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Create the Perfect Customer Service Department By Naz Daud

  in Business | Published 2009-09-18 01:02:58 | 151 Reads | Unrated

Summary

For any business, regardless of size, customer service is a critical aspect of being successful Customers are the lifeblood of the business, and no matter how successful your business may be in other regards, whether advertising, promotion, marketing, branding or price, if customers are not served w

ell, they become disgruntled and will leave

Full Content

For any business, regardless of size, customer service is a critical aspect of being successful. Customers are the lifeblood of the business, and no matter how successful your business may be in other regards, whether advertising, promotion, marketing, branding or price, if customers are not served well, they become disgruntled and will leave. It is several times harder to gain a new customer than it is to retain an old one, and it costs businesses significantly more to attract a new customer than to gain an order from an existing customer.

Whichever way you look at it, your past
and present customers represent better value. You have a higher probability for gaining more business from them than from new customers. You must make sure that the service which your customers receive, from sales to support, is first rate and succeeds in pleasing the customer. If you provide good quality and helpful customer support, recommendations, positive reviews and good testimonials can dramatically increase sales at no further cost to your advertising or promotion departments.

What sets businesses aside in terms of either good or bad customer service? Can you recall the last telephone call you had with a customer service department? Think of all the things which irritated or displeased you. In many cases these might be small matters, but the small matters have a habit of stacking up, and it can take very little to upset a customer and turn them against you.

Remember, many customers who call your support department will be reporting a problem or a concern. They are calling because there is an issue – and it is the duty of your customer service department to solve the problem to their full satisfaction.

Anything less than that and the customer will continue to feel displeased. With the competition breathing down your neck, the customer only has to turn their head and they will see a barrage of adverts encouraging them away from you. Get it right, and you could win a loyal customer who’ll bring more customers to your doors in future; get it wrong and you could lose out to your competitors and never do business with that customer again!

One of the first things that annoy many customers today is over familiarity. Businesses should behave in a professional way, and not assume that a customer is happy to be on first name terms from the beginning. Too many customer service representatives talk to customers as though they were close friends already.

Wait until you are invited to use the customer’s first name. In some cases it will be clear what the customer prefers, either because of the way they address you, use your name or the way they sign their letters or emails. It is hard to move from first name familiarity to formal deference, but much easier and more natural to go the other way when appropriate.

This courtesy should also extend to the language used. In a recent survey it was discovered that only half of customer service departments ever use the words “thank you” in conversation. Using such politeness takes little effort, but thanking the customer is important. After all, without the customer, the customer service representative wouldn’t have a job! Using courteous pleasantries can make a business stand apart and it could tip the balance in your favour.

Think about telephone menus. If a customer has called you to complain about a problem, having to listen to a robot offer half a dozen options, then a further four or five, then another two or three, before eventually sticking them in a queue is unlikely to do much to ease their frustrations. It is likely to create a much harder challenge for the representative who eventually answers the call. Instead, why not make sure that customers waiting to call your customer service department have little or no time to wait. A single menu option or a direct number will go a long way to appeasing an irate customer!

Customer service is as much an art as a skill and science and a little bit of extra effort can bring a tremendous amount of benefit.

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Naz Daud - CityLocal Franchise Business Franchise Franchise Advantages Home Franchise Opportunity

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