I can’t recall if I’ve ever told you that I spent eight years of my life working as a professional customer service personnel for my previous employer
Well, if I didn’t mention this to you previously, you now know that I did and you might also want to know that those were amongst my top three best working experience. I also worked in data entry, call handling, operations, marketing and logistics
Customer service is amongst the top things you should take seriously if you are running any kind of business. It might be what will distinguish you from your competitors if you get it right, you are also on your way to achieving customer loyalty which is what most business owners should desire. I don’t think I need to mention all the reasons why gaining the loyalty of your customers is important but one thing to note is that it might not only keep you in business, it also has the potential of sustaining your business throughout its existence.
Some essential keys to achieving good customer service in your business are as follows:
1) Employ experienced customer service staffs: this advice is targeted at bigger companies with big budget, who can afford it. If you manage a small company and can’t pay an experienced customer service staff to work for you, then you can make do with one you can afford but ensure they get as much quality training as possible.
While working in the above capacity for my employer, I had to interact with many clients, some who even got angry at an attendant, caring, polite and composed staff. In such a case, experience matters a lot but training can also be crucial in handling it as well
2) Your customer service staffs should have empathy: this isn’t gotten by training or experience but rather has a lot to do with personality trait. There are times when managing disgruntled customers, that only being empathetic and listening to what they are experiencing is all they need from you. Your staffs should be ready for this at all times because it can win you loyal customers
3) Professional staffs: Let your staffs know what your company stands for and what is expected of them at all times. What are your company policies? Your customer service staff should be aware of them because they are your business representatives, they project your business ideals directly to your customers and it is crucial that they conform to the ideals of your company so that your business is not misrepresented
4) Offer personalized service: There’s a bank in my country who projects itself as “Number one customer bank” their aim is to give personalized banking service to clients. In my dealings with them, I receive emails from them, I receive birthday cards from them on all my birthdays, for my last one I received an ecard and birthday message from them by 12a.m, not only were they the first to wish me a good day but for some lonely people they might be the only ones to even remember such a special day. It’s no surprise that I’ve been banking with them for eleven years now and although their interest rate on savings is not as high as most of their competitors, I’m still with them. My deposit isn’t as much as what I have in another bank but I remain with them mainly because I’m loyal. My loyalty paid off recently but that’s a story for another day
5) Be flexible: Yes, it’s good to have professional staff and to follow company policies as much as possible but most people who are familiar with working with customers know that sometimes rules need to be bent in order to satisfy them. Do you know that the most difficult people to deal with are often eventually more loyal than the average client? It’s true, if you can win their hearts by being flexible, if required, you’ll gain a very loyal customer. This has happened many times in my experience as a customer service representative
Give incentives: people tend to feel happier and better about themselves when they feel smart. Offering incentives that are easily achievable make customers willing to get involved in doing more business with your company.
Can you think of any other factors that will contribute to achieving effective customer service for businesses? Add your contributions in the comment section, we are interested in hearing what you think