It is common for managers to tell their CSR that they are doing a “super job,” or refer to someone as their “hero” when they really come through in a pinch. In a recent article at the CustomersThatStick blog site, Adam Toporek takes a look at “What is Hero-Class Customer Service?” and examines some of the traits that make up such “super” service. The traits he discusses are typically associated with super hero powers, and some of them are worth repeating and expanding upon a bit.
Toporek uses the term “Hero-Class Customer ServiceTM, which he says “embodies the concept that every delivery of superior customer service involves a hero of some sort. They might not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound or control sea creatures telepathically, but the customer facing professionals who deliver consistently excellent customer service are heroes to their customers.” Some of the “powers” of such a CSR include:
- Impenetrable Skin: This is an important characteristic that all in the CSR field need to possess. As the front line “defense” of the company, they need to have a thick skin that is not easily penetrated by the onslaught of anger and frustration that can get shot at them. As the representative “face” of the company, they are the ones that have to receive and accept the blame for the situation, even when it is not theirs. No passing-the-buck allowed here. It is about accepting the blame, taking the frustration, and turning around and giving the best service to quell the problem.
- The Right Tools: This is a big one. A CSR does the best job when they are given the proper tools. Like Batman’s utility belt full of gadgets and toys, the CSR needs to have the tools necessary to complete the job. If they constantly have to get assistance, or pass things off to others who have the tools, it adds confusion for the customer. Keep things simple, and have the tools needed at all times.
- Hyperawareness: Being aware of what is going on around them, and being able to sense a need based on the look on someone’s face, or something being out of place, is a prime trait for a CSR. Of course, being quick to take the initiative to fix it is also a requirement for this trait.
- Secret Identity: Most heroes have one, and so must a CSR. Personal lives are to stay personal, and should stay out of site, and only the professional “mask” of the CSR is to be present. When personal issues are allowed to affect a CSR’s demeanor in a negative way, it becomes a weakness.
- Super Speed: This is another prime area that is often overlooked. While the CSR’s mind may be concerned with many things and people that eat up time, remember that the customer typically has one issue that they are waiting on, so time creeps by while they await a resolution. A CSR needs to be able to not only quickly identify the issue, but seek to also quickly resolve it.
- Thrives on a Team: Teamwork is important, because not every task can be handled alone. Her key thing to remember – it is usually best if there is one point of contact between customer and company. So, rather than pass things off to someone else to handle and get back to the customer, take the initiative to “hold the hand” of the customer all the way through the process. If you need to transfer the customer, make sure you have the designated party on the line with the customer before you disconnect. Often times a CSR will just dial the extension and hit transfer. If no one picks up on the other side, or if the line gets disconnect, the customer has to start over again, which can lead to built-up frustration and poor experiences.
Being this type of super CSR is not for everyone, but should be the goal of those seeking to succeed in this career field. Customer service heroes can make a drastic difference in how customers view companies, so companies are always on the lookout for high-flying superstars.
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