Whilst building rapport, knowing your products/services and doing what you say you’re going to do is the substance to a great customer service department, the habits you and your team form will fundamentally support a more positive customer experience.
The tips I’ve put in the post below will work for any business but my experience of a busy customer service team is that when these things aren’t done it becomes shambolic. Myself and my ex colleagues often call it ‘fighting fires’. It becomes overwhelming for the staff creating low morale and maybe even a higher turnover and this reflects on the quality of overall service resulting in really unhappy customers.
Customer service is such an unknown entity at the best of times because often the customer is contacting as they are unhappy with something that your business has sold to them, either the product or service. It is therefore utterly essential to form positive habits to best serve your team and your customers.
My top three ESSENTIAL habits are:
- Weekly follow ups with external support staff such as contractors/suppliers for anything that remains outstanding.
If your business is like most you will have some elements of your work outsourced, whether its delivering goods, undertaking specialist works, materials orders etc. I highly recommend scheduling time (at the very least) on a weekly basis to follow up on everything that remains outstanding. That way you can contact your customer proactively and give them real time updates before they have had to chase. Most people are reasonable if they feel like you’re taking the lead on getting their order/issues dealt with as soon as possible. Proactive is always better than reactive.
- Shared diary updates
If there is more than one of you in the team then I would suggest sharing a calendar. It is essential to diarise calls/actions and follow ups to every communication as necessary – do not assume that you or a colleague will remember. You should do this somewhere that the whole team has access to it. If you do this it will do a number of things – a) you won’t forget and will keep on top of things b) your actions will be timely which can only improve the customers experience c) If you are away on leave/sick then someone else is able to pick up the things you had scheduled, meaning customers don’t end up feeling they’ve gotten the short straw. Most businesses use outlook or something similar and often customer service teams have a shared inbox. I would recommend using this calendar/tasks list as the master list – if there are multiple team members you can colour code or simply put your initials at the beginning – that way you all know whose is whose (some databases/CRM systems have this functionality too so worth looking in to as the more linked with your customers details the better)
- A start of the day routine
This one is one of the most important. It’s the key to being productive rather than busy and a great way to ensures better results. The following are some absolute must haves in your morning routine:
1) Allow yourself five minutes when you get through the door to take it all in, grab a drink and set yourself up for the day ahead. It may seem counter intuitive but calmly stepping into the day will set the tone for how you manage whatever comes your way.
2) List the things that absolutely must be done that day, writing it down will not only solidify it in your mind and give you an important list to refer to but it will make it easier to prioritise better when things get harried.
3) Have a 5-10 minute (no more) catch up with the team before your day gets full on. Chat about any potential issues/top priorities etc.
4) Check voicemails/emails and prioritise.
5) Check your shared calendar/task list and prioritise those items.
Do you have any tips or suggestions on good habits to form that will support a top notch customer service team? Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading,