10 Tips To Become A Better CX Agent In Customer Service
Outstanding customer service is something every company strives to achieve and is essentially the holy grail of business. Once you have it, it seems like it possesses the power to expose all secrets of success. Nevertheless, as a customer service professional yourself, you already know that customer service is a challenging field to work in. It takes the right balance of technical product or service knowledge and communication skills to provide an exceptional customer experience. And it doesn’t stop there.
As a CX agent, there’s always something you can do to improve your customers’ overall experience. For that reason, just like professional basketball players practice hard every day, you should also work with the company’s products each day and learn everything they can do for your customers. You see, even the most experienced customer service agents must regularly work on and practice their skill set in order to keep themselves sharp and prepared to handle any customer interaction that may come their way.
So, if you’re looking to become a better agent and need some informative content to guide you through, you’re at the right place. Below, we’ll go through the ten best tips that you can use to become a better agent and improve the customer experience among your clients. So, without further ado, here are the top skills that you need as a CX agent, according to our data and first-hand experience in customer support.
Work On Your Persuasive Speaking Skills
Think about the most persuasive orator in your company. Are they a salesperson? Probably, yes. Although persuasion has long been recognized as an essential sales skill, it can also prove invaluable for your customer service efforts. Just think about it. Every day, your job is to turn problems into solutions and shaky customers into loyal brand evangelists.
So, in order to become a better agent, you also need to work on your persuasive speaking skills to get the job done correctly. Surprisingly or not, 74% of customers state that they are willing to spend more with a company because of positive customer service experiences. Being politely persuasive is effective in any work, and being a CX agent is no exception. For this reason, make sure that you speak (or type) confidently, positively, and always offer the kind of compelling arguments that can turn leads into conversions.
Practice Using Positive Language
When settling customers’ requests, issues, or problems, always tend to use positive language to take the stress away from the situation. As someone on the front line with customers, you should know that words are a powerful weapon that can create trusting, long-lasting relationships with the people on the other side.
For instance, instead of saying, “Don’t cancel your annual subscription with our service,” try using a positive statement like “Keep in mind that our service still tests superior when compared to our biggest rivals.” Also, future tenses are positive as they don’t dwell on the client’s past issues. Phrases like “Fantastic question! I’ll find that out for you in a minute!” or “I’d love to know more about....” can keep the client in the present moment and force a positive outcome.
In addition, remember when speaking to customers to make sure that you’re memorable, authentic, and always stay calm and confident, even if the customer is irritated.
Leverage Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is yet another essential skill that CX agents need to develop throughout their careers. Emotional intelligence refers to one’s ability to decipher and interpret other people’s emotions and respond to them in a constructive way and manner. Perfecting this skill will help you become a better agent through the ability to calm impatient or frustrated customers and prevent potential escalations.
For instance, as you’ve probably experienced, some clients can be less patient than others. These customers can sometimes seem over-demanding or pushy, but someone with strong emotional intelligence would recognize that these clients have nothing more than immediate needs. Leveraging emotional intelligence in such cases will help you focus on fulfilling the customer’s needs rather than on their oppressive behavior.
Avoid Making Unnecessary Apologies
Although this tip may seem a bit counter-intuitive to become a better agent at first, avoiding making unnecessary apologies for roadblocks you have no control over is a must. No matter how sincere you try to be, customers don’t care about your apology and want their problem fixed. Therefore, instead of apathetically apologizing time and time again, you could begin thanking customers for their patience while you sort their issues instead.
Avoiding making unnecessary apologies can be very powerful in a customer service setting. Why? Because each time you apologize, you are openly admitting to the customer that there is a problem. This way, even if it’s a small mistake, you are giving the customer permission to be upset with your service because you’re, in a way, acknowledging the flaw in your service or product.
On the other hand, by thanking customers for their patience, you are flattering the person on the other side while you’re still taking responsibility for the mistake. So, if the customer is frustrated with their issue, your calm response will make you appear more confident and make it easier for you to de-escalate the situation. In the end, it’s way easier to convince your clients that you’re in total control of the situation if you’re not apologizing every few minutes.
