tone.
In the same way that you would not speak in the same way to your boss as you would to your friends, the same goes for emails.
In conclusion, the tone of voice you use in business emails is essential.
The tone of voice is fundamental when writing to customers, as they will be more likely to develop a relationship with you and come back to your business.
11. Have a clear understanding of your vision and mission
Have a clear understanding of your company’s vision and mission when talking to customers where your customer needs to be your priority.
Create a culture of customer service by engaging employees to make every customer experience better than the last.
Never lose sight of your customer’s objectives.
Never lose sight of your company’s mission objectives.
Always keep your customer’s objective in mind when making business decisions.
Follow up on customer complaints and feedback to ensure you are genuinely listening and improving.
Understand that listening is different than hearing.
Always take the time to listen to what your customer is saying.
Remember that listening is a skill that can be improved.
Know your customer’s history.
Understand the importance of customer feedback in your business.
Don’t think you can sell something to everyone.
Balance your own needs with the needs of your customers, as well as your company.
Understand the importance of building a relationship with your customer.
Understand the importance of building a relationship with your customer, not just making a sale.
Build a relationship with your customers through sincere, friendly Communication.
Understand that sometimes it is better to sell a customer why they should not buy from you than to convince them to buy from you.
Understand that sometimes it is better to sell your customer why you can’t help them than to convince them that you can help them.
Understand the importance of building relationships with your customer through understanding their business and their industry.
Here are some essential points you need to remember:
- Understand what your customer wants and needs from you in the long term.
- Understand what your customer wants and needs from you in a short time.
- Understand your customer’s business model.
- Understand your customer’s products and services.
- Understand your customer’s target audience.
- Understand your customer’s competition.
- Understand your customer’s unique selling proposition.
- Understand your customer’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Understand your customer’s mission.
- Understand your customer’s vision.
- Understand your customer’s values.
- Understand your customer’s goals.
- Remember that your customer’s requirements and priorities may change over time.
12. Simple to-do videos
Make simple, easy-to-do videos showing your customers how to use your applications. A great way to make your product more user-friendly is to let people see how it’s done. And if they can do it, they’re more likely to recommend it.
Create a tutorial for every feature your product has.
Add a “help” tab in your app to point users to the videos.
Use a video-hosting platform like YouTube, Vimeo, or Wistia to host your videos. You can then embed them on your website and social media pages.
Gather the email addresses of people who will benefit from your product and let them know when you’ve made new videos. It helps you build relationships with potential customers and gives you something else to promote in future videos.
Check out how we have crafted Simple TO DO Videos for Communication on our YouTube channel that can give you some inspiration.
In conclusion, making simple easy to do videos can be a great way to promote your app.
13. Ability to establish a relationship
As a customer service person, you need to develop skills to establish a perfect relationship with your customers. A well-trained customer service representative can resolve customer issues and queries.
Do not forget to be patient and courteous even if you get irritated. Be friendly, but avoid any personal interaction that would make the conversation awkward.
Some ways to develop a strong relationship with your customers:
For customer service representatives, it is essential to be a good listener. Here are some ways to listen well:
Being a customer service representative, you need to build and maintain your knowledge base regarding your offer’s products and services. Take advantage of the time you have to research your company’s product and service offerings.
Learn the company’s rules regarding customer complaints, procedures, and policies. Make sure that you understand the purpose of each approach and know how to handle complaints.
New technologies are always emerging in the market. Stay abreast of the changes, and learn about them. Familiarize yourself with the different kinds of technology used in your company and use them to make your job easier.
14. Effective use of Automation
Try to automate your customer service using workflow software. Workflow software is particularly good at managing a lot of customer interactions.
For example, you could set up an automated workflow to answer common questions and then link that Workflow to a specific source in the database using Communication.
When something comes out of that source, the Workflow can handle that request.
It will send an email notification that the customer has a question, and it will also include a link to the appropriate document, FAQ, or knowledge base article. Customers can click that link and read the information on their own time, which helps you provide better customer service.
When a customer has a question that isn’t addressed in the automated Workflow, you can direct it to the next customer service level. It could be a real human agent or an automatic email response.
For example, you could direct a customer to an email address that will respond with a canned email message.
You could also have an interactive CRM tool that lets the customer schedule time with a real person.
You can also use Workflow to route the customer to a particular team. For example, you could have a workflow that always routes support requests from new customers to your sales team. You could also set up an automated email response for common non-technical customer questions. Then when customers email you, you can route them to the automatic reply.
Automating your customer service with Workflow can save you time and money. It minimizes the number of interactions between customers and employees, which helps your company to scale up. You can either have a small team of customer service professionals or have a large team to handle more customers.
Create your Workflow using Communication and automate or semi-automate your support as shown below:
Here is how you can do it inside Communication.
Head to Menu > Workspace Settings.
Inside Workspace Settings, you will find Automation Tab, head to that tab, and scroll down until you find Workflows.
Now – You can have the option to created various kinds of automated workflows depending on the If-else conditions.
As of now – Communication provides both Manual and Automated Workflow.
Manual Workflow: This is great if you are looking to trigger the action manually.
Automated Workflow: This is great if you want to automate the entire flow.
This example shows you an automated workflow that can help you automate your support based on a subject line and the email’s content containing specific keywords.
First – Add a new workflow and select automated.
Second – Second the Conditions. In this case, we will select the subject line or email containing the keyword “Refund”.
Third – Select your Action. In this case, we will select the emails to be sent to a specific shared inbox that is built inside the Communication, and assign it to an individual right away for faster response to the customer.
With Communication’s Workflow Automation, you can do a lot more, and automate a huge amount of support automagically.
Customer service is an essential aspect of growing business.
In conclusion, for growing a business, it is necessary to have proper customer service software. Remember, you can’t do everything, so it is better to use software applications like Communication to manage your customer service tasks.
Communication helps you to collaborate with customers and your team.
What Matters The Most?
It is a question asked by many people out there. We all want to get the right answer to this question. This article is not about what you should do, but what matters the most for your customers.