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1 Customer Service Skills. 2 Why Bother? Why put out extra effort to provide superior service if average service is enough to keep the contract and your.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Customer Service Skills. 2 Why Bother? Why put out extra effort to provide superior service if average service is enough to keep the contract and your."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Customer Service Skills

2 2 Why Bother? Why put out extra effort to provide superior service if average service is enough to keep the contract and your job? ♦ You owe it to the Customer! ♦ You owe it to your employer! ♦ You owe it to yourself!

3 3 Only One Boss There is only one boss – the Customer. “The Customer can fire anybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” Sam Walton

4 4 Who’s Paying You? “It’s not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It’s the Customer who pays the wages.” Henry Ford

5 5 Technical support is a commodity, nothing more. What distinguishes one provider from another is the quality of their Customer Service. Never forget that the customer has a choice as to who they pay to provide this service. Why Us?

6 6 Who Is Your Customer? ♦ The Franklin High School helpdesk will provide service to students and staff. ♦ If working at Apple, your customers would include Apple customers, Apple Management, End User Support Service Providers, and other Agents.

7 7 What is a Customer? Customers deserve the most courteous attention we can provide. A Customer is the lifeblood of this and every business. Without Customers, we would have to close our doors. The Customer is the most important person, whether in person, by mail, or by telephone. A Customer is not someone to argue or match wits with under any circumstances. Nobody ever won an argument with a Customer.

8 8 Great Customer Service starts with the first few seconds of the call. You only have one chance for a good “first impression”. No matter what happened just before taking a new call, make sure you start fresh with each new contact with a positive mental attitude. Make Your Customer Feel Welcome If the Customer was on hold for awhile, apologize for the wait.

9 9 Business and Pleasure Most people prefer dealing with others who seem to be enjoying themselves. So, let that cheerful sense of humor of yours come out. Just make sure you temper it with good judgement and common sense.

10 10 Take Your Cue From the Customer You will come across a few Customers who just want to take care of business and then hang up. For them, a good relationship with you means quick, efficient, get- down-to-business service. So, that’s what you need to give them….along with a cheerful attitude.

11 11 Compartmentalize Insulate one customer interaction from the next. Think of how professional golfers must discipline themselves to forget the last shot and focus only on the next one. Don’t allow one negative encounter spill over into the next Customer contact… or the rest of your day.

12 12 Make comments to acknowledge your understanding of your customer’s position. Use Those Active Listening Skills Empathize with their problems and issues. Convey your customer’s concerns to management when appropriate, and let your customer know you will.

13 13 Every Customer Deserves Your Very Best Give every Customer your very best! You never know who you might be helping. It could be a close friend of the president of the company, or it could be someone testing the service. Regardless of who the Customer is, they deserve your very best.

14 14 Adopt a Can Do Attitude Never tell a Customer that you can’t do something, unless you immediately follow with a description of what you CAN do for them. Customer Service is about doing, not explaining or rationalizing what your NOT doing.

15 15 Eliminate the Negatives Make a conscious effort to minimize the use of negative words and phrases in your service interactions. Customers do not like words such as: can’t, won’t, don’t, not, no, or sorry. You should look for every opportunity to say words such as: can, will, do, yes, you bet, and absolutely.

16 16 Talk Less… Listen More Listen to everything the Customer says as if there is going to be a test at the end of the conversation. Make it your goal to understand the Customer’s needs and expectations. Repeat the points the Customer made in your own words and confirm your understanding.

17 17 Tech-Speak Be careful not to use technical jargon that the Customer doesn’t understand. Acronyms that are used commonly in the technical arena are foreign words to most of our Customers. By using technical terminology you may confuse, intimidate or anger the Customer.

18 18 Under-Promise and Over-Deliver Keep your promises reasonable, but make what you provide to the Customer extraordinary. Set realistic expectations for the Customer. Remember, you are depending on others to deliver part of the service, under conditions you cannot control or may not be totally aware of.

19 19 Honor Your Commitments Do what you say you’ll do. Whether you promise something explicitly or implicitly, make sure that you follow through. Customers occasionally make plans, schedule meetings, or make decisions based on what you tell them you’ll do.

