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Avoiding Communication Issues in Customer Service

Posted By: Beyond.com In: Customer Service

 

For many businesses, customer service is a crucial part of everyday operations. Excellent communication and friendly service can go a long way in building relationships. By taking steps to avoid customer service communication issues, you can keep customers happy and increase the chances of repeat business.

 

When it comes to customer service communication, one of the most common mistakes professionals make is using jargon. Internally, many companies use slang, acronyms, and jargon when talking about products and services. Often, it is easy for customer service professionals to forget that customers do not have the same insider knowledge. Most people call customer service when they are already agitated, and when the person on the other end of the phone uses unfamiliar words, it can make a customer even more frustrated and angry. When speaking to customers, it is crucial that service staff use language that is easy to understand.

 

In some cases, effective customer service communication means that you must admit a mistake or wrongdoing on the part of the company. In a situation where your organization is at fault, it can be tempting to dance around the issue or avoid taking any blame. When you are faced with a difficult situation, it is almost always best to be open instead of making excuses. By explaining the company's role and apologizing sincerely, you may be able to diffuse the situation quickly and get down to the business of solving the problem.

 

The most important part of customer service communication is paying attention to the customer's needs. One of the most crucial customer service skills is listening. When the person on the phone takes the time to listen carefully to a complaint or problem, it makes the customer feel heard. Plus, the customer service professional can then take all of the issues into account before providing any solutions. According to an article by Mary Nestor-Harper, customer service is on the decline. By giving your attention to your clients, you can set your business apart from competitors.

 

In the age of the Internet, customer service communication can be different than it was during the era of the call center. In addition to communicating well on the phone, professionals must be able to translate their customer service skills to online media. Some companies use email and instant messages to help customers; in that case, you have the opportunity to compose longer messages. If you use social media sites, however, you must take greater care. Because social media profiles are usually visible to members of the public, word choice can impact your reputation. According to Marketing Profs, you can avoid communication issues by monitoring profiles regularly and developing a strategy for responses.

 

As you develop a customer service strategy, it can be helpful to provide training for all employees who interface with customers. By ensuring that everyone is on the same page, you can improve customer service communication and strengthen client relationships.

 

(photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net) 

 
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Comments
Posted by: Melissa Kennedy
What a great conversation!@Elise - that's an excellent point. Too often, customer service agents mumble or make it difficult for callers to understand them.@Charles - It's a shame that the companies you worked for were willing to sacrifice their customer's happiness in order to avoid making employees upset.@Dan C - Your frustration is understandable. Sometimes, even the biggest and best companies get things wrong because the focus is on the process rather than the outcome.@Andrea - Letting the customer vent and making sure they feel that they've been heard is the very best way to deal with their anger and the first step toward solving the problem.
Posted by: WOODARD T
this article makes a lot of sense. the customer is the reason for any business. and its true being a good listener makes a whole world of difference, also taking into account for any wrong doing.
Posted by: Stephanie G
Very good article!
Posted by: Stephanie G
Very good article!
Posted by: Elise M
The article is very good in that it stresses how important it is to speak in language the caller can understand and relate to.  Also, it very important to be a good listener.
Posted by: Charles W
The last two companies I worked for think this article is much ado about nothing. To admit that a portion of a company has performed poorly will make those performing poorly to fill bad and they will become annoyed with you and not play nice with you within the organization. There was not interest in helping a customer by solving a problem. To have workers change the way they do tasks involves a lot of work and effort work lots of employees. Companies reason it is easier to not admit faults even if minor to keep moral at a manageable level. Sorry customer just live with it becomes the outcome, albeit said in a nice way. So Sad..(I was fired from both positions for trying to  get right.)
Posted by: Charles W
The last two companies I have worked with believe what this article says is the worst thing they can do. I believe this article because it makes perfect sense and is fair to all consumers. I was fired from both positions. Most organizations want customer service for all only minor issues. They penalize any of who attempt to solve problems, especially if they are ongoing or egregious ones. This is big time wasters for the companies I worked for since they increase time per call. Minutes /call is their holy grail of what customer service is.   So Sad.
Posted by: Dan C
So true. I just resigned from a call center. I had the highest customer service skill set thru cust survey. The reason, I focused on the customers needs and had empathy. The company's training is technically entrenched so there Rep Assits 's are unhappy angry people and impossible to work around, you have to always adjust your mindset and behavior around internal employees then adjust to the customers..it was exhausting. I love customers but hate idiot poorly trained managers. Its a "you need to press that button" mentality instead of "emphatize and connect to the customer" mentality...Shame on this company that fact that they made 19 Billion dollars last year customer service should go head to head with technology...well they get what they pay for...oh and one last thing, its union...and they stil cant get it right, I know I was in the trenches.
Posted by: Marcus P
I don't kow many that plan to answer customer service for all of their life. S, for those providing customer service, it is important to keep a level mind when working the call center. We've heard "postal,"and people are people. There are times when the customer may need help with issues from another rep, or maybe another department. The business should be enough to advise that clarity for its customers. I always think of the lack of change for the customer service representatives. But, it's work.
Posted by: uganda b
This article is telling the truth clients want to be heard.
Posted by: andrea h
I definitely agree on comment of calming the client down buy means of listening to the problem at hand and making it right for repeat business and not using the company terms speaking in a different language the client us not aware of. Customer service is very important in order for any company to be the very best .
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