Customer service is key to the success of your business. In fact, if your staff practice poor customer service, you risk substantial losses, with some estimates suggesting that in 2017, UK companies missed out on over £37 billion of profit. The following nine tips will show your staff how to improve customer services.

Understand the power of speech

When speaking with customers, always employ positive, encouraging language. This will diffuse difficult situations and reduce stress. The power of language should never be underestimated and it can affect people and their moods. Using the right words can develop trust between your customer and your business, so your staff need to use positive language at all times. They must remain calm and positive, even when a customer is irate.

Listen carefully

Your customer must feel as though they are being taken seriously and that their opinion matters. Staff can practise actively listening to your family, friends or colleagues every day. They should make it a goal to learn something from the conversation, focus on the customer and ask them to clarify anything they are unsure of. Summarising the conversation will ensure that they have taken in all of the requisite information.

Practice empathy

It’s important to try seeing the issue through the customer’s eyes. This can make them feel understood and creates confidence that your firm is dealing with their issue appropriately.

Make a connection

If staff are not dealing face-to-face with a customer – speaking on the phone, or over live chat or email – it can seem a somewhat impersonal conversation. By finding some kind of common ground, it is possible to create a connection with the customer to counter this effect.

Familiarise with services/products

Staff should be wholly familiar with all services and products offered by your company. Training should create in-depth understanding, enabling them to answer as many questions and help with as many problems as possible.

Master the technology

To answer questions as quickly and accurately as possible, staff need to be able to work the system in place for dealing with customer service issues. Ensure they know exactly how to use the telephone system, ticketing system and live chat before they come into contact with customers.

Clear communication

In looking at how to improve customer services, speaking and writing clearly and concisely is a high priority. Staff must be able to separate essential information from any extra details. Make sure your team are transparent with the customer; for example, if staff are putting them on hold to check anything, they should advise the customer accordingly so that they don’t think they have lost the connection.

Learn new skills

Team members need to be open to learning new skills and to learning from mistakes made previously. A truly excellent customer service agent will always be receptive to training and continuous improvement.

Listen to feedback

Survey your customers for honest feedback as to how you can improve. You will build a greater understanding as to particular areas and skills to concentrate on.