20 20 What’s the Rush? Give the Customer the benefit of your full attention while they are speaking to you. By worrying about pending calls you may become distracted and leave the Customer with the feeling that you’re not totally concerned with their needs. The Customer should feel that they’ve had ample time to get their issues resolved to completion and not rushed through. A Customer who feels rushed is not going to feel as though they received top notch service.

21 21 Listen for Unspoken Requests A Customer may not be able to fully articulate a need or concern, or may brush one off for another. An issue mentioned casually as a peripheral concern may be important and if you resolve it for the Customer they will feel like you’ve taken that extra step.

22 22 Summarize As You Go As you approach the end of each Customer interaction, do a short recap of what you discussed, what you are going to do for them, what they can expect, and when.

23 23 Satisfaction Plus One Whenever you get to the point where you feel the Customer is satisfied, look for one more thing you can do for them. It can be something you do for them, something you send them, something you say to them, or whatever. It doesn’t have to be big… even little extras can turn a satisfied Customer into a delighted one.

24 24 Thank You !!! Always and without fail, Thank the Customer for calling. Remember, it’s the customer who is paying your salary. Be sure to invite the customer to call again. Let them know that their calls are welcomed. Close your calls with something like: ♦ “Please call back any time we can be of service.” ♦ “Feel free to call us anytime.”

25 25 Call Time Management

26 26 Respect your customer’s time. Never, ever make them wait for anything without offering an explanation, an apology, and an alternative to waiting. Respect Your Customer’s Time

27 27 Be Prepared Make sure you have all your tools that you will need available before you answer the phone. Don’t answer the phone and have to ask the Customer to wait for you to get ready.

28 28 When Research is Required If you need extra time to resolve an issue, make an agreement with the Customer to call them back while you work on it. Make the necessary calls and do the research that you are able to do.

29 29 Follow Up If you must rely on the feedback of someone else, keep the ticket open and begin taking other calls while you wait. Set a reminder for an appropriate time frame to follow up on the open ticket. Even if there is no resolution to report to the Customer, call them back the same day and let them know your progress.

30 30 Time Management Tips ♦ Type important points of your conversation into the call text as you are speaking with the Customer. ♦ Fill in the details of your ticket during the “lulls” in the conversation. ♦ Never allow the Customer to get the impression you are giving less than 100% attention to them. ♦ If you complete your typing before hanging up, you won’t have to be in AUX as long and you can increase your call volume statistics.

31 31 Phone Etiquette

32 32 Greeting  IT Support, this is, how may I help you?  Cheerful, but not sappy  The expression on your face can be heard through the sound of your voice  Put on your “phone personality”  Make sure you speak in clear English throughout the call  Set the pace of the call by asking questions

33 33 Use the customer’s name throughout the conversation. Generally, you should use “Ms.” or “Mr.” unless you sense that using the Customer’s first name is appropriate. People like to have their names pronounced correctly. Ask the Customer for the correct pronunciation at the outset of the call. Use the Customer’s Name

34 34 Assess Your Customer’s Urgency  What is your customer’s availability?  What is your customer’s timeframe?  What is your customer’s mood?

35 35 Hold time…  Ask the caller’s permission (and wait until you get it).  Give them the option of holding or receiving a call back.  Check back with the caller periodically to make sure they can continue holding.  Use polite terms, such as “May I put you on hold”, Are you able to hold”, etc.  Set the customer’s expectation regarding how long the hold may be and what the results should be.

36 36 Warm Transfer/Cold Transfer  Warm transfer includes staying on the line until you have introduced your customer to the third party on the line. You may also be required to provide a ticket number.  Cold transfer allows you to immediately transfer the customer into the queue.

37 37 Transfers  Ask the caller’s permission (and wait until you get it).  Explain the reason for the transfer.  Tell the customer what to expect.  Make sure you know if the process calls for a warm transfer. The additional effort won’t go unrecognized or unappreciated.

38 38 Closing the Call Allow the Customer to hang up first. This is a simple courtesy, and it gives the Customer a chance to add something they may have overlooked.