Know Your Products And Services Inside And Out
In order to help your customers and help them with their customer service issues, if you want to become a better agent, you need to have a deep knowledge of your products or services and the way they work. If you’re new at your company, it’s recommended that you spend time onboarding with an experienced product professional so you can ask questions about the products you’re going to represent and fully understand the ins and outs of each product.
That way, you’ll be able to help customers when they’re troubleshooting issues, and you’ll have product tips and tricks hidden under your sleeve to share with them to make the product or service easier to use.
There’s No Place For “No”
CX agents speak on behalf of the company, so when an agent says no, it’s like the business is saying no. And no is never a legitimate final answer if you want to retain your existing ones or lure new potential customers. Of course, certain situations may start with a “no” or “we don’t know,” but as they unfold, as a support agent, you should always seek a way to put a positive spin.
Instead of saying no, think about how you can provide specific alternatives. If a solution is not available at the moment, try finding another viable option for the customer. Even if they ask for a discount and you have to reject, most times, you can do so in a tone that is a win for customers. The bottom line is that if you want to grow into a better agent, customer problems should permanently be settled one way or another, and there shouldn’t be a place for no in your vocabulary.
Even if a customer’s request or complaint isn’t the only ticket you’ll need to solve in a day; the complaint is likely the customer’s number one problem at the moment for them. For that reason, you should treat it as such and respond on time.
Sometimes, it might be tempting to linger until you’ve entirely resolved the problem to respond so that you can respond with good news. Nevertheless, it’s often better to respond promptly with a simple “We’ve noticed your request, and we’re working on it” response so that they know you’re prioritizing their needs.
Master Your Daily Workflow
In order to become a better agent, you need to master your daily tasks and functions until they become your second nature. This is one of the most individual skills that can be developed as there’s no professional training that can help you master your daily workflow. Each CX agent has their own workflow preferences and should discover yours on your own by working with clients.
While the type of your requests or tickets may vary, your daily workflow should always remain relatively consistent. Obviously, there will be some days where abnormal demands will throw you off your place. Still, overall, you should have a consistent daily workflow because it will demonstrate that you’re capable of meeting customer expectations and making you a more organized, better agent.
Learn To Admit Your Errors
As we mentioned earlier, avoid making unnecessary apologies for mistakes that you have no control over. However, if you have sometimes misunderstood a customer’s needs, made a mistake that costs them money or time, or even failed to do something you said you would do, stay transparent. Everyone makes mistakes, so admitting you were wrong and going out of your way to fix it is frequently the fastest way to resolve the situation positively.
On the other hand, if the mistake is on the part of the company you work for rather than something you’ve personally done, you should still take the customer’s points on board and stay clear about what you’ll do to help them correct the situation. Be clear about where the problem originated, and remain committed to finding a resolution to the best of your ability.
Open And Close Each Conversation
First impressions are imperative to customer service agents. While opening and closing a customer service conversation might seem easy, it can be a lot more challenging than it sounds in practice. Ultimately, it’s not like you’re getting a call or an email from your best friend, but you’re picking up the phone or typing in a reply to an angry stranger with a problem.
To address this and become a better agent, practice your intro statements each day until they become a natural reflex whenever you start interacting with a customer. For example, your dialogues should begin with a warm greeting, introduction, and afterward, you should ask for the customer’s name. By using this practice, you will formally introduce yourself to the client and make the experience feel more human from the start.
Furthermore, it’s just as important to understand how to close the conversation. You’d be amazed how many random thoughts and questions your customers might have, costing you valuable time answering these aimless questions. While you don’t want to cut your clients off, it’s essential to bear in mind that other customers might be waiting for help, as well. So, once you solve the problem, ask the client directly if they need any more assistance or not, and if not, politely close the conversation and move on to the subsequent customer request.
Michael Jordan didn't learn to be a great basketball player in a day. It took decades of practice and hard work to become the greatest of all time. Well, becoming a better agent in customer service is no different, and to be a world-class customer service representative, you must be willing to work on your game and learn from your mistakes.
Follow these ten customer service tips to ensure that you're the best CX agent you can be. Use positive language, work on your persuasive skills, train your emotional intelligence, know your products inside and out, stop making unnecessary apologies but learn to admit your mistakes, master your daily workflow, respond promptly, and before you know it, you will have not only happy customers but you'll be referred to as one of the best CX agents in your organization in no time.
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