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8 tips for avoiding customer service disasters

2-minute read

To stay ahead of the game in customer service today, your employees have to be consistent in how they communicate with your clients.

The tone, approach and messages have to be the same whether it’s face-to-face, over the telephone, via email or through other online channels such as social media posts or instant messaging.

Here are some tips to ensure your employees are on the same page when dealing with customers or prospective customers.

1. Train your employees

Make customer service communication a mandatory part of your orientation training. Your employees need to understand your corporate mission and your approach to dealing with customers.

2. Review good manners

Be sure your employees are well-versed in the basics including how to speak politely to customers and maintain their composure when dealing with complaints. Don’t assume good manners are common sense. Take the time to review etiquette with your team, starting with the need to say please and thank you during customer interactions.

3. Avoid offensive wording

Create a list of offending phrases that employees should avoid at all costs. For example, “There’s nothing I can do,” and “It’s not my fault.” Give them more positive alternatives such as “I will do my best to get to the bottom of this,” or “I understand your frustration. I’m not able to help you, but I will speak to somebody who can.”

4. Keep customer service staff in the loop

Keep your employees well-informed about your products and services, so they can answer customer questions intelligently.

5. Stay professional in writing

In communications such as emails, ask your employees to be concise and to use meaningful subject lines. They should pay particular attention to spelling and grammar; this reflects a professional image for your company.

6. Use scripts

Help your employees be consistent in communications by using scripts for frequently asked questions.

7. Answer promptly

Set a specific time limit for employees to respond to clients’ questions or service calls and make sure that they respect it. An optimal response time for an email, for example, is generally 24 hours.

8. Provide constructive feedback

Monitor how employees talk to your clients and give them helpful feedback so that they know where they can get better. If you get their approval, it can be an idea to record their conversations with clients to give them tips about where they can improve.