Here are a few random tips that can help to make an American customer happy:
1. Tell the customer about the features and benefits – IN YOUR OWN WORDS
An American often would get frustrated and impatient if he/she hears the customer service representative (henceforth, CSR) repeat something to him/her word for word from a product manual. If the CSR takes the time to listen to the customer’s problem, finds out the cause of the problem in real-time, and offers solutions based on practical experience from helping other customers with similar problems, most Americans will be impressed. However, as this is not possible in all situations, helping the customer to brainstorm solutions, offering to let him/her talk to supervisors or colleagues, and calling or sending e-mails to the customer later with the solutions are ideal. If there is no solution, an American customer wants to know what can be done next, or if the product or components of the product can be replaced.
2. Treat the customer like an individual, not as one among the masses
When a customer wants to buy a product and is confused about which model to buy, help the customer understand which one best suits his/her needs and not the needs of the thousands of other customers. Ask the customer questions to learn about what he/she will use the product for and why he/she really wants to buy it.
While talking to one customer, if there are others waiting to talk to you, don’t talk to them without letting the current customer know that he/she is not forgotten. Say “Excuse me sir/madam, give me a moment, while I talk to these customers here. I will come back to you.” Or, find other colleagues to help with the other customers while taking care of the current customer. This makes the customer feel good, and will be more inclined to come back as a customer to your facility. Otherwise, the customer may think that you are rude.
3. Make sure that the customer is really satisfied
Don’t just disconnect the phone or walk away from the customer to manage other customers without completing your conversation. Ask the customer if he/she is satisfied, or if there is anything else you can help him/her with. Tell him/her “See you again.” Or “It was a pleasure to talk to you. Hope we can help you again with your XXX needs.” Please do not assume that the customer is done just because he/she has purchased your product or told you that that she/he is not interested in purchasing your product. Ask the customer questions, or maybe he/she has questions to ask you. Always end with “Is there any further questions I can answer for you?” or “Is there anything else I can help you with today?” before disconnecting the call or ending your conversation in the showroom and helping another customer.
4. Don’t forget the pleasantries.
Most of what is discussed here are simple ‘cultural pleasantries’ that Americans take for granted while growing up in the American culture. Though they are habitual and may seem meaningless to some people, without these habits and behaviors, an American:
- Will feel that something is wrong
- Will think that the CSR is not well trained (which looks bad for the company)
- May take it personally and if possible, may not return to do business with that establishment again.
- Learning how to say thank you.
- Responding to thank you.
For more information on creating a good impression and creating good relations with your US counterparts onsite, contact Jennifer Kumar for more information.
This article was edited by Chris Sufi.
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