I bet you wouldn’t connect knockout customer service with a UFC fight. I don’t usually keep up with UFC, Ultimate Fighting Championship, but I couldn’t help but be intrigued by the Silva vs. Weidman hype streaming all over the internet. Seeing the videos of this champion, Silva, doing more dancing than punching and even spending several minutes taunting his opponent, I couldn’t help but think “I hope he gets his”. Sure enough, when he dropped his hands, Weidman took advantage and with a strong left hook sent the champions eyes rolling to the back of his head. There was a new champion! Silva thought he was better, and he probably was, but he let his guard down and his era was over.
No matter what business you’re in, you know once you’re the best, you have to work twice as hard to stay the best. It’s the same with customer service. You have a great company culture, training program and you work to hire the best people who fit this culture. But, it isn’t always easy to keep your employees motivated each day to deliver the type of service you have worked hard to instill in them.
There are several skills you must look for when hiring & training your staff for handling your customers the way you want them treated. Just being a “people person” isn’t enough. What does that mean anyway? Most people can be great when things are going their way or when things are easy. But, how do they respond when things are tough. Do they get complacent & let their guard down?
Below is a list of essential skills your employees must possess if they are on the front lines representing your brand.
- Patience to listen and not interrupt with policies. They must have the attentiveness to really hear what the problem is.
- Communication skills to respond in the appropriate matter and diffuse a situation if necessary. Using positive language always encourages an amicable ending. Instead of “we don’t have your replacement part now”, try “the product you need will be available in 2 days”.
- Product knowledge to make an educated decision.
- Acting skills. We know some situations are just ridiculous, but your employees handling these must still be able to respond in caring fashion and sometimes that takes a bit of acting ability.
- A calming presence is essential in situations that could easily get out of control.
- Ability to handle surprises because you never know when an unsatisfied customer will come your way.
No matter how you train your new employees, it has to be on a consistent basis. Because it is easy to let your guard down and lose customers.