When a customer has a problem with your company’s product or service, who does he contact first? The answer is obvious – customer service. An important part of managing relationships with customers involves a significant bit of customer service due to the ever-rising nature of customer demands. Let’s take a quick dive into the art of customer service.
Often, it is the last thing a customer will remember about your company, regardless of how amazing your product is. After actively investing in a company, customers expect to envision the company in the form of an actual person. This represents your customer service department.
If a company is able to provide excellent customer service, or has experience in delivering great customer service to customers – it makes a serious statement about the company’s level of commitment towards their customers.
What does customer service mean to you? An excellent customer service definition is the process of offering support and advice to customers before, during, and after the customer buys a product / service, and to ensure customer satisfaction. In short, it is all about meeting and exceeding the customer’s needs at every point along the customer journey.
Importance of Customer Service: Why Customer Service Matters
Improving customer service is not only beneficial, it is a necessity in the modern digital age. There are many benefits of customer service, such as:
- Improved customer satisfaction and loyalty
- Turn one-time customers into repeat customers
- Turns disengaged customers into loyal followers
- Makes it easy for customers to travel along the customer journey
- Serves as a competitive differentiator
- Portrays a positive brand image and reputation
In fact, according to American Express 2014 Global Customer Service Barometer, more than 2/3 of American consumers say they’re willing to spend 14% more with a company that they believe delivers excellent customer service.
Characteristics of Good Customer Service
What are considered some characteristics of good service? Although customer service might seem like a pretty straight-forward process, truth is, there can be a number of elements that make up good customer service:
- The Customer Service Representative (CSR) is a good listener
- The CSR knows how to get to the root of the customer’s problem in timely fashion
- The CSR patiently, empathetically, professionally, and enthusiastically speaks to the customer
- The CSR intelligently personalizes the conversation
- The customer leaves with a positive brand image
Good Customer Service Skills
Do you have experience in customer service? If yes, then you might find it hard to decipher what makes you so effective at it in the first place. Am I right?
Many people often ask whether people who are good at customer service, and who have experience in customer service (such as customer service advisors), possess a certain set of customer service skills to enable them to effectively serve customers. Essentially, good customer service skills include:
- Giving attention to customers
- Empathetically solving the customer’s problem
- Speaking in a enthusiastic and positive manner
- Ensuring valued customers stay loyal
- Going out of the way for customers to ensure their problems are solved
In my opinion, people with more experience of working in a customer service environment usually have a strong understanding of these much-needed customer service skills.
Types of Customer Service
Not all customers behave in the same manner. Just like there are all sorts of customers, there are many types of customer services. These 3 types of customer service are:
- Customer Support: This is the process of solving a customer’s problem once they have paid for products or services.
- Customer Marketing: This is the process of reaching out to customers in order to facilitate the sale of a product or service.
- Customer Selling: This is the process of selling a customer a product or service.
Good Customer Service Examples
Market leaders and pros of customer experience know the importance of focusing on the customer. However, is there an ideal customer service situation which would be classified as a good customer service example? Here are 2 customer service examples from companies you have most-likely heard about:
American Express Customer Service: When it comes to customer experience, American Express (AMEX) sets a pretty good example in the market. They made critical changes to the way they conduct business and trained their call center employees to adapt to different customer personas based on different geographies and cultures. They also proactively took measures to ensure quick resolution of customer queries. As a result of their CX efforts, the company ranked at number 16 in the 2015 US customer experience excellence rankings.
The Disney Experience of Customer Service: The Walt Disney Company actually has a dedicated customer experience professional training by the name of Disney Institute. They claim that, “for 60 years, The Walt Disney Company has perfected the art of making people happy.” To make their customers come back for more, the company has rigorously focused on putting the right set of processes in place to understand, meet, and exceed customer expectations at all stages of the customer journey. Read more about the disney customer experience.
Difference Between Customer Service and Customer Service Experience
What’s the difference between customer service and customer service experience? Whereas customer service is the art of offering support or advice to fulfill a customer’s needs, customer service experience is the experience provided to customers during various points of contact within the organization along the entire customer lifecycle.
It’s the customer’s perspective of their experience of customer service. In simpler words, customer service is a part of the entire customer service experience.
We recently did an interesting article on the good, bad, and ugly side of customer service experience. If you want to give it a quick read, go right ahead.
There could be a number of reasons why customers would contact customer service. Some of them are:
- Product / Service Problems: The customer might have problems with the product / service purchased. Either they are not able to understand how to operate it, or they feel it does not adequately meet their needs.
- Time-Related Problems: Often, if a certain step in the customer journey is not fulfilled, it might be the reason for contacting customer service. For example, if a customer has issues with OTP (one-time-password) generation.
- Miscommunication: If a policy was updated or amendments were made to some rules and the customer was not aware about it, the effects of the change might compel the customer to call and enquire about the change.
How to Improve Customer Service in a Contact Center
Here are some of the better ways to improve your customer service:
- Make an effort to understand your customers, and what they expect from you. Create customer personas and ideal interaction scenarios.
- If a particular customer service scenario keeps occuring frequently, ensure it never happens again by taking proactive measures.
- Give your customer an incentive to keep them loyal after providing customer service.
- Make it easier for customers to contact you by optimizing experience along the entire customer journey.
- Keep your customer service representatives happy so they can keep their your customers happy.
- Implement a self-service chatbot to automatically address frequent customer queries
- Use data gathered from customer experience analytics to personalize campaigns and build customer profiles
- Use a dedicated customer experience management platform to efficiently and effectively serve customers.
If you still aren’t leveraging the powerful capabilities of our CX platform to improve your customer service experience, you’re really missing out! Plus, it even includes Ameyo Genie – our very own customer service chatbot! Learn more about Ameyo FusionCX today!