Non-Verbal Customer Service
Companies devote considerable resources to training employees and providing superior customer-facing materials, such as a website, to ensure that customers are satisfied. But what kind of impression are you making when you aren’t “saying” anything? Your customer service doesn’t stop at words – it is sending strong cues about your business at all hours of the day.
The most obvious non-verbal cues for your customers come from your front-line employees. Weeks of training can be undermined in minutes by employees who silently scream that they have no interest in solving a customer’s issue. Call center employees are not immune to this, either. You can tell when someone is smiling as they talk on the phone. Conversely, you can tell when the person on the other end of the line is counting down the minutes until their next break. There’s more to customer service training than processes and solutions. A smiling face, or voice, can go a long way to keeping customers happy.
People aren’t the only part of your company presenting non-verbal cues. How easy is it for a customer to contact your company? If customers have to work to find a phone number, they may get the impression that you’re dodging them, leaving them with a broken product or poor service. Many companies are seeing positive results from social media-backed customer service, giving customers that “Always On” impression. Build your website to ensure that customers feel that you’re willing to listen. Phone numbers and contact options should be displayed prominently, and responses to customer messages should be prompt. Taking too long to respond to customer service issues can be a deathblow, even if you eventually provide a solution. Customers may be browsing elsewhere for another solution while messages sit in a queue or inbox.
Communication after a purchase is an important non-verbal opportunity, as well. Don’t let customers feel that once they’ve bought from you they’re of no value. Depending on the product or service, customers may want a more personal follow-up, like an email from a sales representative. Sending holiday gifts and cards to customers is a popular way to show appreciation and forge a deeper relationship. Don’t miss opportunities to show your appreciation – keep track of birthdays and other important events. There is little incentive for customers to stick with your business the next time a competitor beats your prices if they don’t feel a personal connection to you and your business.
At NBRI, we recommend using customer service surveys to tap into your customers’ attitudes, opinions, and beliefs. Surveys offer a very visible way to show that you value feedback and also provide you with the information you need to keep your verbal, and non-verbal, communications in step with what customers expect from you. After you create a plan to increase the effectiveness of your non-verbal communications, then re-survey periodically to gauge the effectiveness of your improvement initiatives. Contact us today to get started.