Top 4 customer service tips to promote satisfaction

Customer service surveys, used to get valuable feedback through objective data collection, are being done to death. Managers need to find a way to step out of the box while still getting the data and insight they need to provide the best possible customer service experience for their loyal customers.

Here are the top 4 customer service tips to promote satisfaction:

1. Buck the trend. Instead of the standard online or phone survey quiz (or, if need be, in addition to it), walk on the wild side and ask key (or representative) customers out to lunch or coffee. Engage in a face-to-face discussion about what you’re doing well and where you’re coming up short. Make it direct, make it productive, and make it count.

2. Serve, don’t sell. In the zeal to upsell, many customer service departments build in sales pitches. Between pre-recorded on-hold messaging and obvious attempts to up the ante, these can backfire and make customers recoil. Just help, offer genuine, good suggestions, and let the process unfold from there. If there’s a legitimate upsell opportunity, embrace it. Just don’t push it artificially.

3. Throw away the “I’m sorry…” script. Has every customer service department instructed its reps to apologize? It sounds scripted and often insincere. Resolution and authentic discussion is what most people want—not phony sympathy. Unless there’s an authentic need to be sorry, offer up your best strategy to solve a problem or meet a challenge—then back it up.

4. Tell the truth. We’ve all had enough “fake news.” The ultimate “lie detector” known as social media and increasing consumer buying savvy are making companies “show up” or be shown up. People instinctively can root out deception. Now, they have anecdotal and empirical evidence to support their assessments. Be squeaky clean when it comes to honesty. Your reviews and rewards depend on it.

This will do more than any mechanized survey ever will, both in terms of insights and trust-building. You’re letting these customers know that you value their opinions, whatever they are, and that you’re striving to get better in their eyes by doing more than offering a canned survey.

It’s straightforward. It’s the way relationship-building was done for ages, and it’s now back in vogue—thanks to inundation with all things technological, digital, automated, and impersonal when it comes to addressing customer satisfaction.

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