Customer service is the process of ensuring customer satisfaction with a product or service. Often, customer service takes place while performing a transaction for the customer, such as making a sale or returning an item. Customer service can take the form of in-person interaction, a phone call, self-service systems, or by other means.
Customer service is an important part of maintaining ongoing client relationships, which is key to continuing revenue. For this reason, many companies have worked hard to increase their customer satisfaction levels.
Most successful businesses recognize the importance of providing outstanding customer service. Courteous and empathetic interaction with a trained customer service representative can mean the difference between losing or retaining a customer.
When problems arise, customers should receive timely attention to the issue. Prompt attention to emails and phone calls is critical to maintaining good relations. Requiring customers to stand in long lines or sit on hold can sour an interaction before it begins.
Ideally, customer service should be a one-stop endeavor for the consumer. For example, if a customer calls a helpline regarding a problem with a product, the customer service representative should follow through with the customer until the issue is fully resolved.
This may entail scheduling appointments with in-person repair personnel if the problem cannot be resolved on the phone, or transferring a call to skilled technicians in another department. Proactively following up with the customer to ensure that he or she is fully satisfied is another smart move.
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F.A.Q about Customer Service
What are customer service standards?
Customer service standards are an internal corporate set of rules governing the company's customer service activities, an algorithm for communicating with customers, and general standards for responding to unusual situations. The standard of customer service is an integral part of the corporate standard of the company.
Functions of customer service standards:
- To order. The client does not encounter problems, does not see them, which means that he is confident that all the staff without exception are professionals who know their business.
- To control. It is difficult to assess and monitor the work of each manager if there are no clear criteria for evaluation. At the same time, the implementation of the sales plan cannot be the only parameter of the assessment; you need to know whether the manager of customer service standards adopted in this company adheres.
- To adapt. Among other things, the availability of customer service standards simplifies the procedure.
Customer service standards are effective if the customer does not see the difference between the work of two (or more) managers, and sees only “proprietary” service, always the same, regardless of any external factors or circumstances. The customer service standard, which has been tested in practice, backed up by experience (perhaps even someone else's), created on the basis of analytical studies and recognized methods, can be called "gold". It allows you to increase profits, improve the image of the company, attract new customers.
Customer service standards are an important part of the company's brand. But, in addition, the standards are necessary and other units, in particular, the department to work with staff. Therefore, their development must take into account the needs of all interested services of the company.
What is the purpose of introducing customer service standards in the company?
The objectives of implementing the standards are as follows:
- For employees with experience: minimize the number of erroneous and unnecessary actions. The result of this will be saving time of each employee (no errors - no need to spend time correcting them). And, as a result, increased productivity.
- For novice employees: customer service standards allow you to transfer the necessary knowledge in the most concise manner and in a short time.
- For the company: the abolition of dependence on the old-timers. Not all employees who have worked in the company for many years (or even since the day of foundation) are able to resist the so-called star disease. Having knowledge and experience, a person loses the ability to objectively evaluate his work, he begins to think that he is the best manager in the company. It can end very badly - in the event of dismissal, such an employee will take the base, and turn clients against the company. Standards for customer service are needed to ensure that all employees can be assessed on a single scale, based on the actual benefits they bring to the company, as well as the attitude of the employee to the company.
- For the company: the uniformity of control activities of managers. Standards are unequivocal, exclude double interpretations, and therefore cannot cause controversy about the rightness of an employee or employer.
- For managers: the standards of uniform customer service are the same for all managers, and this makes it possible to make the pay of each manager absolutely transparent and intelligible. Realizing that there will be no double interpretations, the manager may not be afraid that he will be paid less than expected - all his mistakes and achievements are immediately visible and understandable.
The application of service standards allows you:
- to develop a company style in dealing with clients;
- to increase the effectiveness of the work of managers with new customers;
- to bring the quality of communication with customers to a higher level;
- to create a positive opinion of the company about the company, so that it can be recommended to its acquaintances, thus increasing the number of potential and then real customers;
- to minimize conflicts between the manager and the customer;
- to develop a technology for training newcomers;
- to transfer the assessment of the work of the manager from the subjective to the objective, transparent and understandable to everyone;
- to establish a procedure for controlling the work of personnel;
- to increase the motivation of managers to work.
Benefits of applying service standards
- The accumulation of experience: the entire base focuses on the company, and not on the hands of managers, "old-timers." Thus, the departure of one or several “old” employees does not become a “natural disaster” for the company.
- Motivation, analysis and control: customer service standards make it possible to develop a transparent scheme of managers' motivation based on a clear, almost mathematical analysis of their work. The sales process is optimized.
- Setting goals. With the help of standards, the company has the ability to set clear, reasonable plans. This allows you to keep the atmosphere in the team friendly and stable, and the lack of "muffled" tasks - to increase the loyalty of managers to the company.
- Standards of customer service is a fairly mobile system that allows you to immediately detect errors in working with clients and quickly eliminate them. In addition, at any stage of working with a client, the head of the sales department can intervene in the process, noticing an error in the work of the manager, and even be proactive in order to prevent an error to which the manager is heading.
- Quick and easy start for beginners. Customer service standards are actually a knowledge base, collected, analyzed, and streamlined. Such information is easily transmitted and assimilated by beginners, which means that the beginner quickly gets to work and starts to make a profit. In addition, a newbie will not spoil relations with a client by awkward actions, since he already knows what to do in any conflict and problem situations.
- Customer confidence. Customer service standards allow the latter to feel confident in the company - no matter where the customer is, he will always easily recognize “his” company by brand features and can be absolutely sure that in a small town they will be served as qualitatively as in a million-plus city, because that the company is well aware of their work. So, such a company can be trusted.