It is not an easy task being a front-liner and customer-service personnel. Being the people who are greatly responsible for the customers’ satisfaction, they have to make good impressions. The owner of CTS Service Solutions, Adam Toporek, being an expert consultant in Customer Service, clarifies these seven sins that our front-liners often do:
1. “Ignoring Customer”
Forget the title customers, all human beings are very sensitive when they get no attention they deserve. Nowadays, many customer-facing professionals are unable to deliver the attention that the customers need. A minute wait in a fast-food line will seem a long time to a hungry patron in a hurry. Even in any kind of scenarios, waiting is an unnecessary moment for them. If it is inevitable, occupy them by explaining clearly that their problem is being worked on.
2. “Deserting Customer”
This situation is not that uncommon, knowing the front-liners are often required to move around outside their desk. When this happens, make sure to excuse yourself, to ensure them that they have to be left alone. Also, don’t forget to be give specific number of time to ease their uneasiness, tell them whether it is one minute, five minutes, or ten minutes at max (above that, if still needed, check on them before leaving again).
3. “Being Inconvenience”
The main concern that many front-liners face is the limit of their authority in dealing with customers, which resulted in being inconvenience. If you are facing difficulties figuring out how far you are allowed to serve them, ask directly to your higher-ups. Having a standpoint of the extent of your authority will boost your confidence.
4. “Being Incompetent”
The reason why there are types of customers who make a big deal of insignificant issues is because of their experiences in facing a front-liner who has little idea of what they should do. In this case, you need to show your professionalism by helping the customers thoroughly. Demonstrate your dedication to the clients’ well-being by explaining any issues that they are having.
5. “Passing Customer”
Avoid this at all cost. The most annoying service a customer could have is by having to speak multiple times with multiple agents, and starting over every time. When the situation is unavoidable, send the customer directly to the ones that are capable in solving the issue. Remember, in connecting customer to another person whether it is through a , always explain specifically about the customer’s problem beforehand.
6. “Zero answers”
Due to the ever-rising of corporations in immense speed, the gap between customers and companies grow even stronger. As front-liners, you also have a limit of knowledge in solving customers’ problems, which end up being unable to help regarding the issue the customers have. However, even if a client has a problem you can’t fix, you can communicate through your words and actions that you care about your customers and that they matter to you.
7. “Disrespecting customers”
At the end, attitude matters the most to get your clients’ heart and loyalty. In order to avoid misunderstanding from the customers' perspective who feel unseen and insulted, quickly fix your behavior. Demonstrate respect by smiling at your customer, establishing eye contact, and consistently polite. Never fail to be grateful towards your customers’ even at times they offer nothing to your business. Be verbal about it, that you are valuing them, that they are important for you.
Toporek, Adam. Be Your Customer's Hero: Real-World Tips and Techniques for the Service Front Lines. Nashville, United States: Harpercollins Focus, 2015.