Specialists in sales, management and customer service training throughout Ireland.

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Poor Customer Service

Need to Improve Customer Service?

How important is attitude one of the delegates asked me on a recent customer service training course, my answer was attitude is everything. Skills and knowledge are important but if the attitude is not right, customers will sense this immediately.

We all know what it is like to deal with an individual who is in a customer service role who does not have the right attitude. Even when dealing with customer service representatives on the telephone we can sense those with a good attitude and those with a bad attitude. I always think it is amazing that you can get a sense of the other person through a phone line thousands of miles away.

When you use the telephone it does not matter whether you are short, tall fat or thin, the thing that makes us successful on the phone is a good self image and the right attitude. In fact this applies to all walks of life people who have a good attitude and positive self-image always appear to do better.

As Kenneth Blanchard states in one of his many books on management ‘people who feel good about themselves produce good results’ This is of paramount importance when dealing on the telephone with customers –if you do not believe in yourself, your company, your product and service and what you are doing, how can you expect your customers to believe in you.

Positive perceptions are vital on the telephone and remember enthusiasm is contagious, some one told me years ago it is so easy to become enthusiastic, all you have to do is act enthusiastic, I have tried this out many times and it is true, if you want to become enthusiastic just act enthusiastic—it works.

As we know our voice on the telephone is our greatest asset but it can also be our greatest liability. A voice that is dead and monotonous can create a negative state of boredom within seconds of starting the call. On the other hand a positive projection of your voice with enthusiasm portrays a belief in yourself your company and your services

I know all this is easy but how do you gain confidence and create a good self-image?

Well there are books all over every library about confidence image and self esteem and I definitely cannot give you all the answers in a short article like this. It does start with understanding and knowledge, you do need to have the knowledge of what you are doing and why you are doing it etc. You need to have sufficient knowledge of your product procedures and processes and then you need to create effective communication skills, customer service training will help to give you some of the key basic skills and practice often makes perfect

It is often said that we should think of the 3 Ps Preparation, Practice and Polish and if we can do this effectively we will definitely improve our customer service communication over the telephone.

Sales training courses will remind you that telesales is a path full of potential bumps and potholes but remember that there is always a rainbow in that puddle.

Customers do not want to feel as though they are being sold, they want to feel as though they are being served. On an average day a person is met by over 2,300 adverts for the next big thing so it is no wonder that when it comes to sales a customer could be numb and unresponsive.

Trainers in sales training courses will encourage that you are aware that as a telesales representative there may be a lot going on this persons life and if they are unresponsive do not take it personally. There are a number of psychological reasons why a person will successfully achieve their telesales and personal goals. Below are 7 key steps to follow to effectively achieve your goals.

  1. Get Their Attention. Be mind full of the first few seconds of the call as this will determine weather they will take the time to speak with you. Simply begin by explaining who you are, your company and what the customer can benefit from you. Sales training courses will tell you that this is a vital and effective step as customers need a clear reason to take time from their busy schedule. These seconds are a moment of curiosity in the customers mind so make the benefit powerful enough to measure their interests.
  2. Build Credibility and Trust. As a sales trainer I know you will ask how the customer is going to trust a stranger over the phone. The fact is they are either unconsciously or consciously asking questions like how I know I am not being conned or that you can be trusted. Be brief and to the point that you are a well respected company with a great track record and you are not trying to separate them from their money.
  3. State Purpose. You want to see whether their needs match those that your product could provide. An important tactic to remember is to forget selling and concentrate in serving. Put their needs above yours.
  4. Gather Information. Keep in mind that everyone is not suitable to your product or service. To find out if they are simply ask questions about their current product supply. These questions show your interest whilst adding to their subconscious desire to feel valued and appreciated.
  5. Agree on need. This is a psychological benchmark, a moment of truth. If you do not agree on the needs it will fall through however if you do agree on the needs it will open the mind so that it is receptive to hear what you can do for them. A tool used at this step in sales training is to summarise in 2 short sentences.
  6. Solution to Problem. This is the sign post ahead that lets you know you are getting closer to achieving your goal and your customer’s satisfaction. It is known in sales training courses that we tend to buy things that we do not need because we want it. The distinction between want and need is logical and emotional. After you buy something you want you will receive feelings of security, ownership or peace of mind, this gives them a feeling of reward. Tailor the product to meet their needs then inform them of the benefit that will give them this rewarded feeling.
  7. Close. You need to build the value of the product or service first before you discuss the prices. Imagine a scale in the customers mind, put money and considerations on one side and value of the solution on the other. Now summarise all they will receive. Describe the product positively and comfortingly.

During sales training, the trainer may ask you to imagine a car ad for example. The ads will bring up security, family times, love and happiness. This is tailoring to their emotional needs of the customer, pulling at their heart strings rather then their minds, this works.