What Is Customer Service?
Customer service is one of the true business essentials. Everyone remembers the bad customer service they have had, and most will also remember instances of good customer service. The importance of customer service is recognized by all successful businesses because it is possibly the number one element in customer retention. If you want to ensure that you get repeat business, looking out for the wishes and needs of your customer base is essential.
How you go about providing it is up to you, but there are certain elements which remain the same whatever the nature of your business. These are the principles of good customer service.
Whenever a customer makes a purchase, they will have priorities as to what makes their experience a positive one. Obviously, the priority is that they get whatever they have purchased from the point of purchase to their home. However, customer service begins before this. When a customer enters your store/business or the showroom to find what they are looking for, they may require the attention of staff to enable them to find it. Some customers just want to browse. Staff is required to ascertain what a customer wants how they want to go about it and whether they will need any help.
Customer service can be defined as any action you take to ensure that a customer is pleased with the transaction on a long-term basis. This includes “after sales service”, which entails ensuring that the customer leaves your business with the item that they were looking for, within the period that they intended to spend sourcing it, and then has no problems using it. It is easy enough to ensure a customer goes away from the point of sale with the item they had come to purchase. Ensuring that they are happy going forward may require more care and attention, and this is where after-sales service needs to be at its highest level. Pre-sales, after sales and point-of-sale service are all essential elements of customer service.
Who Are Your Customer Service Providers?
Given the importance of customer service, it will inevitably be the case that any company will have to place a strong focus on ensuring that the people within the business do their jobs as required. What they all have in common is their importance to a business lies in their ability to do what is required, and how it should be done. Just about anyone can get one of these elements right, and most will be able to do two. Essentially, as customer service providers must get all three.
In any business, a customer service provider is someone whose performance of their role is important to the overall result for the customer. Most customers will not care much for what happens behind the scenes in a company, so long as they are able to count on their needs being fulfilled. It is therefore the focus of every member of staff to see to it that their job is done without it being necessary for urgent action to be taken. The element of customer service that most customers will notice in any given transaction is that which happens in full view – how your staff speak to them and how their enquiry is dealt with. But to get to that point, a few other things also need to be done correctly.
It could be argued that every member of staff within an organization has an element of customer service provision within their responsibilities. It may be something as simple as ensuring that stock is placed where it needs to be placed. It may be something that appears to be entirely divorced from the sales service, such as the work of a security guard who ensures that the store is always secure so that everything runs smoothly. One way or another, all of these players will impact on the customer experience, and getting it wrong will mean that your company is failing to provide customer service at the level that is expected of them.
We simply can’t afford to get it wrong! The livelihood of our life chasing opportunity is staring us in our face. We’ve all dreamed about this moment. With the collective presentation of our crew and the Core Values, we must deliver each day without any reservations. Somedays things are going to be kind of tough but if we focus on our promise then we will deliver our hearts intentions.
Whatever the situation we must remember that a single person’s account of a negative experience with our business can be destructive to its credibility. With the customers’ ability to post immediately to the internet and social media, it behooves every business to be more mindful of delivering Wowing service. Not just occasionally but everyday consistently.
Let us now look at the three stages of Customer Service that help us stay grounded on delivering A-1 service. As you begin to establish your company’s vibe to provide exemplary service, it’s important to understand that acquisition, serving, and retention are the goals for building your business and making it profitable.
Acquisition or what will it take us to acquire that customer. Fifty-seven percent of potential customers’ decision-making is done before their first interaction with you. Customers tend to seek their own information based on how your product will solve their problem or serve their need. It’s not always based on price at all! It should be your focus to build a sincere rapport with your clients, so you become the go-to for anything they need. Most simply want to make sure we can answer the questions they have; prove we understand their wants and deliver our promise as we promised.
Serving is the next step we must focus on after acquiring the client. I’ve found out that serving starts when I first speak with them on the phone or via email. I’ve got to put my friendly smile on in the email even before I speak with them face-to-face. Since I am looking to build a long-term relationship by providing that my company is reliable, ready to solve problems as they arise, willing to help, and innovative in finding solutions possible; this is my initial chance to WOW my potential client.
In this case, it is most imperative that you understand the essence of the moment. Your next potential client that will help you increase your business is on the phone. This is our opportunity and first impression that will become lasting and permanent. Just remember every client count, so we must handle this moment with grace and efficiency. On the other hand, if you fail, it may send them out into the social media world with a juicy story that will drain away thousands of potential customers.
Always provide open communication, be YOU and allow your authentic self to project why they should do business with you. They are not looking for a robot but an actual individual that can bridge them between what they desire and their destiny.
Now let’s talk about retention.
It costs much less to retain a current customer than it does to go out and find a new one. Maintaining your customer base not only stabilizes your profits but it also saves your company money in the long run. Retention is the result of the fine service you and your company provided. It’s the kind of service that build your customers’ trust in you and make them eager to do business with you again. It also tells them that you care about their patronage, a key element in building a long-term relationship with them.
Your whole company needs to make retention a driving force in the way you deal with customers. Once you decide that you will do whatever is necessary to the keep the great ones, your service strategy must align with that goal.
Every client essentially has a problem that they want fixed, they want a expected end and you become the bridge that carries them across. The feeling when this is accomplished is amazing. What you’re talking about is respect, loyalty, and retention at its best.