18 Customer Service Tips for Managers and Reps

The customer service landscape is always evolving, and in order to keep up, your approach to customer support needs to change as well. Here are 18 tips that will help you provide top-notch support for your customers in 2022 and beyond. Whether you're just starting out in customer service or you've been doing it for years, these tips will help you stay ahead of the curve!​

What is customer service?

Customer service is an interaction between a customer and their representatives. This interaction is very important if you want your customers to enjoy your business and your services. These tools help shape the experience a customer experiences in your business.

Why great customer service is so important for a customer service representative?

Customer support representatives are the brands' ambassadors. All interactions with a client will build or reduce their trust in your brand. This is not only beneficial for clients, but is essential for building a career.  If you want to succeed in customer service, it is important to be skillful and able to deliver great customer service.

In order to provide great customer service, there are a few tips that can help you stay on top of your game.

In this post we've broken them down between general customer service tips, tips on customer service for managers or team leads, and tips for a customer service rep on the front lines.

General Customer Service for Everyone

There's no place for “no” or “I don’t know” in customer service.

Always try to find a solution or redirect the customer to someone who can help them. This might mean you need to search to find an answer or get creative with your solution.

The customer is always right…even when they’re wrong.

You might not agree with the customer or think they have all the facts, but it’s important to remember that they are the ones paying for your product or service. It’s your job to find a way to solve their problem, not to argue with them about whether or not there is a problem.

Use the right technology (like DoneDone) to stay organized and keep track of customer communication.

Technology is an essential part of customer service, as it can help you streamline your processes, create stronger relationships with customers, and provide a more personalized experience.

DoneDone is a shared inbox and project tracking tool that can help you manage all of the information related to your customer interactions in one place. This is helpful for a variety of reasons.  

For example, if you are managing multiple customer accounts and need to keep track of the status of each one, having all customer information in one place makes it easy to stay organized.

Plus, tools like DoneDone make it simple to collaborate with your team so that everyone has access to important information about a particular account.

Focus on forming a great last impression for your customer

The last thing your customer will remember is how their issue was resolved.

That’s why it’s important to make sure you provide a great last impression by following up after their issue has been resolved and thank them for their business. To do this,  you might send a follow-up email or call the customer to thank them for their support.

Another way to leave a great last impression  is by going above and beyond to solve their problem.

For example, if a customer is having trouble with a product, you might offer to send them a replacement product for free. This will show the customer that you are committed to solving their problem and that you value their business.

Show empathy and compassion to every customer.

Whether your customer is angry, frustrated, or confused, it’s important to remember that they are human and deserve to be treated with empathy and compassion. Think of what might have caused them to get this way if they're mad, and how you would want to be treated if you were in their shoes.

Be empathetic towards their struggles, listen actively when they are speaking, and try not to get defensive if they are expressing negative feelings about your product or service. Instead, focus on finding a solution to their problem.

Make sure your tone is positive and upbeat, even if the customer is not.

Your tone of voice is one of the most important things to consider when providing great customer service, as it can make all the difference in how your message is received. If you sound bored, disinterested, or annoyed, the customer will pick up on this and it will reflect poorly on your company.

On the other hand, if you sound positive and upbeat, even if the customer is angry or upset, they will be more likely to trust you and feel confident that you can help them.

Offer tips for how your customers can reach out if they need help in the future. For example, you might include your work contact information on an order receipt or packaging slip so the customer feels like they can easily reach you in the future if something were to happen again.

By providing tips and resources that make it easy for customers to get in touch with you, they will be more likely to come back  to you in the future if they need help.

Of course, it's important not to make promises you can’t keep.

If you tell the customer that you will do something, make sure you actually do it. Otherwise, not only will this leave them feeling angry and frustrated, but it will also damage your credibility as a company and reduce their feeling that you understand or empathize with them.

Give incentives and rewards to your customers to keep them coming back.

One of the best ways to ensure that your customers stay loyal is by offering incentives and rewards for continued business or positive feedback. This could include things like free shipping, discounts on future purchases, or special promotions.

In addition, you could also offer a loyalty program where customers get points for every purchase they make, which can then be redeemed for future discounts or free products.

Whatever incentives you choose to offer, it’s important that your customers feel like they are getting something extra by choosing to shop with you, and not just receiving the same service from any other company.

Act immediately when a customer reaches out for help.

