We all hear the word Customer Service and we cringe because it could mean that there is a “problem” or there has been a “negative experience”. Contrary to popular belief, customer service can be a joyful and pleasant experience. Here are a few ways to turn a negative customer experience into a positive one.
Smile Through the Conversation
I know this one sounds simple, but when was the last time you smiled while you were speaking? It takes 43 muscles to frown and 17 to smile, however, it is human nature to just resort to negative.
Often, when there is a problem, we think that the person on the other end is going to have a problem with our problem. If the customer service representative, or Brand Ambassador as we call them here at VIPdesk Connect, is good at their job, they will squash this fear right away.
Smiling shines through the phone in your voice. You can hear a smile. Showcase one throughout the conversation! If you can’t find a reason to smile during the chat, make one! Take a pause while helping them and break into personalized convo where you can introduce a smile or two. Say cheese (or don’t, that may be weird).
Listen to Understand
What is the famous quote? Don’t listen to respond, listen to understand… easier said than done. When a customer is calling in and they have a concern, they want answers and they want them handled NOW! That can be overwhelming for a Brand Ambassador.
When the customer decides to share all of their issues, attentively listen and wait. NEVER interrupt, wait until they have allowed themselves to fully help you to understand the issue. There have been numerous times where I get on a call and to even speak to someone I have had to state my name, number, address, card number and god knows what else before I can even get to the problem. That is a problem in and of itself.
Listen. Respond. Acknowledge. Assess. Repeat.
Make them Genuinely Laugh
This one may not be for everybody, but it should be! If you are in customer service and you can’t make someone laugh, you may not be in the right industry. Laughter sometimes can dissolve the entire problem just be distraction alone!
Be careful with this one – you don’t want to offend anyone. Find a common denominator with them and create a fun scenario where it is alright to chuckle. Get creative!
Here are some ways to make the customer experience fun by Customer Experience Insight.
Care About Their Story
If the customer is taking the time to give you some background on the issue, you also should take some time. Just because customer service is in the business of solving the problem fast, doesn’t mean you can’t take a minute and appreciate their story.
Sometimes the story behind the problem is the actual problem. Take the extra step and really truly care about what they are saying with reciprocal words and actions. This can take many forms. You can relate to their story with your own, you can respond with a caring tone, you can also react with an agreeable answer. Sometimes, customers just need people to agree with them. Keep it simple.
Don’t Use Negative Words
This may seem like a no-brainer for customer service representatives or Brand Ambassadors, however, they slip in just like negativity seems to do sometimes. Negative words can come out when we “can’t” (negative word example) help the customer the way we want to.
According to Learning Mind, here are a few negative words to avoid:
Avoid these words when speaking with customers. Instead say things like, “Sure, let me look into that for you” and “Thanks so much for sharing, let’s see what we can do.” Customers want to hear the hope in your answers, not the dismay.
Leave Them with Something More Than They Had
When you get a customer on the phone, help them (obviously) with the issue at hand. If you want to be a true Rockstar, leave them with something more than they had to begin with. If they get off the phone and say, “well not only did I get my problem solved, but I also got an upgrade to my service”, you have done something right.
Leaving something with a customer (anything at all) will help them to remember the feeling they had when they spoke with you. Take it from Maya Angelou – “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Invite Them to Something New
Another above and beyond tactic is to offer or invite the customer to something new. Some may decline, and that is totally fine, but some may take you up on your offer and you have just made a new wave in this person’s customer experience journey.
Invite them to a free webinar, subscribe them to a fashion newsletter list, introduce them to new products, whatever the case may be, have FUN with it! Listen to their needs and guide them to something fun and new.
These few fun ways to turn negative to positive can change the customer experience in many ways. And remember, have fun!