You customers are getting tired of wasting their time trying to contact you. When a call or an inquiry come in, you have an opportunity to solve a problem, and address a perception issue. The way your customer service team handles inquiries can either make or break a relationship with your customers. It can also either reinforce or void your marketing efforts.
Here are 5 things you should never tell a customer:
1. A lie –this may seem an obvious one. Depicting your products and services as the right ones, when you know they aren’t is lying. Failing to refer a customer to your competition when you product will not meet their needs is also lying.
Instead: communicate that you will be happy to connect your customer with a company that offers a product or service that will serve them better at this time. If appropriate, communicate also when your company will have those products or services available.
2. It’s the fault of “x” department – Assigning blame laterally will diminish the company reputation and brand in your customer’s eyes and reflect poorly on your credibility and professionalism. The other great excuse here is invoking company policy. Your regulations are part of an internal process designed with one goal: making your customers happy. Remember that you are a representative of the company.
Instead: own the inquiry and take the appropriate steps to be part of the solution.
3. I disagree with you – Getting friendly with the customer has its limits. This is not a chat among buddies, it is a professional conversation and you should treat it as such. Remember that you are there to serve the customer with an attitude that shows you care.
Instead: empathize with your customers by using expressions such as “I hear you”, “I understand your frustration” and move the conversation towards a solution that is agreeable.
4. I don’t know what to do about that – Demonstrating or giving the perception that you are not knowledgeable about the product or service that is the subject of the inquiry can backfire. Remember that you’re representing your company and that you’re not talking only to one customer. You’re also speaking with their family members and professional circles.
Instead: enroll the help of a supervisor or a colleague as needed and work with them to resolve the issue.
5. It’s your fault – Blaming the customer for improper use of a product or lack of understanding of a service will take you directly to the wrong side of the conversation. Remember that it is your job to provide support.
Instead: explain the proper use of a product, the terms of service, and any other feature that will allow the customer to enjoy their purchase.
Consumers are becoming savvier about their purchases. The difference in brand loyalty can be determined by a poor customer experience. Service matters most in some high dollar or transaction intensive industries such as airlines, banks, credit cards, computers, online retail, and wireless. The reasons can vary and go from security and in-flight service, to personal treatment and accuracy, warranty and pricing, the ratio of price and perceived value, and connectivity.
The gap between expectation and delivery in some cases has widened greatly thanks partly to the efforts of marketing campaigns. When customers experience your brand on the service end, it better deliver on its promises. Knowing what not to say is as and, in some cases, more important than finding the right answer.