CUSTOMER SERVICE IN THE 21ST CENTURY

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WHAT IS CUSTOMER SERVICE AND WHY IT IS IMPORTANT

Customer service as defined by Salesforce is the support given to the customers both before and after they purchase products or services. A good customer service is a key to business growth and client retention and it’s critical to the customer experience.

CUSTOMER SERVICE 5 KEY POINTS

There are some essential elements for a good customer service.

  • Respect is essential, the customers deserve it and they must feel appreciated.
  • Understanding the clients and anticipating their needs.
  • Becoming a good listener and encouraging conversations is especially important.
  • Considering suggestions and giving an appropriate response.
  • Giving the best possible service by surpassing customers’ expectations.

Source: CRM Magazine 

CUSTOMER SERVICE 8 GOLDEN RULES

Without customers, there is no business, but in today’s everchanging and hyper-technified landscape it’s very important to have a solid strategy when it comes to customer service.

These are some good practices to keep both the clients and employees happy and the business running smoothly:

PRACTICEHOW-TO
Right TimingAvoid Abusing Automation
Worldwide AvailabilityMultilingual Staff and International Reach
EducationKeep the Customers Updated on Changes
Useful InformationGood Service Instead of Sales Pitches
FeedbackAccept, Process and Follow-Up
Sales TrainingNo Scripting
SatisfactionAs Important as Sales
Standard Operating ProceduresTo Protect the Employees

 

Source: Entreprenoria

CUSTOMER SERVICE VS CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

 

It’s not surprising these terms are often confused. In fact, customer service is part of the customer experience.

For a better understanding, check the video below.

ONLINE CUSTOMER ASSISTANCE

The technological revolution has taken customer service to a whole new level. Online services can guide the clients through the sale process and address the most frequent problems like information requests.

In the information economy we live in, the markets are customer oriented and there are many challenges, like the shrinking product life-cycles. To put it simply, people are not buying products any more, they buy relationships and experiences instead.

Here, some useful resources in the internet business era that can facilitate both online and offline business.

  • Phone: phone calls are still popular in the internet era. It’s important to keep the caller comfortable and handle all the situations (even the tense ones) properly.
  • Helpdesk and Ticketing Systems: this type of software has become increasingly popular over the years. It’s slow compared to other solutions, but very effective in the long run. Example: Zendesk.
  • Live Chats: they provide real-time service. It requires proper implementation and training. Example: LiveChat.
  • Social Media: it has become the front line of customer service. Not only It’s the best source of data but it can also bridge the gap between customers and support.



HOW CAN CUSTOMER SERVICE BE IMPROVED?

Customer service is an essential part of any business, and it’s changing and evolving as business does. However, there are certain things that seem outdated and it’s time to get rid of them.

  • Excessive automation caused by cost cuts leads to dissatisfaction: self-service portals are valuable, as long as there is human supervision.
  • Deregulation in some industries has worsened the quality of the service: they are more focused on the business baselines than on the customers.
  • Transportation, communication and utilities companies are the worst-valued: they don’t take advantage of the available resources and often fail to deliver their promises.

How can these challenges be addressed?

  • Better staff training.
  • Considering the real customers’ needs: listen and act accordingly.
  • Being realistic, setting achievable goals.
  • Taking advantage of the existing technology and getting a further education if necessary.

 

Source: ABC News

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