Sales is only the first step in the uneasy relationship developed between the client and the business owner. Helping to correctly preserve the link are customer relations. Customer service people are not only the face of the company like sales people – but also the customer’s psychologists. Customers get to a situation where they interact with customer service personnel after they already made a purchase, they are not satisfied with it and they have to spend time to “deal” with a product they bought with their best money, so it’s no wonder that customer service representatives often are being shout at, before they could even understand what exactly is the customer’s problem. Proper management of customer service of a company, allowing it to preserve customers and even improve the relationship with them. When you offer customers an important customer service, be very sure that it is professional and trustworthy and that you have a strategy. Your strategy include the hierarchy of action, options for a service representative to act, detailed schedule and more.
It is very important to closely monitor customer satisfaction. One way to do this is with a proper analysis of customer satisfaction surveys, which should be passed periodically. Another way is to use “mystery shopper” surveys. Whether you make a call yourself as a customer and whether you hire a company to send you shoppers. This is a great way to understand the customer’s experience when they need help. The monitoring must be conducted not only in general but also in “crisis”. It is important to monitor the complaints received to identify patterns, make sure that they are solved and check the level of customer satisfaction at the end. Remember that the customer service people are the ones who work every day with customers so they can sense the area and help you help the customer. Brainstorming sessions with them can be very useful for all parties. Make sure that you have an active staff meeting with your customer service and take their ideas and complaints seriously.
Another element that could help is a recording of conversations and textual records of the conversation between your clients and the customer service. This way you will also know what are your customer service staff doing during the working day you pay them for, as well as track suspicious or dishonest behavior of the customers. It is very important to know to be attentive to your customers, and remember that the customer is always right, but know also to back up your customer service personnel – It’s very important to have professional integrity in front of them and give them credit – so your customers can feel they are dealing with a person with authority who can really help them.
In addition, customer service personnel are not only “Support” people and if you take advantage of them correctly they will serve you well as marketing and public relations people. If you take care of nurturing their talents and sharpen their intuition and their understanding of customer satisfaction you will be able to maximize their potential. The more you enrich your customer service people and give them better tools and more authority – they will help more customers. Investing in customer service is a circular investment – a happy customer is a returning customer, however a customer that received a “damaged” product and in addition received “damaged” customer service will never come again and will make sure his acquaintances won’t also do business with you.