Customer service used to be a dirty word. Long waits on the phone for the next available representative or interactions with harried sales clerks that have no authority to rectify a consumers' particular issue are becoming a thing in the past. Customer service is the bedrock of any business. The key to success is by being on top of follow-ups, correcting problems immediately and having a cheerful, cooperative attitude.|
Studies show that a typical dissatisfied customer will tell 6-10 people about the problem. A typical satisfied customer will tell 1-2 people. Most consumers who stop doing business with a particular company do so because of an attitude of indifference by the company or a specific individual. If you resolve the complaint, most customers will continue to do business with you. If you resolve a complaint on the spot, 95% of your customers will do business with you again and most likely they will tell their friends about the superb service they experienced.
Companies who practice proactive customer service gain a competitive advantage by actively managing relationships with customers. Training customer service representatives and arming them with tools for immediate rectification of problems will contain costs, retain current customers and help to acquire new customers through word of mouth from current happy customers.
Customer service in the 21st century has evolved beyond the telephone or sales counter experience. Two trends (social media and mobile device technologies) are giving companies unprecedented access to data on their customer interactions while changing the interactions by increasing the speed and impact of customer complaints and improving customer satisfaction. Social media sources such as a company Facebook page, Twitter account or corporate blog as well as the old standby company website have all elevated consumer service to a new level.
Companies can now connect with their customers on-line and in real time. The advent of 24/7 chat operators has created a system of personalized attention and proactive customer service. Some companies even employ the use of a video chat to assist a customer in a set-up of their newly purchased product. The operator can also do a remote diagnostic to see if the product is defective. If found to be defective, the operator can arrange for next day shipment or call a local store to put the product on hold for the customer. Late payments or usage overages for mobile devices can be a thing of the past also. Companies can now alert their customers through mobile device messages and e-mail.