This video will walk you through how to take your customer service to the next level. Customer Service expert Jeff Toister will help you identify opportunities to exceed customer expectations over the phone. He'll discuss techniques like sending a surprise, sending a handwritten note, being there for the customer until the end, following up, and anticipating the next issue your customer might encounter.
- So far we've focused on core skills for customer service over the phone, like tuning out the distractions, listening, and using visual references to communicate. You might be thinking, what does all that have to do with exceeding expectations? Tuning out distractions, listening, and communicating clearly all help you better understand what your customer expects. Understanding your customers expectations allows you to find opportunities to exceed them. Once you spot the opportunity you can take action. This video will provide you with just a few ideas, but I encourage you to use your imagination.
One technique is to send your customer a surprise. You might send a gift card to a loyal customer as a thank you for their business. If a customer had a really bad experience you might send flowers or candy along with an apology note. In one famous story a technical support rep was on a long call with a customer when she heard her customer mention he was hungry. She went online and had a pizza delivered to him. When it comes to surprising customers you're only limited by your imagination and your budget. That last part is kind of important, so check ahead of time to see what you're empowered to do.
Sending handwritten notes is another great way to exceed expectations. It makes your service more personal and lets your customers know you care. One tip is to keep a box of notes at your desk, so it's easier to write one and send at a moments notice. You can often exceed your customers expections by being there until the end. Let's say a customer calls with a question about using your product. You could make a great impression if you stay on the line while they try it out. This will give your customer extra assurance that everything is okay, or if something else goes wrong you can be right there to help them.
Sometimes it's not possible to stay on the phone with your customer until their issue is fully resolved. In that case you can follow up with them via phone or email. A follow up lets customers know that you're thinking about them and you care about their success. It can also be an opportunity to solve an additional problem that your customer may have experienced. You can also exceed your customers expections by trying to solve the next problem they're likely to encounter. The idea is to give your customer confidence and prevent them from having to call back.
Here's an example, imagine you work for a utility company and a customer calls to schedule a service appointment. During their appointment the technician will need to shut down the customer's electricity for about 30 minutes. You can avoid any future problems by helping your customer prepare for the power outage. For example, your customer might want to gather some candles or lanterns if the service call is scheduled for late in the day when it might be dark outside. You could really wow them by emailing a list of reminders to help them prepare for the service call.
We've covered just a few ideas in this video, but keep in mind that delivering moments of wow requires us to do just two things. First, we need to identify the opportunity and second, we need to take action. Now I have a short assignment to help you practice. Think about opportunities you have to deliver moments of wow to your customers. Now take some time to prepare. This might include learning your company's guidelines for sending out little surprises, scheduling some time to make a few follow up calls, or getting a box of note cards that you can keep at your desk.
Being prepared will make it easier to take action when the opportunity arises.
- Developing the perfect phone greeting
- Filling dead air
- Managing holds and transfers
- Expressing empathy
- De-escalating angry callers