Maryland’s Scott Hall Demonstrates the Dos & Don'ts of Customer Service


Maryland’s Scott Hall Demonstrates the Dos & Don'ts of Customer Service


Today, there is no getting around the fact that customer service is instrumental in deciding a company's long-term potential. Businesses that are just commencing operations will seek to establish a solid customer base, while household brands will hope to retain their loyal clients that have been coming through for years and, certainly, attract greater numbers.

Yet, for all the knowledge of customer service necessities, many companies fall short in their interactions. Call it arrogance or ignorance, but shortcomings in such a vital department, for any business, are unacceptable.

Scott Hall of Maryland is an expert in customer service operations who has worked for multiple companies in the retail and mobility sectors, earning senior positions at T-Mobile, Zipcar and General Motors.

Currently living in Ellicott City, Maryland, where he consults for startups looking to build their customer service operations, Scott has presented the dos and don'ts of customer service that can push a company to sink or soar.

Dos


Be Respectful 

Treat every customer with respect and courtesy, Scott Hall states. At the core of every positive relationship, there is respect, a virtue that sees sincerity expressed and leaves the customer with a feeling of being valuable. Whether or not you can immediately solve a customer's dispute may be out of your control, but how you treat the customer is always in your control. Show respect throughout the conversation, which will be appreciated by him or her, and do your utmost to ensure that they classify this experience as a positive one for the most part.

Take Responsibility

Absolving yourself of blame is a surefire way to repel customers, essentially pushing them out the door. Professionally, you must be prepared to take responsibility when something goes awry, as customers will undoubtedly encounter problems with your company, products or services. On behalf of the business, apologize to the customer because, although it might not be your fault whatsoever, the client must see that the company is willing to acknowledge their blunder and accept the responsibility. Afterwards, try to resolve the issue swiftly and thoroughly. If you have a return process, ensure that you walk the customer through it and help them have a positive experience.

Consider the Customer's Perspective

Everyone has been in a situation that saw their customer service representative display an uninterested, largely unsympathetic tone. It is never pleasant, so before addressing a customer's complaint irrationally, put yourself in their position and consider the circumstances. Your previous experiences, both as a customer and a company representative, should help you ensure that you can understand the customer’s perspective of the issue. While some customers will inevitably attempt to pull a fast one, demanding store credit or a full refund that is unwarranted, the majority of people are coming forward with legitimate protests and simply are looking for a simple solution.

Show Your Gratitude

Many companies are now employing greeters at their respective entrances, individuals to welcome customers as they enter and thank them on their way out. The reasoning behind this tactic is that most consumers enjoy being noticed and spoken to at one point or another. How often have you gone to a store, realized that you were neglected for the entirety of your perusal, and never bothered a second appearance? Expressing gratitude to your customer will create a warm atmosphere, make them feel grateful, appreciated, and urge them to re-visit. Small gestures – smiling, saying "thank you" and asking if they need further assistance – tend to leave a positive impression on the customer.

Don’ts


Don't Overly Complicate Matters 

As a rule, you ought to avoid trying to communicate details to a customer in a way that suggests they are tremendously confusing or complicated. Firstly, you will likely offend the consumer because it seems as if you believe that they are not intellectually capable of grasping the concept. Also, you present yourself as someone who talks down to customers if you follow this method. Consumers are increasingly enlightened nowadays and technically sharp, so don't commit the cardinal sin of underestimating or belittling them.

Maryland’s Scott Hall recommends that you work with your company on creating proper communication techniques and terms to use and avoid, ensuring the best customer experience.

Don't Be Indifferent

Indifference, when you are found to be devoid of a sense of care, is an easy trap to fall prey to. Throughout each day, you will likely be subjected to dozens or hundreds of customer complications and it might be written off as little more than an occupational hazard. But a customer service expert should carry a caring demeanor, one which strives to take care of a consumer's issue as if it were their own. Regardless of if it is your first or fiftieth customer service complaint that you are dealing with, it is the customer’s first and you want to leave a positive impression. Sometimes, your work shift may be disheartening, tiring and never-ending; however, that fact cannot be reflected in how you communicate with any customer.

Don't Reject Customer Feedback

Listen to your customers and recognize that they mostly want to help your company improve. Their opinions can hand insight into their personal experiences, expose you to certain concerns that you weren't aware of, and provide you with feedback that could result in immense improvements. Scott Hall notes that both in his time working in Maryland as well as his experience around the world, plenty of companies misconstrue feedback as criticism. Feedback can help both parties as it will improve both the company and the customer experience.

Don't Ignore Complaints

Ignoring complains will not make them go away. No matter how hard you work, you will not provide perfect customer service all the time. Instead of ignoring complaints, view them as an opportunity to improve the company. Maryland’s Scott Hall notes that by leaving complaints to fester, they not only do not get fixed, but they can also turn away other customers if they are on social media.