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The Importance of Customer Service
Companies and businesses are created to provide helpful services to its clients or customers. Therefore, when a customer encounters a problem, the company should be able to solve that problem effectively and efficiently.
The reason I bring this up? I feel that many large businesses these days lack the customer service we crave and deserve. Today, customers often face the following problems:
1.) The automated system
I understand the economy hasn’t been easy on businesses. And companies try to cut costs anywhere possible. But it only takes one negative customer service experience to lose a customer, which leads to a decrease in revenue. My advice: Avoid the system, unless it immediately leads to an operator or department in which you can speak directly to.
2.) An endless amount of transfers
It seems like no one wants to help. At “ABC Company”, Debbie from the Help Desk will transfer me to Bob in Accounting, who will transfer me to Susan on the Web Development teamÖthenÖback to Debbie, who says, “Didn’t we speak earlier and I transferred you to Bob?” It’s a vicious cycle. What should have taken 5 minutes, is now an hour and a half. Then she transfers me to Charlie, who probably could have helped, but uh oh, somehow I became disconnected. I’m realizing now it’s actually very comedic.
3.) Lack of a contact phone number on the website
It’s happened numerous times. You’ll go to the company’s website, scroll down to the bottom and click on “Contact Customer Service.” This sounds great! But thenÖthe page you are lead to only lists Frequently Asked Questions. It turns out, the question you have is not so frequent. It’d be great if you could easily find the phone number!
4.) Sounds like they are typing a novel!
There have been times when I’ve been asked for my name, phone number, address, account number, favorite animal, mother’s maiden name, favorite vacation spot, etc. (could be an exaggeration). Then it goes silent, and all I hear is a massive amount of typing, and no explanation of what’s going on.
What Can Be Done?
Avoid automated systems:
If possible, companies should avoid automated systems with long, extended menus. As a customer, we prefer to speak with someone quickly and promptly.
Communication is key:
When directed to someone, good communication and clarity is expected. Long periods of silence or being on hold should be avoided. Instead, the operator should explain what it is they are currently doing and trying to figure out, or spend that time becoming friendly with the customer.
For instance, if the customer calls a cable company to simply transfer their cable service over to a new address, the operator should take the opportunity to make casual conversation; ask the customer where they moved to, what was the reason for the move, do they like their new neighborhood, etc. This will help build a trustworthy relationship. The customer will feel like they matter to the company, and are not just considered Account #12345.
Knowledge is necessary
The employees of customer service should be required to have background knowledge in the business or product they are supporting. Customers are unaware of how to fix a problem, which is why they call for assistance. Make sure the employees understand the problem and how to communicate the solution clearly.
The goal: To create loyal customers.
If customer service is helpful and effectively solves the problem, the company will build many loyal customers. With good reviews, a company can grow just by word of mouth.
May 08, 2012
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