Customer service is considered the backbone of a successful business. According to stats, 90 percent of US citizens evaluate the customer service of a firm before conducting business with them. Before doing any kind of business, a consumer today first checks reviews about a product or firm. Customer Service is the single most crucial thing that can make or break a company’s reputation, and reputation is a core component that is vital for good business. A dissatisfied customer’s word of mouth can ruin a company’s whole existence because this word of mouth spreads like wildfire in times of social media and it not only deprives the organization of future customers but in a time when companies are valued through their stock prices, it can plummet their shares and make a firm worthless. A common example of this happened in recent times when Electronic Arts (EA) were review bombed by their customers for E-Transactions in their games.
On the flip side, an organization with good customer service not only keeps the existing customers happy which means a company has to spend less on customer retention as well as positive word of mouth attracts new customers and more customers resulting in more business. You might have heard that a happy customer is the best and is the most effective component of marketing your product and brand. So in a way, good customer service also provides a company with free and effective marketing. But, this is also a fact that the industry has become fast-paced and consumers have become more aware, this has made catering to customers an even more challenging task. The mediums of customer service have also evolved and spread in different forms, in this current landscape there are a few tips to follow that can drastically improve the customer experience.
Customer Service Mediums
The horizon of today’s customer service is quite broad as compared to the past when customer service was probably restricted to calling or visiting the local office of a firm. An example of that is the third-largest cable company in America, Cox Communications. Because Cox has separate lines for its English and Spanish speaking customers, where Spanish customers can reach out to Cox Servicio al Cliente and English customers can contact Cox customer service. The evolution of technology has now evolved customer service to modern mediums like social media, self-service portals, emails, and text messaging. With the introduction of such ways the job of catering to customers has become an even more sensitive task because all the replies made through official channels of a firm are in the public domain and anyone present on such platform can see them. These interactions play a pivotal role in how a regular consumer perceives a company. Here we’re going to talk about a couple of platforms that are used as customer service mediums.
Social Media has probably become the most important tool of communication in today’s world and it’s a norm now that every big firm has its official presence on these social media platforms. Through social media, companies can not only market their products and services but this also allows them to interact with general customers with ease. Customers can easily reach out to brands through their social handles for a quick resolution to their queries and firms have dedicated social media teams to handle such customers.
Messaging and E-mails
The medium of messaging and email has added an extra layer of convenience allowing the customers to skip longer wait times on calls and just send a message or an email regarding their issue. The customer service representatives present on the other end respond with the resolution of the query. Many firms like ISPs integrate auto-reply chatbots with their messaging for quick solutions to basic problems that a user is facing.
Calling is probably the oldest and most used form of customer service. Before the advent of modern technology people used to call their respective companies if they had any problems with the service. This is still the most used and most effective way of conveying your grievances because there is a sense of satisfaction that someone is listening to you on the other end. However, this method is becoming obsolete and sometimes makes customers even angrier due to longer wait times.
Tips to Improve Customer Service
Hiring the Right Team
Customer service is a sensitive and important job and honestly, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Customer Service representatives are the front-line workforce of an organization who have to deal with customers on daily basis. This team is responsible for handling customers and more often than not, angry customers. The efficiency of this team directly correlates with the type of image the customers would have regarding their service provider. A customer service team that is efficient and can handle customer queries swiftly can do wonders for an organization and in contrast, a team that is not able to handle customers properly may tarnish a company’s image. That’s why adequate training for customer representatives is essential so that they have enough knowledge and can cater to consumers in the best way possible.
Having Different Mediums of Interaction
We are living in a fast-paced society and in times like these nobody wants to wait on hold for a simple thing like getting their internet fixed. Situations like these require mediums on which consumers can get quick responses regarding their problems, platforms like social media, chatbots, and live chats give options to general consumers that they can use to get the best possible resolution of their problems without having to wait. Mediums like emails allow customers to get their word across to the right person even when other ways like calling are not possible. In order to have a better customer service experience, there should be numerous ways a customer can interact with their service providers.
Clear Lines of Communication
Communication is the key while solving any type of problem same is with customer service. Mostly the people reaching out to customer service have some kind of issue that requires a fix in cases like these having clear communication can help a lot. Firstly, it is the responsibility of the customer service agent to listen to the customer properly in order to understand the problem, showing empathy towards the customer can also go a long way and once you have a better understanding of the problem will allow you to work with the customer for its adequate resolution. Setting the right expectations is a crucial component because giving false hopes to the customer regarding their solution might help ease up the customer temporarily, but it will have long-term devastating effects because what’s worse than an angry customer? A frustrated one who’s been lied to.
Customer service is the backbone of any business and unfortunately, this backbone is in dire condition at the moment. Even multimillion-dollar organizations are investing and are primarily focusing on departments that may help them generate more revenue and attract more customers at an expense of the current consumer base and customer dissatisfaction. This trend needs to be changed and organizations should invest in and establish proper customer service channels because in the end, if there is no customer there is no organization.