The psychology of customer service

The Psychology of Customer Service – Part 1

There seem to be two types of people when it comes to customer service. Those that love it, and those that hate it. If you’re in the latter group, you may just be reaching a roadblock because you do not understand the science behind it. Emotional Intelligence is one of the most important aspects of customer service psychology. Let’s break it down:

Emotional Intelligence is defined as: “the capacity to be aware of, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.”

But what does that mean? It means that for good customer service to occur, every employee needs to be able to have “emotion management” around customers.

These skills include:

  • Patience
  • Attentiveness
  • Clear communication
  • Product Knowledge
  • Positive language usage
  • Time management
  • Being able to read customers behaviors
  • A calming presence
  • Empathy
  • Tenacity

If your employee doesn’t understand emotional intelligence, it’s almost impossible to possess these skills.

Positive and negative emotions are often a reaction of needs not being fulfilled or met. 

What does that mean?

It means that if those “needs” are not met, your employee is going to be unable to have the “emotion management” skill. If you can control your own emotions in light of what others do and say, your emotional intelligence is highly developed.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is the best way to learn how to manage emotions. It’s the shape of a pyramid with the primary needs at the bottom. The top is where self-actualization and transcendence is located.

This is based off Maslow’s observation that an individual’s most basic needs need to be met before they are motivated to achieve higher ones.

Based on this principal, here are the 15 tips for the psychology of customer service!

1. Show Customers They Matter

  • Walk towards them as they enter your store while giving a friendly greeting.
    • Ex. “Hello! *Begin walking towards customer* Welcome in! How are you today? Ask “What brings you in?” instead of “Can I help you find something?” as the customer may not yet know exactly what they are looking for.
  • By not asking anything store related yet, you are opening yourself up to the customers to initiate the conversation with you.

2. Answer Every Query

  • This ties back into number one, but queries will come in all sorts of ways. Facebook, Google, Yelp, etc. No matter how your company receives these queries, you need to be prepared to provide them with an answer. Check out Service Lifter’s services on call answering and lead generation here.

3. Answer Politely and Clearly

  • Using a clear, properly volumed tone for the surroundings is optimal. Don’t make any assumptions. Be sure to ask clarifying questions as needed. It will show the customer you have knowledge and care.

4. Respond Quickly

  • Give the customer as brief of an answer as possible. Once you answer their question directly you can begin to expand on the answer. Don’t expand before you give them a brief response.

5. Provide Availability

  • The sooner the better. Most people will begin looking elsewhere if there is no availability.

6. Identify Customer Deeds

  • Asking open-ended questions is ideal for this situation. It will give you a clear focus and help the customer understand what you are doing to help.

7. Resolve All Issues During the First Interaction

  • You greatly decrease a customer filing a formal complaint if you are able to resolve the issue during the first interaction. Making sure employees understand this and promptly escalate the call will make for better saves and customer happiness.

8. Deliver Emotion

  • Use voice fluctuations to help with delivering emotion into what your saying. The more you believe it, the more the customer will also.

9. Exhibit a High Level of Reliability

  • Many customers prefer talking to the same person again and again. They shy away from situations when they are constantly speaking to someone different. Being reliable with what you say and do will help your customer satisfaction go up.

10. Offer Convenience

  • The pandemic has been a driving force behind multiple ways to shop. Share these adjustments with your customers so you are able to provide them the care they need in the way they are most comfortable.

11. Keep Promises and Fulfill Commitments

  • This goes hand-in-hand with being reliable. As well as being there for the customer, being able to keep your promises and appointments will build their confidence in you as a person and the company as a whole.

12. Show Empathy

  • Never sympathize, empathize. Understanding where the customer is coming from without making any negative comments about a coworker, company or even rival business will show the customer that you are not trying to cause an issue.

13. Check in with Customers and Follow Up

  • If you interact with a customer or provide a service and then the customer never calls back, there is an opportunity for growth. Send surveys and re-connect with those customers to show them that you value their business.

14. View Customer Complaints as OPPORTUNITIES

  • It’s easy to be discouraged by customer complaints. However, any complaint has an opportunity to help you grow your customer service skills. Ask yourself why the customer may be feeling that way. If you are unsure, seek out management guidance.

15. Show Gratitude

  • Showing the customer that you care is huge. If they take the time to leave a review, take the time to thank them! Little interactions like these will keep customers coming back again and again!

 

Although only lightly touched on, these 15 steps will almost always ensure customer and employee satisfaction with job performance. They can also be used as gauges as far as where your employees are in the realm of excellent customer service.

Hitting a dead end with customer service? Reach out to Service Lifter today and see what we can do to help you!

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