I will make this short but not so sweet!
Customers are active partners with a vested interest in your business. They will need your help from time to time and they will help your business grow. The quicker customers’ questions are answered, the quicker they will be able to use the information. Don’t forget, customers typically call at the moment they need help…not for friendly chats!
I am a service-oriented individual who enjoys nothing more than to find new and better ways to improve the customer experience. I find it appalling that so much of the customers’ time is wasted in the pretense of building rapport. A company that insists its staff build rapport as a way of gaining trust should rethink its customer strategy or provide guidelines on acceptable rapport-building techniques. Talking about sports, children, movies, a tragic breakup, or how nobody cares anymore does not help customers.
In lieu of building rapport and soft skills to make customers feel good about talking with representatives, how about building representatives’ skills so customers reach knowledgeable representatives who can actually fix problems and whose self-confidence inspires trust in the company’s ability to resolve problems. This may mean investing in training to ensure support representatives’ technical, oral and written communication skills are at a level where they can methodically identify problems, organize their thoughts around the problem and the customer’s perceived level of understanding, and present meaningful information in ways the customer can understand and use it.
I am the author of Rat Bastard Customer Care: Committed to the fix! I am a no-nonsense service professional. I advocate for service that values people’s (customers and reps) time and leveraging representatives’ skills with company resources to create exceptional customer experiences. In essence, I suggest companies stop pushing support representatives to try to be customers’ friends and prepare them to be the professionals customers should reach in their time need.
Available at amazon.com