“Thank you for your help, Penny. By the way I love your name. My granddaughter’s name is Penny, too.”
That was what one of our customers, Ken, said to me after I helped him out on our Live Chat, a chat box on our website where people can stop by and ask for help. This chat is one of the most successful things we’ve added. Before it came out most of Zerion’s customer service was handled through emails and only 3 weeks after we put the chat on our website, 70 percent of the traffic came from there. People love it.
Chat is indeed an amazing tool for customer success. It is quick, fun and more importantly, more human. I have had about 5000 chats with our customers over the past couple years and talked to hundreds, if not thousands, of different people, and have had many interesting experiences with it.
When I was chatting with Ken, I had no idea what he looked like, how old he was or if he wore glasses. However, after he told me his granddaughter’s name was the same as mine, I started forming a picture of him as a kind and amiable Irish old gentleman.
To me, customer success is not just about service, it is also about people. A conversation on chat is not just between a seller and a buyer, or a vendor and a client. More fundamentally, it is one human being with another human being. Only based on that perception will we understand each other better.
If I am to give an advice to another young person who just started on customer service, I’d say, talk to them like one human to another human.
Humans have emotions. When customers ask you for help they are probably already upset. Understand their frustration and have empathy and try to connect with them emotionally; Humans make mistakes. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Correct your mistake and our customers will understand and appreciate it. Don’t feel uncomfortable correcting customers’ mistakes either if it is the right way to help them; Humans are different. Every customer has different backgrounds, skillsets and personalities. Talk to them in the way in which they feel most comfortable and connected with you. And believe me, it is mutual. However you treat customers, you will be treated the same way.
“We are not vendors, we are partners”. This is a message we, at Zerion, try to send out to our customers. Partners grow together. That’s why I find customer success a very energizing job rather than an exhausting one, because having a healthy and positive relationship with customers motivates you, and sometimes a warm “thank you” from customers simply brightens your day.
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