customer serviceProviding great customer service builds customer loyalty and ensures repeat business. Happy customers share their buying experiences with friends and family. This informal “advertising” can drive new business to your door step. The effect is particularly magnified by the advent of social media. Your customers are sharing their buying experiences on Facebook, Twitter and online business review websites including the Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List

As you can see great customer service, or otherwise, can impact your reputation and bottom line profitability. Excellent communication skills and a proactive approach can ensure your customers are saying good things about your organization.

Here are some great tips from the experts on how to become a customer service guru.

Communication – Clear communication is essential for great customer service. Enunciating words, using an upbeat tone, and speaking just loud enough will convey confidence and a friendly “here to help you” attitude. If you write or email with customers, be sure to use proper grammar and spelling, and choose words and phrases that convey a similarly upbeat attitude.

Listening – Listening skills are just as important as communication skills. Asking questions and repeating back what the customer says demonstrates an understanding of the situation and makes the customer feel heard. When speaking with a customer face to face, nod when you understand something and make sure to make eye contact.

Taking Responsibility – That means being able to sincerely apologize to a customer on behalf of your company, even when the problem was not your fault.

Assertiveness – It is important to take control of the situation and do what needs to be done in an efficient manner. Being aggressive or demanding will offend customers and being too meek or passive will not convey confidence. Asking direct questions of the customer in a strong, steady voice and keeping track of what needs to be done, will show confidence without coming across too aggressively.

Conflict Resolution – Because customers have problems that need to be solved, it is important to be a creative problem solver so the solution fits the need of the customer. Sometimes it is not possible to come up with a solution. Then it is necessary to help them locate additional help. Customers will appreciate it when you take the time to follow up with them to make sure the issue has been resolved.

Empathy – Understanding a customer’s emotional state and how they feel will help you to better serve them. Putting yourself in your customer’s position will help you gain the necessary perspective in order to find the solution that is fitting and satisfying to both the customer and the business. If you struggle to convey empathy, ask yourself these questions: How would you feel if you were in her position? How would you like to be treated by an employee? These questions will help you to identify with and better assist your customers.

Everybody wins. By developing better customer service skills you’ll improve the chances of every customer having a positive service experience and becoming a loyal customer. And your organization will prosper as your satisfied customers share their positive experiences with the world online!

See also “How To Encourage Customers To Leave Feedback For Your Business