As the name suggests, customer service is a service or an assistance provided to the customers before, during, and after the sale of the product or a service. Many business enterprises use customer service as a primary tool to increase the profit for their business.
Many research studies have shown that good customer service plays a key role in having loyal customers, who feel the sense of belongingness to the company. And this is the reason why big business houses and organizations spend a lot of time, budget, and energy on training their employees with better customer service skills.
In short, it is nothing but an ability of the organization to provide right and timely solutions to the needs, expectations, and demands of its customers. Customer service has more of a human angle than the professional or technical one. A customer feels more satisfied when he or she is attended well by a store keeper or a service provider.
A customer also needs to be felt valued and appreciated, which is one of the keys to excellent customer service. It is not the product or service that is bought, but it is about trust and good feelings that customer invests in. So it is crucial for every business to have a team of trained personnel, that attend and assist the customers throughout the process of purchase, and even after that, if they have any queries or things to return, etc.
Providing Customer Service
Different companies have different ways of communicating with their customers regarding the quality of their products and services. Some of the common ways to deal with customer problems are as following:
Customer Care Desk: Generally, the stores that sell goods and products in store settings have a dedicated desk, where they can deal with customers who need to return products, exchange products, or have some queries regarding the use and care of the product, or have to place an order in bulk, etc. At such desks, trained people who will be aware of the possible problems that can be faced by customers with different products, are placed.
They have to listen to the customers and resolve their problem as soon as possible. They are also expected to provide customer with new offers and suggestions regarding new products. Such a customer service is known to be more effective, as a customer can have a face to face dialog with a person, that makes the service more personalized. In turn the customer feels better connected to the organization.
Telephone Customer Service: There are many companies that provide customer service over the telephone. Generally, service sectors opt for such a type of service, where the number of customers is larger and is spread across larger geographical area, for example, telephone service provider companies and international service providing companies, etc.
Such big organizations generally have call centers where a customer can call on a toll free number to resolve his queries or problems. A customer service representative would listen to the problem over the phone, and would try to resolve the problem by providing a customer with apt and comprehensive instructions and guidance.
It is his duty to provide the customers with information about the proceedings to be carried out in order to deal with the problem. This is may not be the ideal way to provide satisfactory customer service, but certainly helps in resolving simple customer problems.
Online Customer Service: Many companies try to provide their customers with a good service through the Internet. Customers can directly see and talk to assistants using webcams. If not they can also send an email to the customer care department of the organization, after which they would be provided with solutions through return mails or will be called, depending on the problem. Apart from this, some companies also have the feedback system on their official website, where customers can give their feedback and contact the customer service personnel for assistance. This is still a budding option and hence not very widely used.
A customer service personnel has to follow certain etiquette while dealing with the customers. He has to be or at least appear to be humble, honest, helpful, patient, empathetic, and willing, which forms the core of essential customer care skills, be it face to face, telephonic, or an online service.
Excellent customer service ensures that you do not lose customers and business even when your products or services are not up to the mark, giving you a second chance to bounce back with quality services to earn more profits.