In a season so focused on selling, stand apart by instead offering valuable customer service skills. Every industry has a customer. When it comes to the Insurance industry, most often the customer is in a period of transition or dealing with the stress of a property loss, burglary or another claim required incident. The holiday season can add to these unexpected stressors.
In past years’, during the holiday season, we’ve found joy in providing Christmas trees to some of our families who have experienced a total loss to their home. We may not be able to completely fix the situation of a loss, but we certainly try to add a bit of comfort in a stressful time.
In business, people especially want exceptional customer service around the holidays and during year end. Overall stress of the season is high. Great customer service is important year-round, but especially good as a reminder during the high stress holiday season.
Here are 5 valuable customer service skills to keep your customers merry & jolly throughout the holidays.
- Pay attention to the customers’ concerns. Listen thoughtfully and completely to better understand the issue or concern. It’s easy to become defensive or think the customer may be overreacting.
- Keep your communication simple. After the concern has been identified, you will try to resolve or find a solution quickly. Be cautious about how communication translates to the customer. Words like ‘included’ can be misconstrued. Something that is ‘included’ is not as clear as something being ‘free’. Leave nothing to uncertainty.
- Be knowledgeable about your service or product. The more knowledgeable you are about your service or product, the more able you will be to offer a solution. Be an expert, or at least appear to be ‘willing to become’ an expert for the sake of the customer.
- Avoid Negative Language. Negative phrases and language often have certain characteristics; that cannot be done, or includes words like ‘can’t’ or ‘won’t’ or ‘unable to’. Even if your communication isn’t negative, it can be taken the wrong way or perceived in a negative tone. Especially if said customer is very agitated. Instead use language with characteristics that show what can be done, suggests choices or alternatives, sounds helpful and encouraging and insist positive actions can be expected.
- Know your limit. Really, there is a limit. There will be a certain point you realize that no matter what you say or do, you may simply not be able to help a customer. The key is to be efficient. If you cannot find a solution, find someone who can. In the end, the customer will appreciate it, no matter who has solved their issue.
Lastly, be sure to take care of yourself. If you are tired or stressed, emotionally and physically, it will be hard to help your clients or customers. Be sure to eat well throughout the Holidays, get to the gym or even take a walk for 10 minutes to get fresh air. If it’s too cold, take a walk in the office or building. Have work related business to talk about or a meeting? Instead of sitting and meeting, take it on a walk!
How do you offer exceptional customer service during the Holidays? Share your tips with us and we’ll feature them on our social media this month!
For these tips and more:
15 Customer Service Skills that Every Employee Needs– https://www.helpscout.net/blog/customer-service-skills/