What is Customer Service? : Its Digital Impact
Customer service is one of the keys within the experience of a customer when buying or acquiring a product, whether, through physical or digital channels, this becomes an important marketing tool to connect with customers and be positioned in your mind as a brand.
Customer service seeks a way to satisfy the consumer, where the objective is to be a support, guide, instruct, listen and offer a timely solution, depending on the type of problem or circumstances, the person must have the ability to respond or redirect to the responsible department, such as guarantee, technical support, credit or collection, among others.
- What is customer service?
- Importance of customer service for the company
- Advantages of customer service
- The following must be taken into account
- Techniques for customer service
- In-person customer service (traditional)
- Digital customer service (social networks, internal chat, WhatsApp)
- The company must also be part of the operators
What is customer service?
It is a fundamental marketing tool for a company, to build its reputation and credibility, in many cases companies decide to develop a department exclusively for customer service, where they are responsible for listening, attending, and offering a solution according to each one, depending on your circumstance.
It should be noted that, if they are a large brand, there are customer service departments that are dedicated to providing response and guidance to internal workers, who are also our customers.
“Whatever you do, do it so well so that they come back and also bring their friends” Walt Disney.
Importance of customer service for the company
A service that satisfies customers, becomes an added value that gives an important advantage towards the competition, and becomes a channel where the real opinion of customers can be obtained first-hand and thus make improvements in processes, the products, and services; All this should be taken advantage of, since, by having direct and personal contact, it will help a personalized, warm and human attention.
Depending on the allocated budget, it is necessary to invest to attract new clients and also maintain the portfolio, because a client who has bought our product and is not happy with it is the worst advertising, and depending on the time it takes to respond or react, it can bring great losses to the company and change the opinion of the client portfolio.
Customer service is not an optional tool, it is an obligation and customers demand to be served, listened to, and given a timely solution.
Advantages of customer service
Once all the others have been raised, some advantages that can be obtained from customer service are presented in detail.
- Increase the reliability and trust of your customers.
- Customers are more loyal, for having a time and response at the right time.
- Improves the image and perception of the brand.
- It allows you to make constant improvements and adjust processes, thanks to customer feedback.
- Strengthen the commitment to our clients.
The following must be taken into account
Personally, customer service has NO disadvantages, since, whether or not you have a person dedicated to customer service, you will still get customer complaints and comments, either through digital channels, where people become more sincere or in person. But, if you can take into account some points that it is extremely important to monitor people.
- Increase complaints and claims, however, for this you have to evaluate and prioritize each of them.
- Maintaining a customer service department, a constant investment is necessary, in training and also in shifts, because complaints or claims will arrive at any time.
- It is important that the customer service department has a thorough knowledge of all the operations of the company, the functions of each department, and is familiar with the customer service manual.
- Frequently monitor the customer service time and the level of satisfaction with how the customer is responded to.
- Develop a customer service manual, which takes into account the vocabulary used, the tone, and depending on the channel that is served, it is necessary to review the appearance of the person, the gestures, and offer impeccable communication.
Techniques for customer service
Customer service needs to have a level of empathy, agility in giving answers, managing emotions, and giving a timely response. For this, some techniques that can be used are presented:
Understand and be in the client’s shoes, looking for a way to get directly involved in the client’s process, from the opening of the complaint until their response is given, although care must be taken about this technique, since the client understands and fight for a better solution, but also ensure that the company or brand is not harmed.
Where he explains the reason behind what happened, the objective is not to create excuses, but to create customer empathy towards the brand, and try to understand, for this to be a success, a certain amount of necessary information must be shown that does not compromise the company, and that allows guiding the client to the solution to the problem after the explanation given and the actions recommended to take.
Here the operator must apply a series of predetermined questions according to the situation, this is frequently used by banks, whereby obtaining the answers they can have a better understanding of the situation and thus enter the explanation phase.
As you can detail, the 3 techniques are used constantly and together, although, depending on the urgency and the situation of each client, they can be applied at different times and the priority of each of them may vary. Depending on the response channel, customer service and response may be different and there may differ, from this point face-to-face and digital customer service will be separated.
In-person customer service (traditional)
It is the attention offered in a store, office, service center, administration, or any physical space that is related to the brand and that the client has a complaint, recommendation, disagreement, doubt, and support; that it is necessary to give a timely response. For face-to-face customer service, it is necessary to apply some of the following tips:
- Create a customer service manual, which goes from the personal appearance and presentation of the operators to the vocabulary used.
- Develop a list of FAQs (frequently asked questions).
- Train and develop training from time to time, to reinforce and train the corresponding personnel.
- Being face-to-face, the smile, gesture, breath, tone, and words used are vital and must be evaluated.
- You have to analyze the client, before taking an action, therefore, you have to evaluate the suggested demands, and how they should be solved, without turning a complaint into a serious problem.
- Actively listen to the client, take note of the relevant points, which may be the key to solving the problem.
- The faster the problem is solved, the more responsive it will be.
- When it comes to serving the client, you must have face-to-face contact, without diverting your gaze or body gestures.
- Depending on the reaction of the client, it is necessary to be alert, under any circumstance, since, if a client takes a violent attitude, the support of the security body is necessary.
- Know the products, services, and processes of the company.
Digital customer service (social networks, internal chat, WhatsApp)
The digital channel empowers users, therefore, they are more courageous to express their opinions, and comments, without evaluating the moment and sometimes, they make a complaint without prior notice, therefore some tips that can be applied are:
- Develop a customer service manual and FAQ.
- Always be aware of the comments made or the private messages that are left, and try that the comment of complaints does not last more than 2 hours since this creates a feeling of abandonment to the user.
- Know the products, services, and , we must be careful when companies work with an independent company or freelance professionals, where it must be part of the brand, to give an adequate response.
- Before responding to the client, if it is possible to review the client’s profile, and apply the interrogation technique, to fully understand the problem.
- Avoid sending a voice note when solving a problem, the reason behind this is that it will not have support from how you dealt with the problem.
- Don’t take customer feedback personally, remember that your actions represent the brand.
- Use icons or emoticons to humanize the sent message.
- Monitor the cases that are redirected to other departments.
The company must also be part of the operators
For customer service to be a success, the company must have an organizational culture and a work environment, which allows the team to develop a feeling of commitment and belonging when talking with customers, for this, it is necessary to carry out some of these actions:
- Train staff, from time to time.
- Integrate the customer service team in the company’s processes, and explain in detail the function of each one, this can be achieved by sending the operators from time to time to the departments where they have more relationships.
- Inform the department of each change, launch, update, promotion, new product, among others.
- Recognize the team’s work.
- Hold a weekly meeting, and create a summary of the events, and expose specific cases, of atypical situations to be discussed, and share with the other operators, other options for solutions and responses.
- Take into account the feedback provided by the customer service department, to make improvements and make them feel that they are heard.
- Seasonal customer service planning usually happens at specific times such as policy changes, product launches, promotional seasons, among others; to meet the demand you may need to hire staff or work overtime.
- Communicate and involve the department in any changes made, which influence customers.
Remember that the internal happiness of a brand is a reflection of what you want to convey to customers.
It is a vital tool for current customers, where they have become more demanding and demand attention according to what they want, therefore, brands must be prepared for any questions, requirements, or guidance that each customer needs, for this constant training and FLUID COMMUNICATION between all departments is necessary to be able to communicate effectively and offer a suitable solution, to continue positioning the brand in the mind of the consumer.