Thursday, April 7, 2016

How to ace customer service

CareerBuilder has some suggestions for how to be a great customer service rep.

But first, a joke I heard a comedian tell. He was on the line with one of those crazy-awful robot voices and started yelling AGENT AGENT into the phone. "I understand you want an agent, is that correct?" YES YES. Finally he got one, but her accent was so murky he could not understand a word and started yelling ROBOT ROBOT.

But, as always, I digress.

Some tips for being a better AGENT (or any form of customer servant).

Understand your customer's expectations. Ask yourself what you are offering for a set price--can the customer expect something in return for this in terms of good treatment?

You are an ambassador. Don't forget this. Are you putting the company in a good light?

Give customers your respect. Remember, without customers, you are out of a job. Treating them with respect (and not this irritated "Ma'am..."ma'am..." stuff) means they may come back--even more job security for you.

Use CARP with angry customers. CARP means control, acknowledge,, refocus, problem-solve. Show you can solve the problem, say that...acknowledge the problem...refocus into a more positive light...and come up with some solution.

Create memorable experiences.  If you can, throw in an extra.

Communicate clearly. Eye contact if in person, speak directly to the issues, active listening, no interruptions.

Just in the last week, I have learned my new health plan is not "open" on weekends and does not take calls directly but says it will call back. Bah to that.

In a second instance, in trying to order an ink cartridge, I got tangled up with no PayPal option on the payment page, went to live chats twice, got frustrated, signed off...then tried again today, and the live chat person said SHE had a lot of calls, please wait. But she was really thankful for my patience of course. Darn robot. I bought it elsewhere.

Also this week, I learned the nice "extra" of a promised price on my internet/TV bill was only for one month--gee, no one mentioned that.

Some places have a way to go before the word customer service even applies.

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