Customer service: what is it?

Supporting both current and potential consumers is known as customer service. Customer service representatives often respond to inquiries from clients via chat, email, phone, in-person meetings, and social media. They may also be in charge of writing documentation for self-help assistance.

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In addition, organizations are free to define customer service however they see fit, taking into account their values and desired level of assistance. For instance, at Help Scout, we define customer service as the act of promptly, sympathetically assisting clients and keeping their requirements front and center during all interactions.

What makes customer service crucial?

Given that 86% of consumers leave a firm after having a negative experience, companies need to view every customer service encounter as a chance to either gain new customers or upsell existing ones.

Providing excellent customer service generates income. It provides clients with a comprehensive, seamless experience that is in line with the goals of a business.

Numerous studies show that inadequate customer service management costs American businesses more than $62 billion yearly, and 70% of customers indicate they would pay extra to do business with a firm that provides excellent customer service.

Knowing that the foundation of your customer experience is excellent customer service allows you to take use of this to your advantage by engaging consumers in fresh and interesting ways and delighting them.

What are the fundamentals of excellent customer service?

Good customer service is based on four main principles: it is proactive, knowledgeable, individualized, and convenient. The customer experience is most significantly impacted by these aspects.

Personalized: A personal touch is the foundation of all good customer service. Personalized interactions show clients that your business is interested in them and their issues, which significantly improves customer service. Consider providing service as a chance to win back your customer’s business rather than as an expense.

Competent: According to customers, the factor that contributes most to a positive customer experience is competency. A customer service representative needs to be capable of solving customers’ concerns and possess a thorough understanding of the business and its offerings in order to be considered competent. They grow more competent the more information they possess.

Convenient: Clients should have the option of contacting a customer support agent via the channel that best suits their needs. Provide assistance via the most convenient means of communication for your clients, and make it simple for them to get in touch with you.

Proactive: Clients want businesses to approach them in a proactive manner. Inform your clients in advance if one of your goods is backordered or there may be technical difficulties with your website. Even though they might not be pleased with the circumstances, they will appreciate that you kept them informed.

You can make sure that every client who interacts with your business has a hassle-free, good experience by constructing your customer service strategy on these four key ideas.

What if one member of your team is deficient in these abilities?

What happens if the support staff you manage is resistant to changing the way they provide customer service? What if they don’t appear to be interested in learning the aforementioned skills? Mathew Patterson of Help Scout has a fix:

Often, what may be interpreted as a lack of ability or a resistance to learning stems from a work environment—either past or present—that didn’t recognize or reward going above and beyond to deliver exceptional customer service.

Try implementing all of these skills by giving your team clear instructions on what you expect and illustrative examples of what constitutes excellent customer service at your organization. While you’re at it, be sure to recognize and celebrate small victories when you witness employees putting these skills to use.

People on your team will become more involved and you’ll be able to determine whether there are any true skill gaps that need to be filled. This will happen once they start to notice that their efforts are being recognized and rewarded.