How do we improve the quality of customer service?
How do we get better results around customer service? Is this something that is more about the training or about our hiring? Can good customer service be taught or is a certain personality a prerequisite? What do you think?
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This is a common problem many people facing this problem now my suggestion is hiring educated staff, providing excellent initial training and offering good salary packages because if you don't offer good package you don't get excellent staff than giving any type of training is useless and your quality definitely not improve.
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Hi Armando, I've ran many large customer centric teams and in my current business we show people the psychology of good customer service. All that said, I would respectfully point out that I think you are asking the right question but in the wrong forum.
How can you / have you asked your customers that question?
Once you know the answer hire people who have the same passion as you, make sure they are clear on what the customer expects and deliver consistently at every touch point. I'm a big believer in the customer experience exists in the head of the customer so you've got to ask them what's in their head. Hope that helps.
Armando, I would like you to go through the case study of Zappos! As far as i have seen, they seem to stand tall when you talk about 'customer service'. Today, mostly it is a lip service; rarely customer is 'delighted'. So how do you do; quickly put-
- It has to be in your DNA
- Flow this into your partners, colleagues, stakeholders and everyone who is going to interface with your customer
- I would say 'hire right'. Training helps; but then a donkey whatever trained cannot become a race horse! Basic attitude is important and hire people only for that; rest can be trained; it is only an add-on; without the basic attitude, fire, zeal, enthusiasm, drive, fire in the belly, its going to be enormous energy spent in training and still not certain if that will pay off.
- You also need to conduct yourself in line with it; never to compromise your fundamental or your DNA; you exist because of your customer!
- Shyam (Startup Xperts)
I have worked with several types of people and some people are born to communicate effectively with other people in customer service, on the other hand you have the people that do not have the skill set to do that but can be trained to do so if trained effectively.
When interviewing a potential candidate for customer service look at how they communicate with you via phone or in person i.e contact and how detailed the response is to the question. If you get no eye contact and or the response is short and sweet and they appear unsure its probably best to move on to the next candidate or if you feel they can do it training is key. Best type of training is hands on training not a webinar online or a sheet that they have to go by.
Armando, customer service technique can be taught, however that which really matters is the genuineness of your staff. When it comes to customer service people are like blood hounds on the scent. They can sense genuine customer service and spot the fake stuff a mile away. What do you do? Try your best to identify the genuine folks in the hiring practice. As for training, inspire your people to know and believe that each and every one of them matter to the business so that their pride will show when they engage your customers.
Customer Service comes from the top down - if the management has the opinion that the customer is to be treated with respect and candor - and management trains their employees on this concept (and the employees see that management also applies the techniques they are teaching others to themselves) then you will have a very successful customer service team.
Also make sure that you give your customer service team the right to make decisions (within the companies parameters) this speaks volumes to the client - it is very frustrating to be on the end of the customer and hear that they (the customer service reps) can't handle their situation that they will once again be pawned off to someone else.
Customer service really starts with the education of your customers.
They need to know what they can expect from you and in return what you expect of them.
If the relationship starts on this basis then the customer will not have unrealistic expectations and will not be disappointed when you standby your terms of business.
Further, if you decide to exceed the agreed service levels, they will know you have provided a better service level than agreed.
From this position of strength you be able to renegotiate price levels.
Customer service is usually part of the company culture and therefore is difficult to change unless the inniative is driven from the top.
Good customer service stems from company policies and therefore in my view can be trained but the company must see the importance of customer service and pay much more than lip service to any policy.
As long as policies are robust and fit for purpose, the personality should not be an issue.
A mixture of both. It can be taught and certain personality is required. An effective customer service begins from talking to the customer. Finding out how they could be best served and creating the internal processes to make it happen
To improve customer service, it is training, hiring, and the organization’s culture.
If the organization’s culture is not customer, service focused that it is a trickledown effect. People follow leaders, and if leadership does not practice what they preach it is going to have an impact.
Additionally look at your metrics.