QUESTION: How do I let my team communicate with customers in my print shop?
ANSWER: People typically need patience, empathy, and a level of emotional intelligence that lets them understand how to interact with customers. Not everyone has these skills, and that’s okay – but you can help your team develop these skills and improve their customer interactions.
Tip 1: Have the right people.
Without the right people in the right role, you’re going to have a hard time training them to become someone else. This is really the first step – you have to know what kind of people you’re looking for.
Test for patience and empathy. Try project-based interviewing. How would you handle a given situation if you were interacting with a customer? What if they want a coupon or lower pricing? Do a mock situational interview and see how they communicate.
Tip 2: Use "TAR."
Thanks, Acknowledge, Resolve.
This is the pattern that your customer service should take. You simply follow the pattern: thank the customer, acknowledge their problem, and resolve their issue. These three steps make people feel that their entire situation has been addressed. This is a big goal – but it's always possible.
Tip 3: Think like a high-end restaurant.
Treat customers like they’re in a personable, high-end restaurant that is super familiar with their needs. What is a fine dining experience like? Are people confused, left feeling cold, or concerned with pricing? No! They're treated with an extreme degree of respect and care – and carefully catered to at every moment.
Tip 4: Measure how well your team is doing.
Use KPIs (key performance indicators). We use Zendesk to track First Response Time and Total Calls Received to Total Calls Answered. Those are crucial metrics that let us determine how well we’re doing in responding to all of our customers! You can also use Frontapp to track your email inbox's response times – and share your inbox.
This is such an important piece of your brand. Customer service is what you can do to really set yourself apart in a large, competitive industry.