39 39 Professionalism

40 40 You Are a Guest  Maintain professionalism off the phone, as well.  Keep work area neat  Keep conversations with co-workers clean  Dress appropriately at a job site  Remember, you are a guest in your employer’s house

41 41 Jokes and Humor  Humor can offend when you don’t expect it. Avoid topics like  Humor can be an effective tool, and can simply provide enjoyment to you and the customer. Keep it clean, and it works.  Nationality  Politics  Anything in generally poor taste  Race  Religion

42 42 Personal Topics on Business Calls ♦ OK to make small talk – hobbies and interests, plans for weekend – while waiting for a task to be completed. ♦ Let the caller run that part of the call. ♦ Avoid items that might degrade confidence in you. ♦ Avoid sensitive topics

43 43 Sensitive Information  Sharing sensitive information can bring trouble…. –Insider trading? –Damage company’s reputation? –Damage another customer or agent’s reputation?

44 44 Dirty Laundry ♦ Customers don’t need to know about our call center’s problems ♦ Degrades our image and credibility ♦ Customers prefer a positive attitude, anyway.

45 45 …on the process …on your service provider …on your tools …on other agents …on the customer (for calling you instead of the “correct” service provider) Don’t Assign Blame

46 46 If You Make a Mistake… ♦ Admit it ♦ Apologize for it ♦ Fix it ♦ Move on Customer’s don’t really expect you to be perfect. They do, however, expect you to be honest.

47 47 Handling an Irate Customer

48 48 Customer Categories Customer Type ♦ Irate ♦ Insistent ♦ Hesitant ♦ Satisfied Action Required ♦ Validation ♦ Action ♦ Reassurance ♦ Query for Satisfaction

49 49 When dealing with an Irate customer, it is important to remember that they are upset with a situation they feel they cannot control… they are not upset with you.

50 50 The Irate customer  The irate customer is fuming, they need to vent their frustration. Your role is to let them vent, and validate what they say, through active listening. Once they have calmed down, they become an insistent customer

51 51 The Insistent Customer  The insistent customer wants results, and they want them now! You should respond by moving into active resolution. All the focus should be on solving the problem. Once you propose acceptable solutions to the client, they will probably become a Hesitant customer.

52 52 The Hesitant Customer  You can recognize the Hesitant customer by the questions they ask concerning possible solutions. Your role with a Hesitant customer is to reassure. An effective technique to overcome resistance is to ask them questions that require a positive response. Once reassured, the client then moves to the final type…

53 53 The Satisfied Customer  The satisfied customer is very easy to work with. They are cooperative and appreciative. To ensure complete satisfaction, you should always end the call by asking if there is anything else you can help them with. (A Query for Satisfaction)

54 54 What To Do ♦ Let the caller vent – validate what they tell you. ♦ Once the caller moves from Irate to Insistent, jump to action; get out of validation mode. ♦ Ask the caller leading questions that will solicit a “Yes” response. ♦ Always try to end the call with a query for satisfaction (“Is there anything else I can help you with today?”), but don’t push if the caller is resistant.

55 55 If you watch for the transition from one type to another, and respond with the appropriate action, it is very easy to move an Irate customer to Satisfaction. Why? Because you helped them to gain control of the situation they felt was unmanageable at the start of the call.

56 56 When You Don’t Know the Answer

57 57 Don’t Know the Answer?  Recognize the fact that we have a lot of information to learn and know here at the Call Center, and a single agent simply can’t know everything.  Some of our most successful agents don’t have all the answers.  What they have (and you may not) is a set of customer service “tools” that they pull out so that they appear both confident and competent when they don’t know.

58 58 Rebuild Your Value to the Customer Instead of being the agent who:  knows everything about their technical issue  can fix any problem Transform yourself into someone who  will get their problem fixed  will find the best possible owner  will make certain to work with the customer until resolution is achieved....become the Champion of their Cause!

59 59 Help your customer find a workaround Even the most ludicrous suggestion can help your customer in an emergency. No ? Try web access? A co-worker? A personal account? Can’t print? Can a co-worker? Take a diskette to Kinko’s? No share access to something? Can you get in and to them?

60 60 Set Realistic Expectations Follow Priority Guidelines  Assess Priority and Impact. Be accurate!  Work with your customer to understand their needs. Inform your customer:  If you can’t find much information on their topic  If you need to “try out a queue” to see if it is the right place

61 61 Tips for the Whole Process  Partner with your customer - Become co-owner of the problem - Use “we”, “our” statements instead of “your”  Let your customer vent whenever necessary  Stall for time while you look things up or negotiate with your customer to call them back.  Even if the Customer says “Don’t bother,” get the answer anyway and get back to them - They’ll appreciate the extra service. - You’ll have the correct answer the next time.

