All businesses rely on their employees to provide good customer service in order for the business to succeed. Unfortunately good customer service is lacking in most companies. Before you can develop your customer service skills, you need to have a thorough understanding of what good customer service is.
Good customer service is defined as maintaining a reputation of doing things right the first time and to make the effort to ensure that customers are more than just satisfied with the services that they receive. Pleasing all customers might seem unrealistic, impossible even, especially when giving customers exactly what they want because giving them everything that they want is impossible. The real challenge involves telling them “no” but in such a way that they are still happy with the service they received. Customer service in these situations entails listening with empathy and providing options and alternatives.
The Customer’s Perspective on Customer Service:
An unsatisfied customer is likely to:
- Go Elsewhere
- Tell Others
All of which will cost the company money. Customers can be difficult and add considerably to an employee’s stress levels. A helpful thought to always remember is, they are your income. If customers shop elsewhere and tell others that they had a bad experience at a particular organisation, that organisation will suffer and lose money. In a worst case scenario, the business will fail.
Employees who offer good customer service inevitably get a reward for their hard work. Their jobs become more enjoyable and less stressful. In addition they are valued more by their employers.
What leads to bad customer service?
- Employees who do not know how to deal with difficult customers, or the employee/s who do not want the responsibility of dealing with customers, solving problems or making decisions.
- Managers and supervisors who would rather protect their positions, instead of empowering their staff.
- Employers or business owners who put quantity before quality.
- Failure of management to provide adequate and on-going training and mentoring to customer service staff.
- Failure of management, employers and business owners to recognise the implications of increasing global competition and the need to improve the way they conduct business.
- Failure to reach what customers expect and desire.
- Failure to investigate customer complaints.
- Failure to act quickly to restore customer trust and loyalty following a complaint.
- Failure to recognise that management’s negative attitudes towards staff can adversely affect staff performance.
The first step in good customer service is to identify the customer’s needs. Identifying customer expectations makes it possible to develop an action plan to meet those expectations. When the customer’s needs are known and fully understood it becomes easier to provide the service that they expect and fulfil their wishes.
Barriers to excellent customer service can cost your organisation in terms of lost customers. Train staff and managers on customer service excellence to ensure that, barriers between employees and customers don’t develop.
Academy Training Group offers an exceptional course on customer service excellence. Delegates who successfully complete the course will be able to:
Understand Customer Service
- Describe Customer Service
- Identify Customer Expectations
- Commit Yourself to Providing Excellent Customer Service
Focus on the Customer
- Create a Positive First Impression
- Identify and Help Meet the Customer’s Needs
- Create a Positive Last Impression
- Make it Easy for Customers to Complain
- Resolve the Problem
- Cope with Upset and Difficult Customers
Deliver Excellent Customer Service on the Telephone
- Answer the Telephone
- Project a Positive Image Using Your Voice
- Transfer Calls
- Take Meaningful Messages
Cope with Stress
- Describe Stress
- Take Preventative Measures
- Overcome Stress