Are you really solving your customers’ problems?

“How can I help you?” That’s the universal greeting for customer service agents, no matter what business they’re representing. Why?

Because customers call or write when they need help!

However, most of us have had customer service encounters that ended without our problem being solved. Maybe the person on the other end sincerely tried to help—but if they didn’t resolve the issue, then it was a waste of time for everyone, at best.

At worst, it could’ve turned a frustrated customer into an angry one.

As a business owner, you can’t afford to let unresolved customer problems build up. If they do, they can quickly tank your reputation. Alas, you’re busy running a business and don’t have time to manage every customer issue yourself. That’s why you need a customer service rep who can make a strong first impression, offer friendly service — and, most importantly, solve customer problems efficiently and effectively!

So, how does that work exactly? Here are a few steps you can take to boost your customer service action plan instantly…

Have a process.

To provide effective customer service, companies should start by creating a methodical process to use every time. At its core, the basic steps will cover making contact, gathering information about the customer’s problem, generating feasible solutions, and closing with a positive resolution.

Customer service agents must know how to effectively walk customers through this solution-oriented process and understand when to elevate complex problems. The focus should stay on moving the conversation forward toward an actionable conclusion that satisfies the customer.

Focus on clearly identifying the problem.

No one can solve a problem until they first understand the issue. Customer service agents need to offer a friendly greeting, then immediately steer the conversation to identify the precise problem the customer is experiencing. That means knowing the right types of questions to ask, actively listening to or reading the customer’s explanation, and filtering out any details that aren’t relevant.

If something is unclear or further details are needed, the customer service rep must politely keep asking until they get the information they need to begin determining solutions.

Offer tangible answers.

It might sound like a “no-brainer,” but your customer service reps need to know what they’re talking about. A customer’s time is valuable. If they’re calling or writing, it’s because they’d like fast, accurate answers to their questions or problems.

Beyond the basics (such as questions about services offered or holiday hours), customer service reps should be trained to tackle the types of problem-related questions you expect customers to ask. In other words, they should be equipped to anticipate certain issues and have a toolkit of possible fixes on-hand.

Ditch the scripts.

Realistically, customers could just research problems online if they wanted. But customers often demand a personalized touch, which is why they reach out to customer service agents. That’s why it’s critical not to rely on overly-scripted messaging.

Yes, it’s fine for agents to have some prewritten troubleshooting guidelines to reference. But they should still treat every customer engagement as a unique conversation—listening and responding accordingly.

Stay calm and professional.

Most people contact customer service when they have a problem, so it’s a safe bet to assume they may be upset on some level. Some customers are great at staying calm and working with their customer service rep to figure out a solution.

Others, not so much.

If a customer is expressing frustration, the customer service rep should remain polite and professional. At the same time, the agent must calmly communicate that they care about the customer’s problem and want to find a fix for it.

It’s also important to be honest and let customers know if an issue needs to go to another department for resolution. This helps build trust, which in turn contributes to brand loyalty.

Outsource to an experienced customer service provider.

If your business is struggling to devote enough resources to customer service, have no fear because Ruby’s got you covered!

It’s never been easier (or more affordable) to partner up with a team of seasoned customer service experts trained to offer actionable solutions. No matter what industry you’re in, our virtual receptionists can provide every aspect of customer service mentioned above—and more.

With services available 24/7, 365 days a year, your business will never miss a chance to solve your customers’ problems and strengthen relationships. Whether you need specialists on call to answer phones or chat with online customers, Ruby features flexible plans for every situation.