How do I Provide the Best Customer Service?
To provide the best customer service, there are a number of things that a company or a customer service advisor can do. First, the company must have policies in place to ensure that customers' problems are taken care of and to ensure that customer service representatives are trained and armed with the tools necessary to help customers. Second, the company must be focused on ensuring that every customer interaction with the company is a positive one. Most importantly, a company must have a customer service policy or plan in place that governs all decisions to ensure decisions are made with providing quality customer service in mind.
One principal that helps companies provide the best customer service is the principal of total quality management. This involves considering the customer and the quality of the product at each step of the manufacturing, design and/or service process. When any business decision is made, from which materials will be used to the company's policy on returns, quality is paramount and providing the best product at the best price for the customer governs the decision making process.
Companies who wish to provide the best customer service must also ensure that all staff is trained in providing quality care for the customer. Customer service representatives and salespeople should be fully educated as to company products and policies so customers can be provided with the information they need. Anyone in the company who has any interaction with the customer should be trained in customer-management techniques and should be given the tools necessary to ensure the customer walks away from the interaction satisfied and happy.
Customer service representatives should be given the authority and autonomy to solve problems a customer has, within the confines of reasonable company policy. For example, representatives should be authorized to send a product coupon to a dissatisfied customer, or allow for a return or generate another solution that makes the customer happy, as long as that solution will not cost the company money above a certain threshold. A return policy should be in place to ensure that customers who are dissatisfied are provided with a solution that does not cause them to be left with a negative feeling about the company. Companies should consider having customer retention departments so customers who are dissatisfied with a product or item can be retained through special offers or problem solving methods.
Companies interested in providing the best customer service should carefully consider outsourcing their customer service department. While outsourcing customer service needs to countries where labor is less expensive through overseas call centers can be cost effective, unless those call centers are carefully monitored and trained to ensure that representatives provide high quality service, it may be difficult to provide the best customer service through a foreign call center. As it costs more to get new customers than it does to retain new ones, this decision — as well as other business and marketing decisions — should all be made with a focus on keeping the customers happiness at the forefront.
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