Customer service is anything we do for the customer that enhances their experience. Customer satisfaction on the other hand is the overall feeling of contentment with a customer interaction. It recognizes the difference between a customer’s expectations and a customer’s perceptions. It takes a great customer service to enhance any business/transaction in the private or public sector.

A customer can either make or break your business, and in this world of constant innovation, creativity, the ever-evolving technology on social media, the customer has the power in the palm of his hand on Twitter, Facebook, e-mail or Whatsapp. In just seconds, you could be a couple of francs less in your bank deposits just because a disgruntled customer sent out a message expressing disappointment in how they were handled by your staff.

So how do you go from being the most talked about company in a negative way to the most appreciated company to where throngs of clients flock and speak well of? IMPROVE your customer service – make better, upgrade, update, polish…

Here is how:

  • Ensure that your team knows what customer service entails i.e. Strengthen the customer service skills of your team including empathy, consistency, patience, adaptability, clear communication, professional work ethic and product knowledge.
  • Improve your customer interactions-identify a common ground with the customers and establish shared interests, ensuring there is a human side to your service that endears the business to the client.
  • Practice listening – so that the clients feel that you are listening. Empathy works well in resolving complaints. Take ownership of the mistakes that you make. This builds trust and instils confidence. Follow up on whether the customer’s problem has been resolved.  It is pertinent to get back to the customer and turnaround time matters.
  • Make every customer’s experience individual, exceptional and memorable. We have a tendency of remembering the positive and negative experience and forgetting the average one.
  • Adapt a customer service strategy-despite having trainings with your staff on how to enhance the customer experience, ensure that they have the right skills and attitude. Without a strategy, customer service delivery will be mediocre.
  • Get personal-customers want human interaction. With innovations in technology there is a need to increase efficiency, companies have resorted to investing in automation of customer interactions. It is better however to invest in manpower that responds to the client with personalised messages that are not auto-generated.
  • Be available-there is nothing as frustrating as not having someone to vent to especially when you feel you are not getting value for money. It is very important there are visible, accessible platforms on how to get assistance in case there is a need.
  • Ensure that you are fully meeting your customer’s needs, in some businesses it may be necessary to segment high end value customers by providing assigned personnel to manage their service. Caution should be drawn not to alienate other value customers as this can harm the brand. All customers are equally important.
  • Ensure that your personnel are engaged and in the right place. Not everyone is cut out for customer service, but having satisfied employees is very important.
  • Provide customers a platform for feedback; ensuring that you have a way that the customer can get back to you on the good and the bad, this goes a long way in ensuring that you fine tune service.

Customer service is the embodiment of customer satisfaction. Dealing with people can be very dynamic so there is a need to constantly evolve as the customer and trends advance, this can only take vigilance and having an open mind set to constant improvement.

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