A Nevispages.com weekly feature by Curtis Morton Sr
The way I see it, the necessity for good customer service, cannot be overstressed.
Before I get into my discourse, however, let me just say condolences to the many grieving families in St. Kitts and Nevis, who have recently lost loved ones, some in the most tragic of circumstances.
I know we may not understand it now, but the best thing we can do, even in these circumstances, is to trust God fully. One day, it will all be made plain.
So, based on a recent discussion I had with a good friend of mine, in upper-level management, it may be coming over as if I am only here to bash people when they err in judgment or in the execution of their duties. Far from it!
I always seek to laud and praise persons for their outstanding efforts and achievements. Dear readers, I am certain that you can attest to that.
Some time ago, I did relate to a particularly poor experience I had, at a particular government office.
However, I did follow up to indicate that the very next week, another individual at the same office, delivered excellent customer service to me. I guess some persons did not read that one.
Well I newa!
Additionally, I must now add to that, the fact that I had to go back to the same government office, yet again and my good friend from the first poor experience, was also the one to serve me. This time around, she was as humble and as polite, as if she had invented those virtues. I was pleasantly surprised.
I also must mention, a recent incident as well.
A few weeks ago, we had a bit of a freak storm. There was much rain, along with thunder and lightning. Later that evening, as I turned my attention to my computer, to get some work done, I realized that I did not have any internet service. I panicked.
I realized then, that we now live in a world, where we virtually cannot exist without the internet.
Now, how did I get to this point?
Many years ago, when I started my sports page, I wrote every single word, in my UNIQUE handwriting, on writing pads, provided courtesy of Mr. Arthur Evelyn. Nowadays, I report the sports news, utilizing a teleprompter.
Well I newa!
So, here I was in a real dilemma.
No internet, meant that there will be no stories to be sent out.
I immediately called my friend Levi Manners of Cable TV. He in turn told me that he would make a few calls and get back to me, but could not ‘promise anything.’ He later reported that he had gotten on to one of the guys, who had indicated that he was extremely busy, but he will ‘try.’
To my pleasant surprise, Mr. Calvin Jones, arrived at my home, sometime around 8 pm and not only got everything rectified but did it in such a cool, calm and pleasant manner, that if he was annoyed that I caused him to be out that late, he never showed any such attitude. Talk about customer service!
So, I contacted my friend GOOGLE for some more information, that may help all of us to provide better customer service, at all times.
What is customer service, really?
‘The assistance and advice provided by a company to those people who buy or use its products or services.’
“The key to good customer service is building good relationships with your customers. Thanking the customer and promoting a positive, helpful and friendly environment will ensure they leave with a great impression. A happy customer will return often and is likely to spend more.
Why is customer service important?
When 86% of customers quit doing business with a company due to a bad experience, it means that businesses must approach every support interaction as an opportunity to acquire, retain, or upsell.
Good customer service is a revenue generator. It gives customers a complete, cohesive experience that aligns with an organization’s purpose.
According to a variety of studies, U.S. companies lose more than $62 billion annually due to poor customer service, and seven out of 10 consumers say they’ve spent more money to do business with a company that delivers great service.
Understanding that customer service is the cornerstone of your customer experience helps you leverage it as an opportunity to delight customers and engage them in new, exciting ways.
4 key principles of good customer service
Good customer service has four key qualities: It’s personalized, competent, convenient, and proactive. These four factors have the biggest influence on the customer experience.
• Personalized: Good customer service always starts with a human touch. Personalized interactions greatly improve customer service and let customers know that your company cares about them and their problems. Instead of thinking of service as a cost, consider it an opportunity to earn your customer’s business all over again.
• Competent: Consumers have identified competency as the element that plays the biggest role in a good customer experience. To be competent, a customer support professional must have a strong knowledge of the company and its products, as well as the power to fix the customer’s problems. The more knowledge they have, the more competent they become.
• Convenient: Customers want to be able to get in touch with a customer service representative through whichever channel is the most convenient for them. Offer support through the channels of communication your customers rely on most, and make it easy for customers to figure out how to contact you.
• Proactive: Customers want companies to be proactive in reaching out to them. If one of your products is back-ordered or your website is going to experience downtime, proactively reach out to your customers and explain the problem. They may not be happy about the situation, but they will be thankful that you kept them in the loop.
5 customer service examples that provide great service
1. Respond as quickly as possible
One of the biggest factors in good customer service is speed, especially when a client is requesting something that’s time sensitive.
2. Know your customers
Great interactions begin with knowing your customers wants and needs. Customers love personalization. Get to know your customers, remember their names and previous conversations. If needed, make a note of what was discussed previously so you can refer to it the next time you meet.
3. Fix your mistakes
Not taking responsibility for your mistakes is a sure fire way to getting a bad reputation. Transparency is important in business and customer service is no different. Always strive for a high-quality output as it shows you have a high level of standards.
4. Go the extra mile
Going the extra mile will not only result in an indebted and happy customer, it can also go a long way in terms of keeping yourself on their radar for future business.
5. Think long term – A customer is for life
Think long term when dealing with customers. By keeping customers happy, they will be loyal and through word of mouth, will do the marketing for you. In fact, according to author Pete Blackshaw, a satisfied customer tells at least three friends (whereas an angry customer tells 3,000!).’
Now, when it comes to ‘customer service,’ Jesus is our prime example. You notice how pleasant and polite was his approach? You notice how he treated persons so well, even when they treated him badly?
He even said on one occasion: ’Father forgive them, for they know not what they have done.’ So, too, we must live our lives and be example setters, in the way we deal with others.
That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?