As stressed periodically throughout this blog, customer service representatives on the front line of a business operation have the ability to make or break a relationship with a potential or repeat patron depending on the first impression.
If a customer recognizes that the service associate is knowledgeable, patient, kind and sensitive to a variety of needs, the customer will likely associate those characteristics with the company itself and be comfortable patronizing the associated product or service.
On the other hand, there are a series of actions that can be taken by a service associate that will ruin that first impression and send a customer running to a competitor. In order to better understand what tactics will turn customers away, author and account sales consultant Tom Searcy catalogued a list of proverbial worst practices in a recent article for Inc.com.
For example, while a business may be technical by nature, many customers will likely be unfamiliar with associated jargon and be turned off should a service rep throw out a bunch of confusing and difficult-to-understand terms.
Moreover, Searcy recommends never suggesting to a customer that one is playing "devil's advocate," as that will likely be perceived as "a thinly veiled attempt to put forth a personal agenda."
By partnering with an answering service though to handle all tasks related to customer service, product inquiries and order processing, these pitfalls can be easily avoided. The professionals at an answering service understand the necessity to create a tight bond with a client's customers by simplifying processes into plain English, thus providing a straightforward message. And by taking the clear and honest approach, a highly-trained answering service can knock that first impression out of the park, generating trust and loyalty in a client's consumer base.