Customer service can be defined as a form of service that is provided to customers in the event of a transaction. It is part of the umbrella bracket of after-sale services. An after-sales service can be defined as a form of support service that a business offers its customers after a sale of their product or service.
In addition to the above description, customer service can also be defined as a voluntary form of service that a business can offer its customers. This form of services is provided without the expectation of monetary returns by the business.
Moving on, customer service can again be defined as the provision of services to customers before, during and after a purchase of a product or service. It is basically a series of activities that are carried out to enhance the quality and level of customer satisfaction.
With these definitions in hindsight it is accurate to refer to customer service as an essential tool that should be adopted by any business, more so those that are found within the service industry. As such, it should be included in any firms’ strategic plans if they intend to pool a large chunk of the market to its side.
I am saying this because having a large customer share in the market is usually the envy of every service providing firm. As a result of this, it is common to find firms who specialize in the service industry engaging in cut-throat competitions. Competitions which are not only carried out in the name of attracting more customers than their competitors, but also competitions aimed at retaining their customers. The reason for these competitions is that the success of service providing firms, to a large extent are determined by the size of their client database.
At this point, it begs for the question; how can a business make use of customer service as a tool to remain on top of the game and have an edge over their competitors? However before I answer this question it is good to know that customer service is a broad spectrum and as such should be broken down. It ranges from customer experience during a transaction to customer satisfaction after the transaction. So as a service provider, ensure that your firm is equipped with the right personnel. Your customer service personnel should be able to get along with almost everybody regardless of their personality. This is because on a daily basis customer service representatives interact with many people who are from all walks of life.
Success stories from several firms in the service industry reveal that excellent customer service is a key ingredient. It is a feat that any success-oriented firm should strive for if they aim to outmaneuver their competitors and gain a larger customer base. Knowing this and from both my past and present experiences working as a office assistant at the Sterling Quality Limited making an effort to introduce or improve on one’s personal etiquette towards their client can translate into greater rewards. Greater rewards, in the context of customer service, being defined more sales and handsome profits for the company.
Continuing from the previous paragraph service providing firms, from the beginning should always remember to put their customer’s needs first. The customers and their needs I repeat should always be the first priority of any business. Therefore, it is upon the service provider to reorganize themselves to meet the expectations of their customers. Once this criterion is met, customer satisfaction is achieved. Therefore when I come into the office every morning, with an aim to assist in the ‘creation, production, distribution, licensing and marketing’ of first-class entertainment experiences and their ‘related businesses’ for our clients, I always strive to and make an effort to have my mind oriented towards putting my clients needs and desires above my own.
Now I shall now focus my attentions to the factors to consider when selecting customer service personnel. When selecting customer service team one should always aim for a unique mixture of staff. By a unique mixture, I mean that their prospective staff should be a combination of talkative, friendly, outgoing and well-groomed individuals, who are all sensitive to their customers’ needs. The reasoning behind this mix of personalities is that first impressions have a lasting effect on individuals and because of this, can determine whether or not a customer is comfortable enough to pursue a sale with a certain customer service practitioner. As a result, having a unique and different mixture of staff will not only make a lasting impression on your potential customer, but in turn your company will always be remembered for being different.
Continuing on the issue of the customer service personnel, customer services practitioners should at all times endeavor to see to it that their customers are satisfied before and after a purchase. In addition they should also see to it that their customer is comfortable during this process. To achieve this, it is upon the human resource department to recruit the best customer service professionals. Professionals who will strive to put the interests and concerns of their customers first when guiding them through the successful purchase of a product or service.
Once an effective customer service team is put in place, the business can reap the rewards that come with investing in the needs and wants of their customers. A reward in this case is the retention of satisfied customers. For this reason it is a sensible step for a business to invest in an efficient team of customer service personnel who adopt as their motto the phrase ‘the customer is always right.’ This is a statement that should never slip off the mind of any customer service practitioner. Once this statement is internalized by the customer service personnel and put to good use, it will transform the attitude of the customer service practitioner. In addition to this is will influence how they treat those whom they are serving.
A long-term relationship with customers is one thing all businesses desire. Good customer service can aid in the development of these lasting bonds with ones customers. In addition to this good customer service can also contribute to greater business opportunities for ones company. For example, satisfied customers are more likely to be repeat customers, in addition more likely to refer their friends, family or colleagues to the companies that provided them with quality services. However it is also good to note that becomes nothing comes for free, for the above to be achieved ones business has got to invest heavily in both effective and efficient customer service personnel who deliver consistent high standard of their expertise.
To conclude, by providing first-class customer service you and your business will instantly reduce the costs that come with resolving unsatisfied customer problem.