For any business, the ability to deliver quality customer service is vital. Any company can provide a decent product, but what really makes an organization stand out is how they handle customers that need problems fixed or specialized attention. If you’re unable to deliver well in those scenarios then you’re very likely going to lose a lot of valuable business. Here are a few customer service characteristics that a company should exemplify to have an edge on the competition:
Quality Customer Service Characteristics:
Value – If you want your employees to exhibit great customer service, they must be trained well. It’s simply unacceptable to expect them to be a good representation of your company when you’ve not taken time to train them on the details of product features & technical aspects, warranties, prices and so on. Really, a customer service team needs to be at least as effective as your sales team and all other departments. Place a high value on customer service and invest in resources that will get your team properly trained to do the job well.
Communication – This is really a two part issue. Communication is the combination of speaking and listening. It’s wonderful to have a team of people that have great speaking voices that sound very professional, but if they can’t satisfy the needs of the customers, they failed. Customer service is almost more about listening than speaking. As I mentioned before, your team needs to be trained extensively about products and services but that well of knowledge is meant to be used in direct conjunction with the concerns that the customers express in order to help them find an enthusiastically satisfying solution. On the speaking side of things, train your team to deliver their solutions using clear and concise speech with common terminology that anyone can understand. Highly technical language can have it’s place but typically it will be over your customer’s head and that isn’t helpful.
Expediency & Accessibility – Quality customer service is prompt and reliable. Customers expect to be able to get in touch with someone and have their questions answered in a timely manner. We’ve all experienced the scenario where it seems impossible to find the person who can answer your question. It’s frustrating and unacceptable. Don’t put your customers in that position. Most of the time people can tolerate a complication with their product and if you can leave them feeling confident that the issue is resolved, they will probably return to do business in the future. On the other hand, it’s likely that they will turn to another company if they don’t feel that their issues are resolved in a way that is satisfactory to them.
Measurability – When is the last time you measured the effectiveness of your customer service? Measuring your customer service results periodically is very important in terms of continuing to improve. No one gets everything right from the get go, but if you can identify weak areas in your customer service department you can begin making solid progress for the future and even develop creative solutions for being preventative.