Customer service is the act of taking care of the customer’s needs by providing and delivering professional, helpful, high quality service and assistance before, during, and after the customer’s requirements are met. Customer service is meeting the needs and desires of any customer.
Characteristics of Good Customer Service
- Promptness: Promises for delivery of products must be on time. Delays and cancellations of products should be avoided.
- Politeness: Politeness is almost a lost art. Saying ‘hello,’ ‘good afternoon,’ ‘sir’, and ‘thank you very much’ are a part of good customer service. For any business, using good manners is appropriate whether the customer makes a purchase or not.
- Professionalism: All customers should be treated professionally, which means the use of competence or skill expected of the professional. Professionalism shows the customer they’re cared for.
- Personalization: Using the customer’s name is very effective in producing loyalty. Customers like the idea that whom they do business with knows them on a personal level.
Best Practices on Customer Service
Customers know what good service is and they demand it from each interaction, over any communication channel they want to use. Your company needs to make those technology options available. The secret is get to know your customer better than they themselves do. In a non-creepy way, of course.
First and foremost, who is serving who? Metrics need to primarily serve the customer. However, all too often, it’s obvious to the customer that they primarily serve the company’s profits instead. Metrics must focus primarily on full and complete issue resolution and customer satisfaction, and then take into account company profitability goals.
Hire Great People
Smart business owners know that top-notch customer service comes from top-notch people. Hiring the right team and creating a people-first culture from the get-go is the best way to ensure that your employees’ good attitude impresses your customers. Hire people who don’t hate their jobs, then give them reasons to not hate their jobs.
Make a Great First Impression
Your first impression can make or break a deal, this is especially true when you’re trying to attract and keep customers. The difference between getting a customer off to a “good” start versus a “great” start can make the difference in a business’s ability to scale over time. Right out of the gate, a customer needs to understand your commitment to their needs, level of competence and ability to deliver what they’re looking for
Too often, customer service is reactive; that is, a brand communicates with customers only when they reach out with comments or complaints. When customer service management systems operate proactively with customer experience solutions and are able to anticipate customer needs before they occur, you’ll have a more satisfied customer.
Offer a Seamless Experience
In a world of constant connectivity and mobile devices, customers interact with brands through more channels and in more places than ever before. Today’s top companies stand out by providing a consistent experience through every single channel, whether it’s in the store, on the Web or through social media.