Effective Customer Service
What Is Customer Service?
According to the dictionary: "Customer service is a department of a business that deals with routine inquiries and complaints from or disputes with customers." Web Dictionary.
In my opinion customer service goes beyond the above definition, I, particularly don't see customer service as a department, I see it as a set of skills that we all should have or acquire.
Customer service is a vital component in today's business world that can determine the success or failure of a company. Consequently, if companies hire prospects who don't have customer service skills, have poor customer service or don't understand the importance of it at all, companies whom fail to understand how critical is to have employees with such skills usually struggle in manage their business and, constantly the result is loss of business and, therefore, revenue.
Importance of Customer Service
Why customer service is so important?
We live in a world where communication is essential to the progress and success of any give organization. Why?
Communication is what drives businesses today, anything that happens to an organization in matter of minutes is known publicly in matter of minutes, not only locally but internationally also.
So, let's say that your company has poor customer service and, it is slow to solve customers' complaints, how badly do you think this will affect your business? What kind of reputation your is organization going to get? Do you agree that your poor customer service policy will cost a lot more than just a bad reputation? So, is good customer service practice important to your business, to yourself? I hope so!
Great customer service skills will also help you and your business to:
Capture market share on the short and long term.
Retain customers and acquire new ones.
Reduction in marketing and advertising expenditures.
Principles For Customer Service Excellence
Here you will find a set of skills that will help you improve your customer service expertise and will improve your business overall relationship with your customers.
1 - Listen Intently: When your customers call you to report their concerns, please, avoid passing the bucket at all cost, really listen to what they have to say and take notes of all concerns addresses to you. Once you've gathered together all the facts, sincerely, find the solutions for it and, if you don't have all the answers your self, seek for help, there's nothing wrong with that, let your customers know that you're going to assist them with everything that you can to solve their concerns.
2 - Satisfy the Needs: Have the ability and disposition to help your customers achieve what they really want and need, otherwise, next time, they'll go to your competition.
3 - Ownership: If you manage a set of accounts from your customers, if sell door-to-door or whatever may be your case, take ownership for what you do. If a customer calls back to complain for something that you did wrong or just for being dissatisfied for your product or service, please, solve the issue yourself, don't transfer your customer to someone else, there's nothing worse than being transferred over and over to different people because nobody wants to deal with it.
4 - Appreciation: Keep in touch with your customers, send them an email, a postcard, a letter or something that shows appreciation for their businesses. Your customer will love to know that you appreciated their businesses.
5 - Be Respectful, Be Friendly: Whenever you come in contact with your customer, approach them with a smile and be respectful with them. Ask their names and introduce yourself and the company's that you work for.
6 - Follow up: If you promise to follow up with your customers on a later date, please, make sure that you do so.
These are just a few of the many customer service principles, however, if strive to live them, they will greatly improve you customers' satisfaction with you and your business, you will build a stronger relationship with them, which will also meaning in continual business with them.