When a customer contacts you for help, it’s important to act quickly and efficiently in order to resolve their problem.

Even if the issue is minor or straightforward, addressing it immediately will show the customer that you value their business and are committed to providing them with great service.

It can be helpful to assign one or two employees to manage customer service inquiries, so that they can respond quickly and consistently whenever a customer reaches out.

By addressing customer concerns as soon as possible, you are also showing them that your company actually cares about their experience, which will make them more likely to come back in the future.

Overall, providing great customer service is about going above and beyond to meet the needs of your customers, even when they are not happy or don't have a good experience.

If you can consistently provide this kind of service, it will not only help keep your current customers loyal, but also attract new customers to your business as well.

Now let's get into specifics and talk about how to make customers happy and provide excellent customer service when you're managing a customer support team.

Customer Service Tips For Managers:

Set your standards high for your customer service representatives

While you want to be realistic in your expectations, it's important that you establish clear standards for customer service from the start.

This means clearly communicating what types of interactions and behaviors are expected from employees at all times, as well as setting goals for how quickly issues should be resolved and customers should be satisfied.

Here are a few standards you might set for your team:

  • Respond to customer inquiries and concerns within a certain timeframe, such as 24 hours or one business day.
  • Aim to resolve the majority of customer issues on the first interaction, rather than needing multiple attempts to satisfy a customer.
  • Ensure that your team members are always professional and empathetic when dealing with customers, regardless of how the customer is behaving.
  • Encourage your employees to go above and beyond by offering tips or recommendations for how they can provide better service in the future, such as suggesting products that customers might be interested in based on their previous orders.

Along with setting standards, it's also important to prioritize customer satisfaction throughout your team. This may involve providing additional training to your employees or offering incentives or rewards to those who provide great service.

You can also encourage a positive team culture by fostering open communication and collaboration among your employees, so that they feel supported and valued as part of the team.

Overall, customer loyalty and excellent service go hand in hand. By focusing on meeting the needs of your customers and providing them with a great experience, you can ensure that your business will be successful in the long run.

Provide first-class training and support to your employees

One of the best ways to set your team up for success is by providing them with high-quality training and support.

This may involve conducting formal trainings on customer service tips or best practices, as well as offering regular coaching and feedback sessions with employees.

A few examples of ways you can train your customer service agents to provide good customer service include:

  • Encouraging the customer service team to role-play various customer service scenarios, so that they can practice responding to difficult inquiries or complaints.
  • Create a training manual or guide that employees can reference when they are unsure of how to handle a particular situation.
  • Make yourself available to answer any questions or address concerns that employees may have about their job duties or the company's customer service policies.

By investing in your customer service team and giving them the tools they need to succeed, you can be confident that they will be able to provide great customer service and support your business goals.

Align your customer journey touch points with your team's goals

Another key to helping your customer service team provide good customer service is making sure that the customer journey aligns with your team's goals.

This means mapping out potential touch points that customers might encounter when engaging with your business, from browsing your website and placing an order to receiving a product and contacting customer service for assistance.

For example, if one of your main goals is to increase customer retention, you might want to focus on ensuring your customer service team is providing excellent post-purchase support and resolving any issues that customers experience after they make a purchase (and quickly).

This might require setting up a specific team dedicated to this task. Or,  if your goal is to increase customer satisfaction, you might want to focus on improving the overall quality of your products or services.  

No matter what your team's goals may be, it's important to ensure that all touch points along the customer journey are taken into account.

Overall, by focusing on providing good customer service and meeting the needs of your customers at every stage of their journey with your business, you can build long-term customer loyalty and success.

Have a clear escalation pathway for tough situations

In some cases, customer service issues may be more complex and require extra attention. In order to ensure that your customer service team is able to resolve these situations quickly and effectively, it's important to have a clearly defined escalation pathway in place.

This might involve establishing specific contact points within your team who are responsible for handling certain types of inquiries or issues.

For example, you might have a dedicated customer service manager who is responsible for overseeing all customer service inquiries and escalating them as needed.

Additionally, it's important to set clear expectations with a customer service rep about how and when to escalate an issue.

This might involve setting up specific protocols or guidelines that employees need to follow when they encounter a difficult customer service issue.

By having a clear escalation pathway in place, you can be sure that all customer service issues are handled appropriately and in a timely manner.

