Back to Basics: Customer Service 101
No matter what service you’re in, it is a well-known fact that customers are important stakeholders, which influence the overall success of a business, especially one which is in the services industry. Since quality of service and customer satisfaction are both very important aspects of a business’s success, the following are some of the service dimensions by which a business can improve customer satisfaction.
The Customer is Always Right (Sometimes)
So, let’s get one thing straight, while at times, it is best to side with unreasonable and demanding customers just to keep them happy. It is important to know when a particular customer isn’t right for your business. The phrase, “The customer is always right” was coined by Harry G. Selffridge in 1909, and it’s basically used for two purposes, one is to convince the customers that they are going to get the best service possible from your business. The second is to convince the employees that no matter how demanding the customer, their aim should be to provide the best service possible instead of brushing off the customer.
Customer service is basically an interaction between the customer and a business. The following are some of the tips for providing great customer service.
Understand the Problem
First and foremost, in order to solve a problem, you have to understand it. Many times the problem is not with the merchandise even the price, but rather with the employee’s negative attitude while they’re dealing with the complainant.
Show Some Empathy
Constantly interrupting the customer is the most annoying thing a customer service operator can do and is enough to make the blood boil of the most patient customer. To play it safe, show some empathy, provide explanations for any delays. One way of doing that is by giving the customer an opportunity to explain their problem to you without those annoying interruptions. And don’t forget to apologize for any inconveniences it may have caused them.
Find a Solution
Once you have identified the problem, it’s time to offer them with a solution. It is important to track customer complaints so that you may identify possible problems which are created from within the company.
Offer Alternative Solutions
Offering solutions to remedy the problem that your customers have is well, what you are there for in the first place. As business which is based on customer service, you can include free services or discount offers, discounts for referrals or send them emails with links to special promotions to remedy a problem, depending on its severity of course.
Create, Implement and Manage an Account Management Plan
The best businesses in the services industry have a account management plan. Having an account management plan in place will hopefully limit the need for your customer support staff to deal with serious conflicts. In order to create a winning plan you will need to gain insights from your customer. Once you have analyzed your target market, review it with management and include it in your quarterly business review.
Making the Move from Reactive to Proactive
When it comes to customer service almost all businesses think that they are delivering, what they would call ‘superior customer service.’ Sadly, in reality, that couldn’t be more farther from the truth. So, how does one get it right?
There are basically two ways of being proactive, while delivering the best customer service. One way is to provide preventive communication that encourages the customer support staff to address a possible issue by routinely calling up customers to see if they need any help.
The second way is by carrying out surveys and polls on social media outlets and letting your customers participate in them and voice their frustrations if any. Both ways are extremely effective in gaining customer insight and in making your product stronger.
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