If you ask anyone why they come back to a particular store or restaurant, they will never say “They had the lowest price” or “It was closest to my house.” If they are really happy with the store, they will tell you about the friendly and helpful service. In this article, RisePath discusses what is customer service, its definition, benefits, the skills required and some tips for 2022.
What is Customer Service?
Customer service means giving your customers what they want. This sounds simple, but it is hard for most companies to do. Most businesses have a customer service department (or just one person) that will help you if you are having problems with their product or service. But this is not true customer service. True customer service goes beyond helping when there is a problem; it also means anticipating your customers’ wants and needs in order to keep them from ever having any problems at all!
Many companies view their customer service department as a cost center rather than an opportunity to build sales. They see it as an expense that doesn’t bring in any money. In fact, some companies even have policies that prevent this department from offering any discounts or specials on products or services to make up for a problem. Such a policy leaves the customer with no reason to remain loyal to the company if he can find it cheaper somewhere else.
Customer service is the support you offer your customers — both before and after they buy and use your products or services — that helps them have an easy and enjoyable experience with you.
Why Customer Service Matters?
Customer service is often what separates successful businesses from unsuccessful ones. It’s especially important for small businesses to focus on their customer service so they can compete with larger companies. It may be one of the most important parts of your business because it can impact customer loyalty and where potential customers choose to spend their money.
How to Provide Great Customer Service
There are many ways you can offer great customer service, including:
- Make sure your staff treats customers with respect.
- Be proactive in solving problems that affect customers.
- Make it easy for customers to contact you.
- Respond quickly when a customer contacts you.
- Take feedback seriously, whether it’s positive or negative.
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’s expectation.
It is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase. The perception of success of such interactions is dependent on employees “who can adjust themselves to the personality of the guest”. It concerns the priority an organization assigns to customer service relative to components such as product innovation and pricing.
In this sense, an organization that values good customer service may spend more money on training employees than the average organization or may proactively interview customers for feedback. From the point of view of an overall sales process engineering effort, customer service plays an important role in an organization’s ability to generate income and revenue. From that perspective, it should be included as part of an overall approach to systematic improvement. One good customer service experience can change the entire perception a customer holds towards the organization.
5 benefits of Customer Service
The benefits of good customer service are both intuitive and supported by social science. Whether your business is one location, a nationwide chain or an online venture, every business relies on repeat customers. These are the people who have experienced your customer service and have become loyal to your company.
These customers have invested their time and money in your company and are emotionally invested as well. As such, they will be more than happy to sing the praises of your company to friends and family.
They will also be more likely to forgive you for any mistakes you may make and will continue doing business with you rather than switching to a competitor. They will also be more likely to buy additional products or services that you offer since they already know they can trust you.
- First, happy customers are loyal customers. Compared with a dissatisfied customer, a satisfied one is 71% more likely to repurchase from the same company and 59% more likely to recommend it to others.
- Second, satisfied customers spend more money. According to one study, happy customers were willing to pay as much as 14% more for the same product than unhappy ones.
- Third, satisfied customers stick around longer — another source of savings for your business. Depending on your industry and business model, acquiring new customers can cost 5-25x as much as retaining existing ones.
- Fourth, satisfied customers are less price-sensitive. That means you’re free to raise prices without worrying about losing too many customers (though this will depend on how easily they can switch to a competitor).
- Fifth, and perhaps most importantly, satisfied customers are productive employees who deliver superior results.
5 tips for Customer Service
- Know your customer.
If you are in the habit of asking your customers questions, take time to analyze their responses. Make sure you provide the best possible service for each segment. Be sure to record all the data you have gathered so it can be used for future reference.
- Know your product or service.
Customers will ask questions about your product or service and expect you to know all there is to know about it. If you do not know an answer yourself, find out who does and get back to the customer with a definitive answer.
- Be polite, respectful and friendly at all times.
You may have a customer who is irritated or angry because of a bad experience, but remember that it is never acceptable to show anger yourself. You must always be able to channel their negative energy into positive outcomes.
- Listen and pay attention when dealing with customers.
It’s vital that you listen in order to understand a customer’s problem or situation first and then react appropriately by offering solutions rather than excuses. Paying attention shows the customer that they are important and helps avoid making mistakes that can cause problems later on.
- Create real value for your customers
Before taking any action, think about how it will affect your customers’ lives beyond just solving their immediate problems.