This will prevent any potential problems from getting lost in the shuffle or falling through the cracks. In turn, excellent customer service will help to ensure a positive experience for your customers.

customer service tips

Ensure that your team is equipped with the right tools and resources

Along with a clear escalation pathway, it's important to provide your support team with the tools and resources they need to succeed.

This might include giving employees access to customer service software or automation tools that can help them manage incoming inquiries more efficiently.

DoneDone, for example, is a shared inbox and project management tool that can be used by customer service teams to keep track of all conversations and tasks in one place.

This naturally improves the customer experience because tasks are aligned to customer feedback and queries. Customer support becomes a driving factor in to-dos and product changes or improvements, putting the customer at the heart of your business (where they should always be anyway).

Additionally, you may want to invest in training or development resources that can help employees improve their customer service skills.

This might involve providing team members with access to e-learning courses or sending them to customer service conferences and workshops.

By ensuring that your team has the right tools and resources at their disposal, you can help to set them up for success. This will, in turn, lead to a better experience for your customers.

Make sure that your support team has the right mix of customer service skills and personality traits

Customer service is a people-oriented business, which means that the people on your team are one of the most important factors in determining success.

When hiring customer service reps, it's important to look for candidates who have the right mix of customer service skills, experience, and personality traits.

For example, you might want to prioritize candidates who have excellent communication skills, as well as those who are friendly and upbeat.

These qualities are essential for building trust with your customers and providing the type of positive experience that establishes long-term loyalty.

Additionally, it's important to make sure that your team has a good mix of skills and abilities.

This might involve hiring customer service reps with different levels of experience, as well as those who have specific expertise in certain areas.

By ensuring that your team has the right mix of skills and personality traits, you can be confident that they'll be providing stellar customer support.

Encourage your team to provide feedback and suggestions

In order to deliver the best possible customer service, it's important to encourage your team to provide feedback and suggestions.

This might involve setting up a formal system for employees to submit their ideas or conducting regular surveys to gauge satisfaction levels.

Additionally, you can create an open and collaborative environment by encouraging employees to share their feedback and ideas with each other on a regular basis.

This type of open communication will help to ensure that your team is always working to improve the customer experience.

***

Now that we've covered a few customer service tips for improving customer loyalty and empowering managers to lead a customer support team,  it's time to give some customer service tips for representatives that will help them succeed in their roles.

Here are a few ideas for how customer service agents can deliver exceptional customer service and improve customer relationships.

Customer Service Tips For Reps:

Improve communication skills and use positive language

In the face of customer issues positive language helps reduce stress and reduces the stress of the event.

Words have power and are capable of building trust with customers. Verb use has a positive effect upon us. It's important for customer service reps to work on their communication skills to build rapport with customers.

Some tips for using positive language:

  • Use a calm and soothing tone. Keep your voice  at an even volume.
  • Eliminate fillers such as "um" or "like" whenever possible, this helps  you to sound more confident.
  • Use active listening skills. This involves giving your full attention to the customer, making eye contact, and nodding when appropriate.
  • Paraphrase what the customer has said to ensure you understand their issue correctly. Use sentences like "Let me repeat that so we're 100% aligned."
  • Use the customer's name when addressing them, this helps to build a rapport.
  • Use phrases like "I understand how you feel" or "That sounds difficult." This lets the customer know that you're empathizing with them.
  • Smile, even if the customer is on the phone. Smiling exudes confidence, warmth, and positivity.
  • Avoid using negative words such as "wrong," "bad," "terrible." Instead, focus on more positive language like "we can try again" or "let's see what we can do."
  • In email communication, use a positive subject line and address specific customer needs throughout the body. For example,  you could use a subject line like "Problem with order xxxx" and then offer tips throughout the email on how to resolve the issue.
  • Reframe questions to sound more positive. For example, instead of asking "Did you want the green or blue shirt?" try "Which color shirt would you like better, green or blue?"
  • Remember that it's not always about you - focus on making the customer feel heard, understood, and valued. The best customer service reps are empathetic and prioritize their customers' needs above all else.

With these tips in mind, customer service reps can build stronger relationships with customers and help improve their overall experience.  

Whether they're working face-to-face, on the phone, or via email, reps can use these tips to provide exceptional service and create loyal customers.

Accept mistakes and take responsibility

Mistakes happen, and it's important for customer service reps to own up to them.

Remember that you're not perfect. Everyone makes mistakes, including customer service reps. Showing your humility can help customers feel like they're working with a real person, rather than an automated system or impersonal brand.

