Customer service (CS) and customer experience (CX) professionals are designated brand advocates, as first-points of contact. At the end of a typical CX interaction, a customer will be left with a feeling. Going forward, this will, most likely, be the feeling they would attribute to the brand. Creating positive sentiments about the brand and maintaining it are big opportunity areas.
There are easy ways to leverage this opportunity, and these rest primarily with the words we use. So here are a few things to remember for fantastic customer interactions:
- Create a positive vibe: The focus should be on positive ways to convey the situation at our end. For example, “Let me check on this and get back to you” can replace “I’m not sure” or “I don’t know”. When we say “no problem”, it could lead the customer to think there might have been a problem. Instead, we can say “You’re welcome” or “my pleasure.”
- Be a good listener: Most customers are looking for resolutions. They want to be heard. It helps to hear them out so we can get the full context before we offer a response. Listening to them will also help us relate to them and empathize with them better. Showing empathy in turn bolsters the customer’s trust in the brand.
- Commit to definite timelines: A typical rule of thumb in customer service is promising only what is possible. When we offer realistic estimates, it accentuates the customer’s confidence in the brand. So, it is alright to say “Let me get back to you on that.” We can always check in internally to confirm our best response and get back to the customer after some clarification.
- Keep the conversation open for resolution: In many instances, there may be no direct resolution to the customer’s issue because the brand’s rule-book doesn’t specify. A good response here will be, “I understand your frustration in this situation. Let me see how best we can resolve this for you.”
- Practice emotional intelligence: As customer service representatives, we have the opportunity to turn around difficult conversations into positive experiences for customers. According to the customer, they are speaking with the brand and not one individual. Using language like “we” or “I” breaks away from the “us vs. them” narrative, suggesting that we are working with the customer as a brand to resolve their query.