Recently, Parature asked a group of customer service professionals from around the globe to offer their best customer service advice. From managers to CSRs, we received a fantastic variety of best advice. In a three-part series, we’ll share it with you and hope that you’ll add yours, as well.

Our last post addressed conversing with the customer. In our second installment, customer service professionals talk about the importance of having the right staff and training in place in order to deliver effective customer service and support:

On Hiring Customer Care Representatives
Chris Ritter, who delivers customer care for fine furnishings retailer Serena and Lily, discusses the importance of hiring those whose heart is in their work:

“If you measure your company’s success by the satisfaction of your customers,” says Ritter, “you need to spend a little more to hire the best – caring, creative people who are dedicated to letting your customers know that the company sees them as more than a means to the bottom line.”

On Making Your Organization’s Service Expectations Clear
Gail Katz, a customer service and order fulfillment specialist in the Washington, DC area notes:

“If you want to fill the job with a great CSR who meets your needs, you’ve got to tell it like it is! Otherwise, you are going to see a parade of people leaving the job. It can’t be fun or prudent for the employer to have to keep hiring, attempting to train, and then losing people when they realize the role is not what they signed up for.

“If you truly do care about your customers, therefore, the success of your business, not to mention your reputation, be real about your expectations from the get go.”

On Providing CSRs with a Followed Formula for Success
Says Jeff Greenberg, Managing Partner at PanAmerican Telemarketing which provides customer support and satisfaction survey services:

“I ask our folks to develop these attitudes:

  • Listen for the true source of the issue, not the drama.
  • Solve problems, don’t just answer questions.
  • When asked ‘Can you help me?’ answer ‘I’ll do the best I can.’
  • If we don’t know the answer, tell the customer we don’t know, follow with ‘let’s find out together’ and three-way a supervisor on the call.”

On Supporting CSRs so that They Provide the Best Support to Your Customers

Sabine Pitcher, Head of Faculty – Student Services and Support at City Lit in the UK, says:

“Help your customer service staff – train them, support them, so that they believe in the organization and the service they provide.

“They are key to your sales processes, but you wouldn’t want them to come across as “sales people.” They need to be able to establish relationships – even if only for very short periods of time. It doesn’t work if they don’t believe in what they do.”

Do you have some best customer service advice you’d like to share? Please leave a comment below.

Next up in the Your Best Customer Service Advice series: Some of the top experts in customer service and the customer experience weigh in.