Admitting fault shows that you're transparent and willing to take responsibility for your actions.

This can help build trust with the customer and foster a better relationship.

When a mistake is made, follow these tips:  

  • Apologize - A sincere apology goes a long way.
  • Be transparent - Be honest about what happened and why it occurred.
  • Take responsibility - Don't try to pass the blame onto someone else.
  • Offer a solution - Suggest a way to fix the problem.
  • Follow up - Make sure to follow up with the customer to ensure they're satisfied with the resolution.

By following these tips, you can turn a negative experience into a positive one. The customer will remember how you handled the situation and be more likely to do business with you in the future.

Customers are more likely to forgive you if they know that you're human. Showing your vulnerability can help build trust and create a more relatable experience for the customer.

Be solutions-focused

In customer service, it's important to be solutions-focused. This means that you're always looking for ways to solve the customer's problem.

The best customer service reps are able to think on their feet and come up with creative solutions to difficult problems.

When a customer comes to you with an issue, try to offer a few different solutions. This shows that you're resourceful and willing to go the extra mile to help the customer.

If you're struggling to come up with a solution, here are a few tips:

  • Ask the customer for more information - The more you know about the problem, the easier it will be to find a solution.  
  • Listen to your instincts - Sometimes, you just know what the customer needs.
  • Talk through different possibilities - Brainstorm multiple ideas with the customer until you reach a solution that works for both of you.

By being solutions-focused, you'll be able to build stronger relationships with customers and provide better service overall.

With these tips in mind, you'll be able to handle any customer issue like a pro.

Improve your technical skills

In today's world, customers expect a higher level of service. With the rise of technology, customers have more options and are more informed than ever before. There are a multitude of digital customer service tools in a customer service stack that businesses use to improve the customer experience. It's important the customer service agents know the ins and outs of them in order to maximize their service.

This means that customer service reps need to be well-versed in the latest technology and trends.  

They should know how to use digital customer service tools and understand the different channels that customers use.

Here are a few tips to help customer service reps improve their technical skills:

Research new customer service trends - Keeping up with the latest customer service trends can help you identify new ways to improve your technical skills. This is because  you'll be able to learn about the latest customer service tools and understand how they're being used.

Educate yourself on different customer service channels - There are a variety of customer service channels, such as phone, email, social media, and live chat. Each channel has its own set of best practices. By educating yourself on the different channels, you'll be able to provide a better customer experience.

Seek out training of customer service tools -  Most customer service tools offer training to help customer service reps learn how to use them. This is a great way to improve your technical skills and ensure that you're using the customer service tools to their full potential.

Stay up-to-date on your technical knowledge -  Technology is always changing, so it's important to stay up-to-date. Most software tools will announce changes or updates and provide help documentation, videos or tutorials about the changes.  Make sure to stay in the loop and up-to-date with these improvements so you can treat customers with better customer service.

By improving your technical skills, you'll be able to provide a higher level of customer service. This will lead to happier customers and a better reputation for your business. With these tips in mind, you'll be able to keep up with the latest trends and provide exceptional customer service every time.

Be human

In today's digital age, customer service can sometimes feel impersonal. Automated emails, knowledge bases and service bots are helpful, sure, but they also add an impersonal layer to the interaction.

Customers are human, and so are you. It goes a long way just letting them know that there is a real person behind it all.

Here  are a few tips for being human in customer service:

  • Be personable in your communication -  Write as if you're talking to a friend. Use contractions, emojis and friendly language.
  • Add a photo - If possible, add a photo of yourself to your emails or messages. This will help the customer put a face to the name and will make the interaction more personal.
  • Let them know you're there -  In some cases, automated messages are unavoidable. But if you can, let the customer know that there is a real person at the end of the interaction.  
  • Create a human connection -  Take the time to ask about the customer's day or chat about something other than the issue at hand. This will help create a human connection and make the interaction more enjoyable for both parties.

By being human in your interactions, you'll create a more personal connection with the customer. This will lead to happier customers and deliver a great customer service experience.

In Conclusion

Whether you're a manager, a rep, or somewhere in between, customer service is one of the most important aspects of any business. To truly excel at it, customer service professionals need to have the right skills and resources on hand to improve constantly.

With these tips in mind, you'll be on your way to providing better customer service across the board. So why wait?  Start applying these tips today and see your customer service skills improve in no time!

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