This informal CPD article, ‘How And Why To Provide Good Customer Service’, was provided by BulliesOut, one of the UK’s most dedicated and ambitious anti-bullying charities.
How And Why To Provide Good Customer Service
The way any organisation deals with its customers is one of the most important elements of their work as these are the people the organisation exists to serve.
Organisations should ensure that their frontline staff or staff teams are adequately equipped to be able to deal with most queries there and then, without the need to pass the customer around to different colleagues or departments, or having to promise them a call back (which may not arrive!).
The frontline member of staff or call handler is expected to take responsibility for the calls they receive, help the customer with their enquiry by giving advice or information or organising what the customer needs. The process should be regarded as a circle.
The member of staff is responsible for ensuring that the circle is complete, either by:
Providing the information to the customer.
Finding out the information for the customer from a colleague and calling them back personally.
Arranging what the customer needs where appropriate.
Ensuring that another colleague has a message to return a call and the timescale expectation for doing so.
Anyone then taking over the enquiry must ensure that the original member of staff is informed that the call back was made.
The original member of staff should not consider the circle complete until they are satisfied that any follow-up action has been completed.
When aiming to give a good customer service, it is always best to get off to a good start. The frontline team makes all the difference, it is where the customer first comes into contact with the company and an impression is formed. Here are some phrases you may want to avoid using when aiming to provide excellent customer service:
"I don't know."
It sounds as if you're not sure what's going on in your own office. It is better to say, "That's a good question. Let me check and find out."
When No begins any sentence; it sounds as though you're not willing to help. You may not be able to do one thing, but you can do something. "We aren't able to do that, but we can..." (Because there's always something you can do).
"That's not my job..."
When you begin a sentence with this, it sounds as though you are not sure what your job is. Tell the customer "I am not sure I know the answer to your request, but I will find someone who does."
"That's not my fault."
Try saying, "Let's see what we can do about this." Accept responsibility, even if you did not make the mistake. The bottom line is not who did what. Just fix it.
"You want it when?"
Always give a specific time when you can meet the customer's needs. Tell the customer you will try to meet their deadline and assure them you are working on their problem.
"Call me back."
Never tell a customer to call you back. This is a brush off. Always tell the customer that you will call them back as soon as possible. Then promptly follow through.
"We can't do that."
This sentence is extremely negative. Be positive. Try saying, "That's a tough one. Let's see what we can do." You may not be able to meet the request, but in the eyes and ears of the customer you are willing to try. There may be some other service you can try that the customer is not familiar with.
"You'll have to..."
This sounds accusatory. Try saying instead, "Here's how we can help you." Give the customer detailed instructions on how to make a complaint, request information, or just answer their question.
Encourage your frontline staff/team members to do the following:
Greet people – whether they be face to face or on the telephone.
Smile – people can hear it in your voice even when they cannot see you.
Given their name – customers always like to know who they are dealing with.
Speak clearly to ensure there is correct understanding.
Return a call – follow through with something that you promise, even if you don’t have the answer and are still looking into their query.
Say goodbye and allow the caller to end the call themselves.
In conclusion, we need to establish an etiquette for our organisation to ensure that the correct impression is given from the outset.
We hope this article was helpful. For more information from BulliesOut, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively, you can go to the CPD Industry Hubs for more articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.
For more information from BulliesOut, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.