As a business owner or manager, customer service is the beginning and end of your business from the view of an outsider.
Customer service representatives are the first and most times last impressions customers have about your business. They are your first line of defense.
Excellent customer service ensures your business remains open every day even when your products or services fall short of customers’ expectations.
Excellent customer service builds long-lasting customer relationships and loyalty that nothing else can buy for you, irrespective of how great your product might be.
These are just a tip of what excellent customer service can do for your business.
Now, the bone of contention has always been how to deliver this excellent customer service in our businesses.
You, as a business owner or manager may have the best intentions, but it does not always bleed through in reality.
This article will tackle the factors that affect excellent customer service, how to deliver excellent customer service, and the skills to look out for when hiring customer service representatives. Let’s jump right in.
What is Customer Service?
According to Wikipedia, customer service is the assistance and advice provided by a company to those people who buy or use its products or services.
Customer service is not only limited to assisting and advising customers about products and services.
Customer service encompasses every interaction carried out between an employee of a company and a customer or potential customer whether physically, over the phone, or via digital platforms.
With this explanation, you can see that customer service is not only meant for customer representatives but for every individual in your company, starting from the security guards.
Establishing and teaching this principle as a code of conduct to all your employees means your business will always deliver excellent customer service to both visitors and customers.
The saying that first impressions matter is not just a passing phrase. First impressions create unconscious perceptions about people and situations within us.
Now, let us discuss some factors that affect the delivery of excellent customer service.
Read also: What is Customer self-service reporting?
Factors That Affect the Delivery of Excellent Customer Service
Core values of a company
You see, most businesses write their mission and vision statements in such lines as; to be the biggest supplier of these, or the number 1 brand that sells so and so.Yes, these are great objectives and goals.
However, underlining excellent customer service at every step of achieving those missions and visions are what these businesses do not take into account most times.
Have you been to an organization that never addresses its customers by their first names? Or those that it is a rule of thumb to never talk back to a customer irrespective of the degree of madness they are showing?
I have been to one whose value is in their customers’ satisfaction. That is their KPI for measuring their progress.
Now, this is not to say that these companies are not sending Ghana must go’s of money to the bank, but the most striking thing about them is that they have loyal ride-or-die customers.
Even if they happen to make costly mistakes in the future, they are given a second chance. Here, one thing is for sure. These organizations will be standing decades later because they got the most important thing right. Making excellent customer service their core value.
Talent acquisition competencies
We all know that the HR or talent acquisition team has the power to make or mar an organization because if they hire incompetent hands for the jobs the company pays for it dearly.
This is another factor that affects an organization’s delivery of excellent customer service. Speaking from the place of hiring a customer representative, there are so many things to look out for away from their educational qualifications and experiences. The first great skill of a customer service representative is cheerfulness.
Then the ability to communicate clearly and politely (not just phonetics). When filling the positions for customer service, the talent officer has to truly understand what to look out for and ensure the individual to be employed also truly understands what customer service is and what it means to the success of every business.
Issue tracking and resolution
The time it takes to resolve customers’ complaints also determines the extent to which you can deliver excellent customer service in your business.
If you are focused more on selling than resolving, then you cannot deliver excellent customer service.
Fast-tracking and resolution of complaints will give you 5 stars during your service review, and keep your customers in a constant happy bliss with your business.
Bureaucracy and undefined structure
A bureaucratic and unstructured system is another huge factor that affects the delivery of excellent customer service.
Nothing hampers the growth of both employees and a business like bureaucracy. Why do I need to pass through 5 different tables before I get approval to get a better product or get a customer’s complaint resolved? Why do I have to play politics during meetings when presenting what I think will satisfy our customers better as a customer service representative?
The time it will take to go through these unnecessary actions is all the time your customers need to tell anyone that cares to listen how bad and terrible the service is.
Giving employees a certain level of control in some situations will not only improve your business, but it will also ensure excellent customer service experience is given to your customers at every point.
Quality products and service
Producing or selling bad products or services is the exact opposite of delivering excellent customer service.
You can make a mistake once in a while, or struggle with a downtime, those cases are different. your loyal customers will understand. But making and selling bad products and services as a constant occurrence is like you sentencing your customer service employees to death every day.
Having seen factors that hinder the delivery of excellent customer service, let us now discuss how to deliver excellent customer service.
How to Deliver Excellent Customer Service
- Hire competent customer service representatives with the right customer service skills.
- Make excellent customer service a core value that every employee must live by while working in your organization. ( including the top officers and expatriates)
- Build systems and models that can track and resolve issues and complaints within 24 hours of receiving them.
- Invest in Branding and advertisement focusing solely on your core values.
- Create learning methods and training quarterly where your core values and objectives are reiterated to your employees.
- Ensure your employees are happy and content. A happy employee equals a stable and growing business because they will give their all to the job. Ensure they enjoy work-life balance and give promotions and incentives periodically to encourage them to do better.
- Train your customer service representatives on different customer service skills and certifications and also ensure they implement them in their everyday job practices.
- Your business must be structured in a way that promotes growth, not bureaucracy. Room should be made for employees to carry out a certain level of activities when the cause for it arises without having to get the signatures of ten managers first.
- Sell only quality products and services. You can’t intentionally want your customer service workers to say sorry and receive insults for all the periods they work for you. Quality products and service means increased revenue, great product and service reviews, and a smoother working environment for everybody.
- If you have an online store or website, investing in good UI/UX designs and other e-commerce plugins and extensions centered around improving customer experience will yield good ROI for your business.
Implementing and resolving the aforementioned pros and cons of delivering excellent customer service will go a long way in the growth, scaling, and expansion of your businesses.
Putting the needed things in place will guarantee your business a place in the market and a space in your customers’ hearts.
To further assist in showing you how to deliver excellent customer service in your businesses, let us look at a general view of what a customer service job description looks like and some customer service skills.
Read also: Customer appreciation in business: Process and benefits.
Customer Service Job Description
- Maintain an empathetic, spirit-lifting, and professional attitude toward clients at all times.
- Respond and communicate promptly and politely to customer inquiries or outbursts.
- Fast issue tracking and resolution within 24 hours.
- Deep knowledge about products and services to be able to advise customers appropriately.
- Organization and detailed recording of conversations, transactions, and complaints.
- Work with internal customers to deliver excellent service.
- Fast processing of applications and forms.
- Send out quarterly surveys and ensure they are all filled appropriately.
- Deliver excellent customer service irrespective of the situation.
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Customer Service Skills
- Excellent written and clear communication skills.
- Problem-solving skills.
- Attention to detail.
- Emotional intelligence.
- Innovative and resourceful.
- Ability to work under pressure.
- Strong negotiation and marketing skills.
- Fast learner and team player.
- Time management skills
- Use positive language in all situations.
- Ability to handle criticism.
- Strong product knowledge.
Delivering excellent customer service should be a core value every business venture should incorporate into their business.
This is because excellent customer service is the life and soul of every business. Customers are the kings. Without them, there is no business. Kings deserve nothing but the best.
Understanding the factors that might prevent the delivery of excellent customer service in your business is a step in the right direction. I hope this article has given you the tools you need to deliver excellent customer service in your businesses.
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- Content and technical writer with seasoned experience in storytelling, user research, client satisfaction, and customer relationship management.
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