When we think about customer service, the first idea that pops into our heads is probably the call-center operator or the service employee. These are people we come to when we need help fixing a problem or when we have questions about a purchase. While they do represent part of what customer service is, that isn’t the whole picture of customer service.
The term Customer Service explains activities that ensure customers are satisfied and will continue to buy products or services of a business. This function is a job task all employees who has any contact with the customer starting from the security personal (gateman), receptionists, salespeople and business owner must exhibit with smiles and courteously.
Customers can be classified into External Customer and Internal Customer depending on their relationship with the business, who is giving? Who is getting?
External Customer: These are usually walk-in customers. They simply come make an order for goods or services, pay and walk away. They have a choice and could be your loyal customers if properly taken care of. Our advertisement, marketing, products or/and services are directed towards these customers. They dictate the growth of the business, they could be our unpaid advertising tool, and they pay our salary!
“Once a customer has been unsatisfied with our service, it will be twice as hard to bring them back”.
Business owners and employees must create and maintain good image, build relations, quick response to issues, professionalism, courteous and chivalrous.
Internal Customer: These are usually colleagues of the same/other departments within an organization, as well as vendor and anyone else an employee interact with to get their job done. This could be the Human Resource Department, IT department for technical assistance, Administration department and so on. A good and effective interactive relationship must be maintained to speed up service turnaround time.
It is a must that business owners train all employees to development a customer-centric skill and behavior as this will enhance a satisfactory customer’s experience. Employees should be trained on the job all least twice or more a year depending on financial strength of the business or/and rate of services failures. Here is a list of what staff should be trained on:
- · Product and Industry knowledge: Customers will speak to any staff about their need and they need a pleasing response.
- · Friendliness: Customers want someone who makes us feel special and who seems to be keen to assist us.
- · Knowledge of our needs: Customers want someone who understands what they need so that they can help them fulfill that need.
- · Problem-solving skills: Customers want a solution finder, a problem solver.
Business owners can use appraisal, feed-backs and misery shoppers to evaluate their service delivery from time to time, to plan and build a better service culture.