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What is Customer Service?

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Customer service is the support you offer your customers — both before and after they buy and use your products or services — that helps them have a smooth and enjoyable experience with you. Providing excellent and fantastic customer service is vital if you want to retain your customers and potentially gain new ones.

Today’s customer service goes beyond your traditional phone calls and cold e-mails. It’s now easier to provide customer service through multiple platforms like text message, social media, e-mail, and websites.

Customer Service is the lifeblood of any business. For any business, small or large to survive, it must provide excellent and incomparable customer service. In the past, customers chose which business to patronize based on price, proximity, or the overall product or service.

It’s a different story today as customers do not have to make buying decisions based on these factors with the birth of social media, online delivery (Amazon) and multiple businesses doing the same thing with lower prices.

Excellent customer support drives terrific customer experience, especially when your support team moves beyond just reacting to problems and toward anticipating customers’ issues. When support agents are empowered to go above-and-beyond with customers or have a help desk solution that makes it easy for them to upsell or cross-sell relevant services, they can create winning experiences that help you stand out from the competition.

The power of customer service

It’s often cheaper to keep existing customers than to find and convince new ones. Bad service is a recipe for disaster. Don’t be known as the business with terrible customer service. Prioritizing your customers and providing incomparable customer service helps you retain loyal customers and attract new ones.

Excellent customer service helps to bring customers back. And about sending them away happy – happy enough to pass positive feedback about your business along to others, who may then try the product or service you offer for themselves and in their turn become repeat customers.

Customer service can make or mar your business, especially today, where information can be passed quickly. It’s no surprise as today’s social, mobile consumers have grown accustomed to getting what they want when they want it, their expectations have risen accordingly. 

What’s more, today’s customers are quick to share negative experiences online, where they can quickly reach massive audiences. It’s more important than ever to support customers on every channel from day one and establish what excellent customer service looks like internally and externally. One bad review can profoundly affect sales.

Here are 5 simple ways to provide excellent customer service

1. Answer your phone

The first rule of excellent customer service is that your business phone needs to be answered. Make sure someone is picking up the phone when someone calls your business. It does not apply to the phone alone these days. Make sure that someone is attending to those complaints mails and social media tagging. Customers no longer rely on phone conversations, they send mails and lay their complaints through their social media handles.

2. Listen to your customers

There is nothing more frustrating than telling someone what you want or what your issue is and realizing that person wasn’t listening and you need to explain again; especially from a customer’s point of view. If you are genuinely interested in providing the best customer service, you have to let your customer talk and listen attentively to both the said and unsaid words. 

Pay attention to your customers’ body language, tone of voice, and mannerisms. This will help you summarize what the customer has said, understand the problem, and suggest how to solve the problem.

3. Deal appropriately with complaints

Adequately dealt with complaints can lead to immense opportunities. They give you the chance to discover issues and correct them, thereby improving your customer service. Market research has found that customers who have complained about a product or service and had that complaint successfully dealt with are 70 percent likely to order from the vendor again. 

4. Train your staff

Customer’s service is not the job of a particular department in a company. It is the job of the entire company. Train your team to be always helpful, courteous, and knowledgeable about the business. Give every member of your staff with enough information and power to handle a customer complaint. None of your staff should ever answer a customer’s complaint with “I don’t know ….”

5. Throw In something special

Whether it is promotions, flash sales, or a discount, additional information on a product or even a genuine smile, people love to get more than they think they are paying for. Think about a unique offer that your business can provide that will make your customers feel special.

If you apply these steps in your customer service relations, your business is on its way to becoming famous for it excellent customer relations just like Amazon.