This article aims to address the seemingly basic issue of customer service, and will help you understand why it is such an integral part of any organisation.
Customer service is the provision of service to your businesses customers before, during and after a purchase. It exists to enhance the level of customer satisfaction, aiming to make the individuals experience with your company a more pleasurable one. If the only contact an individual has with an organisation is through customer service, then this can shape their whole perception of the corporation. It has been proven that customer service can even increase an organisation’s ability to increase income and revenue, and it is therefore believed by many people that it should be included as part of an overall approach to systematic improvement.
Recently, it has been argued that both the levels and the quality of current customer service have decreased in the last few years. One explanation for this is that communication between the customer support sector and individuals or groups higher up in the business is much weaker in modern times. There are many links of communication which have to be passed through to get from executive, or even middle, management levels to the area of a customer service policy.
This could, however, be a positive for your business if you can take advantage by standing out with above average customer service. To do this, there are several basic principles you have to follow. One example is as simple as it gets; making sure the phone gets answered. Whether this is by you, an employee or even, if you’re desperate, an answering machine, it is important that potential and current customers can always contact you if there is some information they need. There is also the option to provide some forms of customer service through automated means, such as websites.
Secondly, nothing annoys customers more than a broken promise. Therefore, it is vital that you keep any promises you make, whether that be the date of a delivery, the price of a service etc. Also, make customers feel important and appreciated. This can be done through small, seemingly unnoticeable things such as calling the customer by their name or finding ways to compliment them. Furthermore, the better you know a customer, the better you can actually anticipate problems they may have and have something planned you can put into action if the issue does arise.
If you do come to the conclusion that you want to find out more about making your customer service more effective and efficient, then here are some useful places to look or go to:
- Shep Hyken is a customer service expert who gives talks and writes a blog on the topic.
- Derek Klobucher writes about how social media can play a part in customer service on SAP.
- Train in a Day can supply you and your organisation with bespoke training courses designed to improve your methods of keeping your customers happy and also your customer service in general.