I am increasingly frustrated by quick thoughtless responses during transactions.
For example, when I was ordering dinner at a restaurant the other night, our server responded to my dinner choice as ‘awesome’ and ‘perfect’.
When our dinner arrived – they were neither ‘awesome’ nor ‘perfect’. My guest ordered a dinner that turned out to have no starch with it and mine arrived missing half of what I had ordered. It was obvious that the server had simply shown up and was in dress-code. This appeared to be the only pre-requisites at this restaurant.
So, what could have been an alternative to the server’s thoughtless responses? How about responses that showed that the server was engaged in what he/she was doing? When my guest ordered his dinner the server could have said, “I really enjoy that but it doesn’t come with any starch on the side, would you like to order a side of rice?”.
It doesn’t have to be complicated and can even be an opportunity to ‘upsell’ without being scripted or feeling pressured.
While I speak of an experience at a restaurant, this type of ‘zombie’ service happens far too often and across all sectors of service, including call centers. I notice it in meetings too.
So, how can your employees provide more engaged customer service in the customer transactions?
I suggest that you start with these three easy steps:
- Make sure your staff or team are trained to discuss the various aspects of your products
Really, it’s simple. If your team doesn’t know the products then they won’t be able to engage in a meaningful conversation about your offerings.
- Ask questions during the transaction
Try to use open ended type questions rather than yes/no questions. For example, ‘how does the curry cauliflower as a side sound?’ vs ‘is cauliflower as a vegetable okay?’
- Practice customer interactions
This comes down to training again. Playing out scenarios can be a very effective way of preparing your team for better customer engagements.
Realizing that you or someone on your team is providing ‘zombie’ service is a good start. Now, ensure that your team is more engaged when interacting with your customers. This will help you to transform your customer service center into a customer engagement center.