Last Updated: December 2023
In the present-day business world, with customers at its core, mastering Customer Service Etiquette becomes pivotal. The success or failure of your business ventures (irrespective of types and categories) mostly depends upon how well you treat your customers.
According to a survey, customers who rate a company for delivering a ‘good’ experience are 34% more likely to purchase again and 35% more likely to recommend.
While tools to advertise and market your products can help you reach out to newer customers, they won’t necessarily help you retain them.
Thus, it is paramount that your customer service department works with proper customer service etiquette to connect and build strong relationships with customers.
In this post, we will understand:
What is Customer Service Etiquette?
Proper customer service etiquette can be defined as the implementation of tips, scripts, and specific customer service manners by your staff to ensure that issues raised are solved without inducing negative feelings like anxiety, frustration, or helplessness.
Simply put, there are certain customer service etiquette rules that need to be followed by your team to ensure swift remedies to customers while avoiding negative emotions.
Here are some simple customer service etiquette tips that will help you improve your Customer Experience (CX):
Top 10 Customer Service Etiquette to Deliver a Better Customer Experience
1. Always think before you speak or type
You must NEVER respond vaguely.
The customer reaching out to you is probably under a lot of stress and is counting on you to provide a solution. Vague responses will only worsen the situation and instill a sense of unreliability in their mind.
So, always think before you act.
First, understand what the customer’s complaint is and then figure out an apt response based on the gathered intel and assistance from your technical department.
If you are not confident about formulating a quick response, you can always follow a script based on common queries or complaints raised by your customers.
While typing an email response to a written complaint, ensure to follow the following customer service email etiquettes:
- Envision how you would respond if you were conversing with the customer face-to-face and then type it out.
- Maintain an easy-to-read structure.
- Address the customer pain points first.
- Explain to them the next steps and plan of action.
- Assure them that their problem will be solved.
2. Begin and end every encounter on a positive note
Always maintain a positive attitude throughout the interaction with customers.
Incorporate positive phrases and pleasantries to pacify an upset customers and assure them that a swift response will be initiated to provide them with a solution.
Stay positive till the interaction ends, and avoid getting complacent at the end.
Tip: “Even common pleasantries leave behind a huge impact in the minds of worried souls.”
3. Be Empathetic
The best way to connect with your customers is by showing empathy.
You need to put yourself in the customers’ shoes and ask yourself how you would want to be treated and act likewise.
Many times, the customer might have encountered a problem in an emergency and might just be panicking because of it.
Ensure that you are patient and handle even rude customers with respect.
Honesty is the best policy!
Do not try to hide serious issues from your customers fearing how they will respond.
Customers should be made aware of the exact predicament they are in, least should they worry about ulterior motives.
Otherwise, not only will you lose the customer at hand, but will also harbor ill feelings for your organization. Similar to how a customer can make your business flourish, they can also curb your growth through negative word-of-mouth based on their experience.
Thus, ensure some level of transparency by letting them in on the entire process and working with them to figure out the best solution.
Also read: Customer Service Strategy: A Complete Guide
5. Ask for feedback
The best way to improve is to first realize where you are lacking.
Use feedback forms or request customers to rate the services provided to understand how they feel about your products and services.
Along with helping you in improving your services, collecting feedback will also make your customers feel valued.
When to ask for feedback? Feedback can be collected whenever an interaction with a customer ends. For example, after resolving a customer issue, after placement of an order, etc.
6. Listen actively
Customers reach out to you to be heard. Listen to them actively if you want to fulfill or exceed their expectations.
As per Indeed, Active listening can be referred to as a communication skill where you patiently listen to the speaker and understand thoroughly what he/she is saying.
Upon listening to your customers, ensure that you have heard and understood the entire query or complaint before you start formulating a response.
Once you develop a thorough understanding of the issue, repeat it or rephrase it to confirm whether you understood exactly what the customer was trying to convey.
Tip: You can also ask questions to gather more intel and develop a thorough understanding of the issue raised by the customer.
7. Never interrupt (ask for permission)
Even if you think they’re wrong, NEVER interrupt!
You might feel inclined to interrupt a customer when there is no point in listening to a problem you couldn’t possibly solve.
Even if you will eventually transfer the call to another agent or a technician, hear the customers out and make them feel valued.
Once the customer has spoken their heart out, ask them if it is alright to transfer the call to a technician who is well equipped to solve their problem. Remember to tell them exactly who you are transferring the call to.
8. Know your limits
Never overextend your capacity.
While facing a challenge you are not familiar with, do not make false promises of assistance.
Instead, tell them that their case will be forwarded to a technician who is better suited to find an apt solution.
9. Stay positive
No matter how rude a customer may sound you must always maintain a positive attitude and handle them with patience and care.
Positive approaches to listen to a customer include the following:
- Assure them that you will do everything you can to provide them with a swift solution.
- Greet your customers and be polite at all times.
- NEVER lose your temper even if the customer is rude to you.
- Apologize for the inconvenience caused and assure them that a swift response will be issued.
- Do not get complacent with your responses at the end of the call.
10. Stay updated
Keep yourself up-to-date with company policies and educate yourself about the products and services provided by your organization.
According to a recent survey, 70% of customers say that it is essential for customer service agents to be aware of sales interactions.
You must maintain a basic knowledge-quotient about all the products and services offered, to be able to provide customers with an immediate yet accurate response.
Conveying customer courtesy is more like an unwritten rule for businesses to flourish in the present-day world.
While advertisements and marketing bring you new customers, programs for customer service etiquette training will help you retain these customers and thus ensure a constant inflow of revenue from a loyal customer base.
Heeding the above-mentioned tips to convey courtesy in customer service will enable you to stay at par with your competitors by providing the best customer experience.
While imparting customer service etiquette to your customer service team can take a lot of effort, Helplama can provide you with US-based specialized customer support professionals starting from $399/month.