Customer Service Skills on a Bad Day
Working from home can certainly have its challenges. There are always challenges with everything you do, people don’t respond or get back to you in a timely manner, things go pear-shaped and don’t work the way they are meant to. People get angry and take things out on you and you can wear the brunt of their emotions. It can be hard especially when you work alone and have no one to share it all with.
This was my Bad Day
This was my morning, I had an unhappy client who firstly accused me of not responding to emails, when in fact I had always phoned immediately when they had come in, but there was no paper trail. Mmmmm 1st lesson. And blamed us for the thing not working, when the thing was broken in the design before we got involved, just no one saw the break, so of course it won’t work. Mmmm 2nd lesson. Then no one from our business picked up the mistake and just tried to work around the problem, trying to make it work even though it was never going to work and would be substandard causing problems long-term. Mmmmmm 3rd lesson.
Lesson 1 Always reply to an email
- If the email is from a happy client, a reply acknowledges their effort in sending an email
- If the email is from an unhappy client, an email reply after a phone call, gives you a brief paper trail of the phone conversation, or an email reply acknowledges the client’s issues while you are seen to investigate further
- Either way you have a paper trail of what has happened
- More difficult for a client to “pull wool over your eyes
- Reduces the risk of a client claiming “You said….
- Tip: if you have a CRM (Customer Relationship Management software) connect your emails to the customers files for easy access.
Lesson 2 Always document everything that happens with clients
- Make client notes, even the little things
- Note all the questions you ask and what they ask you as well as the answers.
- Some people make their notes in a client file (CRM)
- Another easy way of doing it is by making notes in your diary at the end of the day saying what happened each day,
- Make this a daily practice you will always be able to go back and reflect on the day with better insight.
- If nothing significant or unusual happens on a particular day – note this too
- Your notes then become a reference you can use as your defence at a later date.
Lesson 3 – Always stay aware of what is happening
- Sometimes staff, subcontractors or anyone working for you or in your name just don’t have the same responsibility as you do.
- Everything that happens in your business or referencing your name, affects you or your company
- Getting all the systems in place and right is of utmost importance.
- Make sure that things are just not overlooked or swept under the carpet when they are more difficult
- Mistakes, oversights or problems can be, look different or be invisible depending upon the business.
Lesson 4 – Review, review, review
- What steps could you have taken so that a problem did not arise
- What steps could you have taken to ensure the customer is always happy.
- Have you work-shopped the issue with all the personnel involved
In my case in regards to this particular job, the solution will be looking at the different processes we do, adding in other steps so things can’t get overlooked. Your solution maybe different. You probably need to ask yourself what else you could have done to eliminate the particular problem that you have encountered.
Our customers aren’t always right, they often have a warped sense of justice with their own outcome as their priority. Reducing the opportunities for customers to complain by being the best we can be and doing everything possible to reduce mistakes (our humanness means we will never be perfect), but by reducing the severity of the mistake can make a difference too.
Good Customer Service Skills build Reputation
Good reviews: It is so important to get good reviews, have a good name, have a great reputation and be known for having an incredible product or service for our continued success. We want our customers or clients to become our raving fans. Glowing testimonials show how good we are and what we all want, getting these should be high priority for us all.
Not so good reviews: If we have high volumes of customers and clients it will be pretty hard to please everyone all of the time. In fact not everyone will like us or want to do business with us. In these cases we need to remember that there is no better review than one that states things didn’t go as expected but we went above and beyond to fix the situation and put things right. Reading reviews like this makes us believe that what we are reading is true and correct, it builds trust and belief in the company.
When Working at home and developing a business there is no need to shy away from criticism and mistakes. Learn the lessons they show you and own up to them and make them your best job ever. Reply to email, messages and phone calls, keep everything documented, stay alert to what others are doing under your name and review regularly. Don’t finger point, stay calm, just work through the problem to come to a solution that is beneficial for both parties.
Turn that bad day into the best learning day ever.