The leader of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, Michael Powell, spoke out in February 2015 about the unacceptable state of customer service. The frustration customers feel, he said, stems from rapid growth and companies unprepared for influxes of customers. The focus now is how to change perception and continually work to improve customer relationships.
Although customer service may have fallen to the wayside as the cable companies boomed during the 2000s, a renewed focus on re-establishing its importance is on the horizon, according to Brian Fung. Companies aware of the frustration of clients and the lack of support provided to them can begin to improve customer relationships with new processes, procedures and priorities focused intently on customer satisfaction.
Businesses must first recognize practices that make customers feel undervalued and under-appreciated. For example, companies that have not embraced social media or that have a weak online presence are under-serving a wide portion of their client base. Customers have more power than ever because complaints and posts can go viral and have the potential to damage a company's reputation and profitability.
To provide the kind of customer service that customers demand, businesses must embrace the use of digital technology. They need to allow customers the opportunity to get assistance and account information immediately with online platforms and mobile applications. These programs and applications should be user-friendly with detailed and clear steps, so customers are not confused when they are troubleshooting problems with a company's products or services. Customer service focused on satisfying the client's needs quickly and with ease helps to reduce overall frustration.
Service departments in particular need to be in the business of solving customer complaints and problems efficiently and speedily. Customer service representatives may need additional training to ramp up the speed of operations and learn how to calm down angry and emotional clients. Even if an immediate solution is not possible, providing a quick response and courteous feedback is often appreciated by potential and current customers.
Companies need to provide each and every client with a personal experience. Your customers may not understand or even care that your office is understaffed or that your representatives have a large case load. The focus needs to be personal and a personal connections must be established regardless of the emotional state of the customer or the representative. Customer service employees should take time to learn clients' names, investigate how they can satisfy customers and offer solutions that are personalized. Representatives increase customer loyalty by displaying genuine concern and maintaining a professional and friendly tone at all times.
Consumers are no longer willing to accept impersonal and automated purchasing and servicing procedures. Customer service must be a top priority for companies in order to thrive and survive in a competitive industry. Change the perspective of both your company's top priorities and your customers' levels of satisfaction by evaluating how they are served from the start of the transaction to delivery and beyond.
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