Customer service refers to the interactions between customers and company staff. This could include a specific department that deals with customer complaints and returns or the company philosophy for employees dealing with customers. Regardless of the definition chosen, every company aims for great customer service. Each year, $41 billion is lost by U.S. companies due to bad customer service. In today’s highly competitive market, customers are unwilling to deal with companies that don’t address their concerns quickly, effectively, or as they would like them dealt with. To prevent such a loss, it is imperative customers leave having had a great customer experience (CX).
A survey conducted by Genesys revealed that what customers want is human service. The survey said 40% of customer service is a people issue, not a product or marketing one. Take away the rewards programs, sales pitches, marketing strategies and what is left as the core essence of customer service is humanity, the ability to care for and treat others like they matter. This is the key to great CX.
Employees can show consideration to customers in many different ways – and each experience needs to be personalized to be truly effective. However, there are a few qualities and attributes that, if fostered, can make a difference in almost any situation.
- Clear communications skills
- Knowledge of the product
- Willingness to admit mistakes and take responsibility
These attributes and skills can and should be developed by individual employees. Company-developed hiring, onboarding, and training practices play a crucial role in this development, and in the overall customer experience provided as a result of excellent customer service.
In a 2011 survey from American Express, 60 percent of respondents said they would leave a business if they knew better customer service were available elsewhere. Seventy percent were willing to spend more if they knew they would get better customer service.
Customer service revolves around positive interpersonal relations. Customers want to know four basic things about the frontline employees they are working with during a buying experience:
- Do you like me?
- Do you care about me?
- Can I trust you?
- Do you know what you are talking about?
Affirmative answers to these four questions allow people to connect and relate to one another—to feel like someone cares about them. This will ultimately lead to good customer service, which will lead to customer satisfaction and financial success for the company.
Quality customer service is the essence of memorable customer experiences. It is what keeps customers coming back. It is by no means easy to do or to maintain. Customers can turn on a dime if they have a bad experience and never show up again. By focusing on caring for those that choose to interact with the company, acquiring the skills necessary and through targeted trainings, customer service will continue to be sharp and the customer base maintained.
We believe that the customer is the most important aspect of your business. We believe that you should be able to see, sense and act on the experiences of every individual customer—across every touchpoint—live. That is why our solutions provide the customer insights that companies need to understand their customers’ wants and needs, and customize their customer service training and implementation.