Customer service can make or break a business. Great service creates loyal customers, while poor service can damage your reputation irreparably. By understanding what customers actually want from service departments, you can train your service professionals effectively and efficiently.
In the past several decades, customer service has taken a nosedive at many companies. Instead of being treated like valuable assets, customers have been brushed off and made to feel like inconveniences. In extreme situations, such as a highly publicized Comcast incident in 2014, customers have undergone verbal attacks and resistant service professionals.
With the widespread use of social media and Internet review websites, customers have more power than ever before. A single post can go viral, alerting hundreds of thousands of customers to a company's misstep in a matter of hours. In the current climate, it is crucial for businesses to understand what their customers want from customer service agents.
Ease of Use
For customers, one of the most crucial elements of an excellent customer service system is its ease of use. Digital technology has enabled consumers to get information and assistance immediately, resulting in lower levels of patience for slow or clunky systems. Each of your service channels should be easy to understand for a first-time user. The steps must be clearly labeled and easy to execute immediately. When customers can move through the process quickly, they are less likely to become frustrated and irritated with your business.
Customers generally approach a service department only after a problem has occurred. They may be angry or emotional, and any delay can feel like a lifetime. To be effective, your system must work quickly. Customers do not necessarily need an immediate solution, but they do need a fast response. In general, a person should get an initial reply within hours, if not sooner. Any longer, and you risk escalating the problem and losing the customer. Self-service systems, which enable customers to solve their problems at any time, are often an effective solution.
One of the problems with large customer service systems is the impersonal feeling they convey to callers. In many cases, customers feel like a number or an insignificant part of a massive business. Companies that provide personalized service make customers feel valued and important. By training your agents to be friendly, use the customer's name and create a solution that is customized to their individual needs, you can increase loyalty. Take inspiration from the shoe company Zappos, which has repeatedly made headlines for its friendly agents and customer-focused solutions.
In the age of information, customers are no longer satisfied with shoddy and impersonal service. By paying attention to your customers' needs and responding accordingly, you can build an effective customer service system that encourages repeat business.
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