62 62 Offer an Apology with an Action Don’t just say: “I’m sorry, I’ve never run into this before” “I’m sorry, we don’t get calls on this very often” Add: “Let me check to find out what we can do...”  to find the right person to help you  to find the best solution to your problem Or… “I want to discuss this with my supervisor and find the best solution for you.”

63 63 Minimum Requirement: Get the Problem Documented Correctly!  Wade through customer jargon to note true nature of the issues  Work through to identify key statements  Read back statements customer has made so you at least get the nature of the problem isolated, even if you don’t understand.

64 64 Don’t…  Assign Blame  Pretend you know what to do or what you are doing  Be apathetic to their needs (Negotiate instead)  And Don’t Just say “No!” Focus on what the customer can do for themselves, and how you can help them get it done!  Say “I can’t…” Say instead: –“There are a couple of ways we can do this, let me suggest…” –As a very last resort, let them know “Policy has changed…” or “Our procedure is to…”

65 65 Work Smarter not Harder

66 66 How can you work smarter... © Tools © Teamwork © Case Documentation © Criticism

67 67  Check every single tool that you have! –Knowledge Tool –Process Information –Training Information –Internet  Have every tool ready to go…  Start looking for information any chance you get... Tools

68 68 Personal Goal: Increase Your Knowledge Become well versed in what you support.  Read Manuals  Study Online  Attend Training  Use applications yourself  Learn from experts around you The more you know, the better your service will be The more you know, the better your service will be.

69 69 Teamwork Every agent is here because of some kind of skill. ♦ Leverage off each other’s knowledge… You may know things that your neighbor does not. Your neighbor may know things you don’t know. ♦ Gain from each other’s strengths… The Call Center is successful because of Teamwork!

70 70 Help Your Neighbor  Share information when you have it.  Discuss recent developments.  Get clarification when needed.  Listen to events around you.  Let your Lead know... when something isn’t working right.

71 71 Case Documentation

72 72 Effective Communication of Customer Issues When documenting issues, keep in mind:  Your audience…  Special needs of service providers.  Special circumstances for your customer.  Special circumstances affecting you.

73 73 Minimum Documentation Standards Every case you write must contain enough information so that someone else could read the case and know what steps you took to resolve the customer’s problem or issue. This is true even if you close the case. Remember, that “someone else” could be another agent, your lead, or supervisor, a customer (or his manager), or a service provider.

74 74 Who is your audience? Take special care if an issue needs to be sent to a service provider or background team.  What are their needs?  Do they have special information requirements?  What they need to know about your status?  What might be impacting them? Helping your service provider, helps your customer get faster service!

75 75 Get It Right the First Time! Review Request :  Request information can help you find an owner. Assess the Action:  Refer to guidelines on what does and does not qualify as a “problem”.

76 76 Get It in Your Case Notes... Include important information like:  Customer Impact and Priority  Customer workaround/lack of workaround  Resources you have checked tools - agents - leads - service provide Document this information!

77 77 Special Documentation Needs Take the extra effort to document extraordinary issues  Special customer issues work-at home? Traveling? financial impact?  Major system failures  Non-standard business hours  Collections  Special escalation processes  Downtime procedures  Overtime issues

78 78 Prevention is the Key Before you hang up double-check…  …accuracy of the customer information Location -  …technical information Apple Model - Operating System Internet Address  …for inconsistencies  …your understanding of the case

79 79 Effective Escalation When you must escalate something to your Management, give them necessary data to understand the issue:  Case number(s) involved  Brief overview of the current issue  Review what has transpired in the past  Find any related cases for them.

80 80 Feedback and Criticism

81 81 Interpreting Criticism  Agents are working with a multitude of processes and tools.  All tools and processes are under constant evaluation for suitability and effectiveness.  Criticism provided is not always about you, but may be about the a process or documentation.

82 82 Sources of Feedback Anticipate feedback from:  Apple Managers…  Volt Management…  Service Providers…  or even fellow agents.

83 83 Uses for Information and Feedback Agents use the information to improve individual performance. Volt Management uses the information to suggest improvements to our service. Apple Management can use information to improve processes and assess business needs.

84 84 The End


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