Modern customer service demands a balance between digital innovation and humanized experiences. For this reason, customer service communications are often prime moments for brands to provide a human touch. However, just as with any conversation, what is said is as crucial as what is not said. And when it comes to business, taking an approach that values customers and builds their trust is essential to winning their loyalty. Here are seven customer service communication mistakes to avoid in order to offer truly authentic service.
Failing to listen closely
Agents may sometimes be so eager to jump into a conversation or find a solution that they forget to truly listen to the customer. It’s therefore essential for agents to introduce themselves first, and then invite customers to explain their situations and express their feelings without interruption. Agents may then summarize the situations and proceed to find the best solutions.
Relying too heavily on scripts
Scripts are very useful for giving agents guidance and helping them provide consistent service. However, humanized customer service involves spontaneity, kindness, and empathy, so agents should not rely too heavily on scripts. Being able to adapt to different situations and carry a polite conversation are essential to establishing a positive contact with customers.
Lacking the proper knowledge
According to a thinkJar survey, 84% of customers become frustrated when agents don’t have the proper knowledge to assist them. For this reason, agents not only need the proper training to better serve customers, but they need the right tools as well. CRM software can help centralize customer data and make it easily accessible when needed, and intelligent routing can ensure that customers are routed to the most appropriate agents at all times.
Using complex vocabulary or slang
Customers appreciate clear communication, so agents should avoid using ambiguous language. For example, using very technical terms can confuse customers, while using slang can make agents look unprofessional. Always simplify technical language, and avoid using slang expressions altogether.
Not taking responsibility
Accountability is absolutely essential to great customer service. When customers have a concern, agents must take responsibility for the situation and apologize for the inconvenience before finding a solution. Regardless of whether the issue arises from an individual mistake or a company error, agents are brand representatives and need to show grace and goodwill toward customers.
Taking a defensive attitude
In addition to taking responsibility, agents must also be careful not to take a defensive attitude. Customers may sometimes be angry or even mistaken, but agents need to stay calm and professional in order to clarify situations for such customers. Being defensive only angers customers more and delays the resolution of the problem.
Not keeping customers informed
Customer service exchanges can sometimes be long, and they can be difficult to follow when there is no face-to-face contact. For this reason, agents need to avoid long silent pauses and keep the customer updated on what is being done to find a solution. If an agent needs time to consult a supervisor, for example, it’s important to inform the customer and give an approximate waiting time to keep a natural flow to the conversation. Similarly, as the exchange progresses, agents should relay important information such as case reference numbers, phone extension numbers, in case of lost contact, and any tracking numbers a customer may need.
Great customer service begins with clear and positive communication. By avoiding such mistakes and adapting each conversation to an individual customer’s needs, your brand can win customer confidence and loyalty. To deliver the very best in customer service, learn about Vocalcom, a global leader in cloud-based contact center software solutions and premium omnichannel customer interaction platform for great customer experiences.
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