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Nothing says more about your company than your customer service department because it is the one group that will always interact with customers. But the sad truth is that this is the department that is typically most unorganized and needs huge improvements. While 80% of businesses believe their customer service is already doing very well, only 8% of customers agree, according to Forbes. So whether or not you know it, you probably need to improve. Whether you are working through text marketing or phone calls, here are ways you can improve your customer service department.

Take the time to train

One of the biggest problems is that there is very little training at most companies, or if there is training, it isn’t very clear or direct. Especially when it comes to working with customers, you need to make sure your employees know exactly what you expect them to say and do. Employees can only be as effective as their training allows. Not only do they need to know how you want them to interact with customers, you also need to make sure they are trained on any current promotions or issues you are currently dealing with. If they don’t know what is happening in the company, they won’t be very effective.

Listen to the whole story

Most people who call in with a problem have a story to tell. They don’t want to get cut off even if it is with a solution. It is very important that your customer service representatives know how to listen until the customer is finished. Of course, finding a solution is the next step, but listening to the whole story and letting them finish their thoughts is the first step.

Give them the whole truth

It can be tempting to make up a story about why things went wrong instead of just telling the client you messed up. And while it seems like it would keep the customer happier, they are actually always happier with the truth. First of all, a little lie can easily unravel, and if a customer finds out you lied to them, they will be much angrier than if they had heard the bad news to begin with. Second, most people these days value transparency. The internet has made it very easy for them to find the truth, and it is better if they hear it from you than someone online. As soon as the truth has been said, a solution can be presented.

It’s also possible to tell the truth without going into too much detail. For example, if the product didn’t ship on time and it was your fault for not paying on time, don’t tell the client you didn’t pay for the product so it didn’t ship on time. You can simply tell them the product shipped late, and that’s why it arrived to them late. There’s definitely ways of conveying the truth to the customer without throwing your company completely under the bus, and a good customer service department understands this.

Apologize

The easiest way you can improve your customer service is to teach your representatives to apologize for problems or inconvenience. It’s hard to be mad at someone who sounds like they are truly sorry. An apology can go a long way. And while you should do what you can to make it right financially, an apology may be just what you are missing.

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