Even online businesses can't eliminate human interaction from their business plan; do business for long enough and some sort of customer care will be necessary, whether it's fixing botched transactions or answering customer questions. For businesses in which employees have face to face contact with customers, good customer service is even more critical, often making or breaking your company's fate.
Having a solid foundation in customer service basics lets both customers and employees feel confident that transactions, interactions and questions will be handled smoothly and appropriately. As a savvy business owner or manager, do the following when focusing your attention on building a solid customer service foundation:
1. Improve customer service based on technical needs and consumer feedback;
2. Learn from customer support experts;
3. Consider your options carefully before outsourcing customer service.
Implement effective customer service solutionsThe number one principle of customer support is to listen, listen, listen. While meeting the technical needs of your customer support staff is important--after all, if you can't receive help desk requests, hear your customers or see what they've typed, you can't help them--it's just as important to make sure you're soliciting and receiving feedback from your customers so you know how best to serve them.
Tune in to the best sources of customer service informationThere's no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to customer care. Listen to expert advice about how and why top-notch customer service will benefit your business; nothing inspires more customer loyalty than the knowledge that properly caring for your clients is your top priority.
Get the skinny on customer service outsourcingCustomer service outsourcing refers to the practice of subcontracting long-distance customer service duties (over the phone or Internet, for example) to a third party, frequently in countries where low-wage labor is abundantly available. Outsourcing is a double-edged sword with definite advantages--and disadvantages--for a business.
- Customer service management equates to employee management. The best way to inspire your employees to take a genuine interest in customers' welfare, to smile and to listen and tend to their needs, is to demonstrate the same attentiveness in your attitude toward employees.