What is Customer Service? Customer service is an elaborate and interactive process of understanding a customer and fulfilment of his needs as per the company's resources, capacity and capability for the product sold or service delivered. In this context, the customer's expectation starts from the time he has purchased the product or subscribed or hired the services. Therefore, customer service is an end-to-end process which begins from the time of sale till the end of life cycle of a product or the service or its usability to the customer. Thus, this concept originates with the customer and ends with the customer. Synonyms of customer service: customer support, helpdesk, service centre, customer care, troubleshooting team, client service, after sales service, customer helpline. Customer service is a part and parcel of every organization. For any company to sustain and grow, their focus and efforts have to be channelized towards creation of good customer service team. Good customer service should aim towards enabling the following: - Long-time Customer retention - Loyalty towards Company's products and services - This in turn should build a customer's trust toward the brand - Enhancing product effectiveness and its value among the competitors - Translating to higher sales thereby impacting overall revenues positively (due to same customer buying products or services repeatedly or recommending them to his family and friends) - Resulting in Company saving its cost of customer acquisition on account of customer churn (which is almost 5 times more expensive) - Strengthening a positive word of mouth and increasing Company's goodwill and equity - Leading to less expenditure on advertising, promotion and marketing activities So, all these efforts will ultimately lead to company's prosperity and increased market share which is beneficial for its employees and vendors and its longevity. Nevertheless, an unhappy customer is an opportunity and the company should never lose out on insightful experience through the customer's feedback to analyse the root cause of the problem that led to poor customer experience. Further, the company should invest time in reviewing their current working mechanism, getting into process reorientation, improving their product or service, it's features or offers, grooming and training the staff or bridging any gaps that exist as per the customer inputs. Customer Service Representative, his qualities and the different channels: Customer service representatives (cse) are the actual brand ambassador for any company since a customer interacts with them on phone, through on-line chat, on company's website or portal, on e-mail, social media and on-line forums, face to face interaction at service center. Markham Managed IT Services A CSE should therefore: - Speak to the customer politely - Listen to him - Give him respect - Understand his need or concern - Empathise - Finally, most importantly, provide solution or an alternative as per his problem or requirement. Being polite and humble without resolving customer's query won't help. Similarly, giving solution but in a rude tone will also back fire. It's a viscous circle of expectations. Customer wants everything - politeness, empathy and solution. And he is right as he has paid for the product or the service. Customer is always right and is the king. A Company has to: - Keep their CSE motivated. - They should be trained well in product and soft skills - They should be able to communicate well with the customer - Have patience, take ownership and work towards providing resolution to the customer. Every organization contributes in some way or the other by working for its customers - it could be a B to B (Business) model or a B to C (Customer) model. In the long run, to accomplish its goals, every organization should align customer centricity to its vision and organizational strategy. This is an aspect no Company can afford to miss even a PSU or a Government organization. Guide to great customer service is extremely simple: - Remember, it is important to build a good rapport or connect with the customer - Have qualitative interactions with him - An intent to solve his problem no matter what. - Smile while talking to the customer. - Acknowledge the fact that most of the customers prefer human interaction more than communicating with machines. So, treat the customer the way you would like a service provider to treat you.