Customers expect companies to provide excellent customer service. Exceptional Customer Service Agents ensure that customers feel heard and respected, while also meeting their needs. But what many people don’t realize is that Customer Service Agents have the power to make customers feel psychologically safe and valued.
Customer Service Agents
Let’s look at how customer service agents can create a psychologically safe environment for customers:
- Create Empathy. It’s no secret that empathy is essential for creating a psychologically safe environment for your customers. Customer Service Agents who are empathetic can understand the customer’s emotions, recognize the challenges they face, and show kindness and understanding in response. This helps customers feel understood and respected, which in turn makes them more likely to trust the company they’re dealing with and provide positive feedback about their experience.
- Encourage Open Communication. Open communication between Customer Service Agents and customers, sets a tone of mutual respect and understanding. This allows customers to feel like they can be honest without fear of judgment or criticism, which is key when it comes to creating a psychologically safe environment. Additionally, open communication can help uncover any issues or problems that may be preventing a successful resolution of the customer’s issue or concern.
- Provide Options. Good customer service involves more than simply solving problems; it also involves providing options for how those problems can be solved. By giving customers multiple ways to address their issue, you demonstrate that you care about their preferences and concerns—which is essential for making them feel valued as individuals rather than just another number on your books. Additionally, it gives them a sense of control over the outcome of their situation, which further adds to their feeling of safety within your company’s ecosystem.
- Trust Your People. When I have done turn around projects that involve a Customer Service organization, I have found each time that upper management or owners made it very difficult on Customer Service Agents to do their jobs. How? They lack trust that their own people have the company’s and customer’s best interest in mind. Upper management often work very hard at restricting their Customer Service Agents with things like ‘Call Time’ (the length of time that an agent is on the ‘phone’ with a client) and ‘Call Volume’ (the number of calls they handle in a given period). Best in class organizations trust their people to do the right thing for the customer and thye don’t have restrictive measurements on doing their job. Zappos (the Las Vegas based online shoe retailer, proudly boasts that the longest call that one of their Customer Service Agents had with a customer was over eight hours – true story).
By creating empathy, encouraging open communication between themselves and their customers, and providing multiple options for resolving issues, Customer Service Agents can show customers that they are genuinely interested in helping them find resolutions that meet everyone’s needs—and make sure that each customer feels appreciated along the way!
Leaders should ensure they give proper training to agents, so they know how best to handle complex situations with sensitivity while satisfying customer needs efficiently every time!
Robert Murray is a Vancouver, BC based Business Strategy Consultant, #1 Best Selling Author, International Keynote Speaker, and TEC Top Speaker of the Year for 2018. For further advice, insight and inspiration on how to unlock your inner leader, connect with Robert on LinkedIn.
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Tags: Customer Satisfaction
, Customer Service
, Robert Murray
, Robert S. Murray