4 Foundations of Effective Catalog Customer Service
By Donna Loyle, editor, Catalog Success magazine
Want to compel your catalog's call center staffers to reach for new heights of customer satisfaction? First look at your own management methodology, says Stephan Schiffman, president of D.E.I. Management Group, a sales training organization, and author of the business books "The 25 Skills They Don't Teach You in Business School" and "Getting to 'Closed.'"
1. Employees truly must care about customers. Employees pick up their customer service cues from management. If your employees don't care about your customers it may be because you haven't made caring for customers an unmistakable priority or rewarded your staffers for doing so.
2. Staffers must be free to develop creative solutions for customers with problems. If you punish employees for thinking outside of the box, says Schiffman, you can't expect them to deliver extraordinary customer service in difficult situations. Empower your people (within reasonable limits, of course) with enough authority to deal with tough and unforeseen circumstances in a way that keeps customers happy.
3. Send the right verbal and nonverbal messages to customers. How does a call center staffer's voice tone affect the way the conversation with a customer unfolds? The nonverbal messages they send to your customers are far more important than policies, procedures and rules.
4. Maintain poise under fire. One good method is to use empathy, which is different, of course, from sympathy. Empathy means the rep acknowledges or feels the other person's stress, frustration or difficulty. Expressing empathy allows your reps to build rapport with customers.
For more information, contact Stephan Schiffman at (800) 224-2140 or visit www.dei-sales.com.