Could creativity and kindness be the two missing ingredients in your customer service?
Often, organizations put a primary focus on equipping employees to become experts in their products and services, to upsell customers, and to fix problems quickly without needing to consult additional people. For good reason too – we know that 72% of customers feel that having to explain their issue to multiple team members constitutes poor customer service, according to Dimensional Research.
We also know that over a quarter of consumers rank a lack of effectiveness from an organization’s representatives as their biggest service frustration while 12% list slow responses as their number one service pet peeve, according to Statista. Given that the existing research supports the need for service representatives to be speedy, knowledgeable, and responsive, this training focus makes sense.
However, in addition to these fundamental customer service skills, there are two components to service that are so often overlooked: creativity and kindness. While these two terms might not be what typically comes to mind when thinking about the skills toolkit of a service representative, they can both be a team members’ secret weapon for delivering service that goes above and beyond the norm.
Thinking outside the box
For those unfamiliar with the industry, thinking of customer service representatives will call to mind an image of an employee seated at their desk, telephone in hand, following a script with possible responses to various customer concerns. Customer service representatives themselves will know, though, that their profession is a dynamic and varied job that requires them to think on their feet and respond in real-time to often unpredictable scenarios.
While you may not think of it in these exact terms, if you’re a customer-facing team member, it’s likely that you frequently rely on your creative abilities to meet customer needs. This is because imagination and creativity are important factors in sales success. Thinking outside the box will help to:
- Build relationships with customers, increasing their feelings of loyalty to the organization
- Close more deals, particularly when faced with more challenging customer needs
- Solve customer problems that you may not have encountered before
As you’ve likely learned by now, not every problem or question that you’ll confront when interacting with customers will have a ready-made answer. Instead, it will be up to you to develop the appropriate response to each customer, keeping in mind logistical constraints and the boundaries set by your department or company. This is when you’ll need to flex those creative problem-solving skills!
Kindness is key
Hopefully, you live your life with the intention to be kind to everyone you come across. For many of us, kindness is taught to us as children and becomes an expectation as we move through our daily interactions. Why then, do so many of us forget to incorporate the same value into our service interactions?
Customer service doesn’t need to be strictly professional and to the point. Rather, there is scope to incorporate traits like kindness, humor, and positivity into your interactions with customers. Customer service is about much more than satisfying customer questions and problems. It’s also about making a customer feel heard and valued.
Luckily, there are many ways to authentically integrate kindness into your customer service interactions while maintaining a Business Friendly approach – which, if you don’t already know, is the ServiceSkills alternative to a formal, traditionally professional perspective on customer service. One easy way to do this is to monogram the call. This involves appropriately using the customer’s name to build rapport.
Monogramming the Call
Monogramming the call allows you to personalize the relationship between you and the customer, enabling you to genuinely demonstrate kindness and interest in them. Simply ask for the customer’s name at the start of the interaction then use it – pronouncing it correctly – throughout the conversation. Be aware though, that it is possible to over-use a customer’s name. This can become annoying or even seem like you’re mocking the customer, so be careful to avoid using their name too often.
Another simple way to show kindness to the customer is by smiling. Simple, right? Even when speaking to a customer over the phone, a smile changes your tone of voice and communicates to the customer that you’re happy to be speaking with them. To learn 23 other Basic Selling Skills that will enhance your customer service abilities, contact a ServiceSkills representative today and request a free demo of the course.
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