By Mandy Garza
How many of you have made a purchase you later regretted, only to realize it was “final sale?” Maybe the shoe didn’t fit. But instead of getting your money back to buy ones that do, you’re stuck with a pair that’s a half-size too small and a blister on your heel as a constant reminder. You grab the receipt, throw the shoes in a box, and head back to the store in a desperate attempt to make an exchange. When you approach customer service, you’re met with a representative who either had a really bad day, or has been asked the same question too many times. Only to be met with the answer you dreaded the most. No returns or exchanges!
The goal of this story isn’t to instill fear upon you before your big holiday shopping spree, but to rather inspire customer service departments everywhere that it simply doesn’t have to be this way. As Senior Director of Customer Service at Phillips Connect, a leader in trucking telematics, we pride ourselves on going “above and beyond” for our customers. And that doesn’t just mean giving them that pesky exchange for the right pair of shoes.
Here are the five most important things to remember to achieve exceptional customer service.
How can you expect to pitch a product to a customer if you haven’t mastered the products that you sell? Nearly impossible. It’s imperative that you become an expert on your company and the value your products will provide. Because how can you really sell a solution to a problem if you don’t understand the solution in its entirety? Short answer: Not well. As far as the customer goes, the best thing a customer service rep can do is to listen. Listen to your customer, uncover their unique needs, and find the exact solution that will benefit them both now and in the future.
Gone are the days where reps read from a script. Customers want more. It’s crucial to build trust with the client and truly be there for them from start to finish. More importantly, we treat our clients no differently from the pilot process to years down the road. Because without that relationship, it’s very difficult to understand the underlying needs of your client.
Mistakes happen. And in our business, it’s inevitable at some point. But my biggest piece of advice is this: Own it. Make it right for your company and for the customer. You’ll never see one of our customer service reps pass a question along if they don’t know the answer. Instead, you’ll see them working on the back end to find the answer themselves. Take pride in your business, put in the extra effort, and the rest will follow.
Don’t sit and wait for problems to surface. Having a proactive, solution-driven mentality will get you far in customer service. You may catch an issue before it arises. Find a solution and work to solve it. This could save both your customer and your company a substantial amount of time, money, and effort if it’s caught quickly and dealt with upon discovery.
Just because you made the sale, doesn’t mean the customer service ends there. Going out of your way to get all your customers’ information set up prior to onboarding is a great way to show them that even though the transaction was finalized, you are still a resource. We treat every issue uniquely to ensure our customer is 100-percent satisfied with the solution. Because at the end of the day, the most important part of this process is, and will always be, the customer.
We treat every client as though they’re a part of the family. With this mentality, our customer service team thrives in challenges because they know that with every challenge lies a solution waiting to be uncovered. So next time if the shoe doesn’t fit, ask yourself: How can I help?