Customer service is so much more than just “servicing” your customers. Anyone can just pick up the phone and ask “How can I help you?”. The manner in which you do this will make all the difference.
Anytime I call customers, I first try to ask them how they are. This might seem obvious, but I listen for much more than just words in their answer. Does the shop sound busy? Are they driving? Are there sounds of a child in the background? Often times their answer, mixed with the sounds I listen for, will tell me if now is a good time to talk or if calling back later could be better. Being aware of your customer’s surroundings is the first step to building personal rapport with your customer.
Once I have decided that it is a good time to talk, I express the purpose of my call. If I am calling back per the customer’s request, taking the time to listen is important to them. Often times the message I get will be something like “my texts aren't working”. This is where technical rapport comes into play. Asking questions, and listening for answers is a pivotal part of fixing a problem for a customer. Have they had this issue in the past? Is this something I can easily amend or should it be sent to our technical support team? Building technical rapport is vital in servicing your customers’ needs.
Finally we come to business rapport. As the text messaging specialist here at Data Age, building that rapport with my customers is so important to the flow of our day-to-day work. When a customer has a text messaging issue, it goes to the “Text team”, instead of the “Tech team”. Because of Business rapport, our customers know that they have a Text Messaging Team who is willing to listen, work with them, and help them along the way. Building this type of rapport helps our customers to know where to go and when, and helps us here at Data Age to service our customers quickly and efficiently.
Now, to circle back to the beginning, let's talk about personal rapport. Anytime I work with a customer, I always try to communicate on a personal level. For example: When hurricane Dorian devastated the Caribbean last summer, I took the time to reach out to my customers there. This communication was not on a business level, but a personal one. Sending my thoughts, wishing them well, and letting them know we at Data Age are here for them when they are ready. Another example: One time a customer opened up to me about some personal things going on in their life. Every time I called them afterwards, I made sure to check in and see how things were going.
So, what is the key to excellent customer service? It's the simple things: Listen, Remember, Care, Help. Be there for your customers, and watch your “work” become a little more excellent.