What is the worst nightmare of a shopkeeper? For most, it is usually a talkative customer. But no matter how pesky they might seem, if you satisfy their curiosity, they could become your most loyal customers. Usually, the customers who carefully buy their products are the ones who talk too much. Here is how you can handle them.
5 Effective ways to handle talkative customers
Talkative customer are very hard to ignore and avoid, and they leave us with a raging headache. The following are a few steps on how to avoid being badgered by a talkative customer.
1. Ask to the point questions
Customers when facing a problem which they never have earlier, tend to go on and on about it in extensive detail. They do not realize that they are wasting your time and want to tell you their full story. And you cannot even ignore them by just hanging up or avoiding them because their feedback is very important for your product or service. You must try to gain most of the conversation and information that will benefit you in serving other customers better. Yet if you feel that it is too tiring, try to ask closed questions which will not offer the customer any space to maneuver the conversation. Be precise and to the point and it will prompt short replies from the customer as well. Make a record of these problems which will help you in future when dealing with a similar situation.
2. Remain focused
When dealing with a customer who refuses to stop talking even when he has expressed what he was supposed to, you must be on your guard always. These customers have all the time in the world and are enjoying the conversation, but you must remain focused on your area of concern. When the customer makes an irrelevant comment or gives you some personal information, politely tell him that all that is not necessary and that you would not like to intrude upon their private lives. Still if he continues in this direction, abruptly start talking about his problem and ask him if you have noted everything down correctly. Tell him to listen to you carefully for a while and inform you if something needs to be added. At the end, tell him that now that you know his problem completely, he can rest assured and get on with his other tasks which have been on stand still because he is talking to you.
3. Listen to them carefully
Sometimes the customer keeps talking about something repeatedly and sounds impatient. This is a sign of the fact that they think their problem is not conveyed properly to you. You must listen closely to the customer and try to decipher what he wants to put emphasis on. Ask prompting questions which will assure the customer that you have understood their problem. Once this is done, you must show them some intent towards solving it. Give them assurance that it will be sorted out soon and the matter is being looked into. Tell them that you will start working on their problem the moment you stop talking to them, this will help in ending the conversation faster. Also, you can tell them that you will be contacting them yourself as soon as you have solved their problem to get their feedback.
4. Be honest
One thing that you must do when talking to the customer is that you have be honest, but not blunt. You have shape your thoughts cleverly in such a way that the customer does not get offended but still make it very clear to them that they are not helping you or themselves by talking for so long. When you feel that you have tried everything and the customer is still not changing his stance, be frank with him. Assure him that what he has said has been noted down and they will be worked upon very soon and you will yourself get back to them if there is any misunderstanding. Rephrase whatever information they have given you and let them know that you have not missed anything. Where necessary, ask if they need to add anything more to what they have told you, but it should be relevant. As long as you are courteous and gentle, there is no reason why the customer should get offended.
5. Drive the conversation
When dealing with a talkative customer, you must not allow him to set the direction of your discussion because he will most definitely be deviated you from your path. You must drive the conversation and not let him change course. Talk shortly, yet politely and offer minimum opportunities to start a new conversation. If you think the customer will not stop talking, it is necessary to be boring and talk about things that the customer has no knowledge about. You may also make him hold on till you do something or talk to somebody to make him feel bored and go away. Do not wait for the customer to end the conversation because you have enough evidence that they are enjoying it. You, however, have responsibilities towards other customers too and cannot waste your time on one.
Utilizing Customer Service as a Yardstick to Beat Competitors
Once you have dealt with the customer in the above-specified way, you can work towards making them loyal. Customer centricity has become a powerful tool that dictates the success of failure of a business today. Organizations that seek to differentiate will need to integrate customer centricity into the very core of their company culture.
These organizations need to come up with powerful touch points that will impact customer perceptions and decisions in addition to improving the existing ones. This, in turn, will help organizations differentiate their brand, provide better customer experience, improve employee satisfaction and loyalty, and improve business results.
1. Using analytics to differentiate customer service
An organization that attempts to differentiate its service is essentially finding out ways to anticipate the needs of its customers and tending to those needs in time. In short, it is striving to become a firm that is easier to do business with. Here is where data analytics can help an organization. Data analytics aid in anticipating, planning and meeting customer expectations even in less than ideal circumstances.
When it comes to analytics, an organization needs to give equal importance to all three forms, including descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analysis. Descriptive analytics deals with the current situation while predictive analysis focuses on responding to actual market conditions and customer behaviors.
Prescriptive analysis uses the intelligence collected from current situations to envision possible scenarios, and provides an optimal solution for each one of them. Striking an appropriate balance between these three models will enable an organization to achieve a more informed decision making process.
2. Tips to use exceptional customer service techniques to differentiate an organization
Customer service needs to work alongside data analytics to provide the end customer with an optimal experience while doing business with the concern. Some of the more efficient ways in which an organization can brush up on its customer service skills include:
3. Getting to know the customer
The foundation for outstanding customer service starts with the customers and what they need. An organization will first need to find out about its customers and their preferences, expectations, etc. This can be done by getting feedback from customers regularly. This will allow the organization to find out what ticks in their customer’s minds and use the same information to educate its employees to deliver expectations.
4. Training the employees properly
The level of customer service in an organization is directly proportional to the amount of training its employees receive in the same field. Many organizations do not focus on customer service during training and allow the employees to learn it on the floor instead.
However, this can be disastrous for the firm in the form of lost customers and huge losses before the employees finally get the hang of things. Hence, providing proper training in customer service while other companies skip the same will allow an organization to differentiate its business from the latter instantly.
5. Empowering the staff
Many customer service representatives work only on basic issues while bigger problems are escalated to seniors or are diverted continuously. An organization wishing to differentiate itself with its customer service will need to empower its staff. For that, it would require practical solutions for all possible issues. This will help the staff deal with issues in a more confident and enthusiastic manner.
6. Balancing different communication channels
An organization will have to balance different communication channels in order to achieve a high level of customer satisfaction. Emails can be considered great for sending information to large audiences. However, don’t forget to use the potential of phone calls. They can offer a more personalized approach to interacting with customers. Personal visits are also good once in a while. They allow the organization to find out what their customers think about their current level of service.
Excellent customer service plays the basis for differentiating a company from its competitors. Every organization would need to adopt measures. It needs to anticipate its customers’ expectations. This helps in working towards reaching the same in order to achieve an excellent level of customer service.