3 Ways to Improve Customer Service Skills in Your Business

Well, I guess it’s time to talk about some more ways to improve customer service skills. Like the call center optimization articles, these are something I have to touch on every now and then, as new issues arise, or I don’t see old issues being addressed. This is a recurring topic for most customer service writers, not just me, so let’s hope that the ones we do repeat often, eventually hit home with the people who need to make changes.

There are many ways to improve customer service, and while that may be true, I really only have so much space to talk about something at a given time, so I spent some time thinking of three of the most important things I could touch on here.

Customer service is so important, and I know I’m preaching the same sermon over and over again when I say that, but it’s true. When people remember your company, and when they do or don’t recommend you to others, it is often your customer service which is how they judge this decision either way. So, you need to get this right, and so do your employees who interact with customers. Just remember, though, that contrary to the old adage, the customer is not always right.

#1 – Knowing When to Say No

Sometimes, you have to say no, and it can be a very hard thing to wrap your mind around in customer service, but it’s true. Sometimes, customers will make requests or demands that’re unreasonable or impossible to meet. When this happens, you have to stand your ground.

If you flutter around and pretend to try to humor them, it will just make you look all the less competent, as well as less confident. If you know how to respectfully say that what they ask cannot be done and that’s that, and then offer them some kind of consolation at that point, it’s actually going to earn you points with them, believe it or not.

#2 – Native Language

I talk about this every now and then, and every time I do, I worry about the message I may wrongfully send in touching on it. But, this is a problem in customer service that continues, and much to my chagrin, I have to keep harping on it.

Customer service being outsourced to foreign lands that do not speak the demographic’s language natively is just a bad idea. While they can learn the language very well, much to no fault of their own, they may be unable to overcome a heavy accent, which large portions of the US may be unable to understand.

The best alternative is to select freelance people who natively speak the language, to take these jobs. I know how that sounds, just know I look at this strictly from a functionality level.

#3 – Resolution

First call resolution is an important goal of customer service, and it needs to be the top priority no matter what. If a customer’s requests aren’t reasonable or the issue cannot be resolved, then they need to be kept on the line until some kind of compensatory consolation is agreed upon.

These are just a few more ways to improve customer service skills, and as usual, I’ll touch on this again in a few months, most definitely.

Stefanie Amini
is Specialist in Customer Success and chief writer and editor of I Want It Now, a blog for Customer Service Experts. Follow her @StefWalkMe