How To Improve Customer Service Articles - Your Company's Value Proposition
Customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase. According to Jamier L. Scott “Customer service is a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction – that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer expectation."
Customer service is considered an integral part of a company's customer value proposition whether it's provided by a person or by automated means called self-service, in person or online.
Read our tips and advice about bringing customers back, sending them away happy enough to pass positive feedback about your business along to others, who may then try the product or service you offer for themselves and in their turn become repeat customers.
Customer service training should begin on day one of an orientation program
Effectively orienting your new employees and providing customer service training can pay big dividends in staff retention, employee commitment, company culture and customer satisfaction. It simply pays to begin customer service training right away.
Staff members who receive proper customer serving training and welcomed at the beginning of their careers will feel good about their choice of employer, fit in more quickly with peers and colleagues and readily contribute new ideas.
Properly oriented employees will also speak well about your organization to their family and friends. They will represent you more confidently with customers, business partners and suppliers.
Do what's required, not just desired to improve Customer Satisfaction
Going above and beyond is often what it takes to improve customer aatisfaction. Doing enough is okay, but exceptional service calls for exceptional measures.
A great example of the need to improve customer satisfaction comes from my travels. I was staying at a boutique hotel in London and brought a stack of books to the concierge. I asked the young man, "How much it will cost to ship these books back to my home in Singapore?" He promised to have an answer for me by evening. I left for the day with a smile, pleased with efforts to improve customer satisfaction.
When I returned that afternoon, the concierge handed my books back and said, "Thirty-two pounds fifty pence."
I was tired, said "Thank you," and went up to my room. But I did not smile. And I did not give him a tip, seeing the need for the concierge to improve customer satisfaction.
We All Live And Work In A Constellation Of Relationships Based On Service
You can see this with the customers you serve and the suppliers who serve you. But this is also true with colleagues, employees, managers, family, friends, government agencies and community members. When you learn how to connect to your customers' connections, you can improve customer experience greatly.
When you improve service in every direction of your life, you'll find new ways to connect with your customers, through your customers and improve customer service at the same time.
Paul in South Africa explains:
"Passing on supplier benefits to our customers' employees creates a deep-rooted loyalty that is hard to break. We supply fuel to a company with a large fleet of trucks on commercial contract. But we also give the truck drivers a special deal on fuel for their personal cars and on any purchases they make at our convenience stores. This creates brand familiarity and appreciation that are part of their daily lives."
Business busters and loyalty losers do nothing to improve customer experience
My friend flew business class with her two-year-old son on a four and a half hour journey. Three hours into the flight the boy became fidgety and loud. My friend asked the stewardess if there was a coloring book or other child's toy onboard.
The stewardess went to check and returned with this response: "Yes, we do have giveaway kits on board for small children." "May I have one please?" my friend asked.
"I'm sorry," was the reply, "the children's giveaway kits are only for flights above five hours."
New title for this stewardess? Customer Alienator. She doesn't know how to improve customer service at all!
Communication is critical for customer service quality
When customers know what to do, how to do it, what to expect and why, they usually follow instructions. When customers are uncertain about what, how or why, they will often hesitate in uncertainty and doubt. This can be a major problem, especially when customer participation is essential to your success. When communication is lacking, customer service quality tends to plummet.
For example, medicines not taken on time will degrade the quality of a patient's recovery and healing. Automobiles with oil not changed will wear down before their time. Lawns not watered by owners after fresh fertilization will burn in the sun and die. Data backups not performed on time result in very angry customers when their hard drives unfortunately but inevitably crash. Even if these situations are due to the customer failing to take an action, your customer service quality could suffer.