Contrary to popular beliefes; the customer service industry is one of the most important industries nowadays.
It is an essential part of business operations that can make or break a business.
A happy employee means a happy customer.
This is why investing in the customer service department is of vital importance.
- What is customer service?
- Why is customer service important?
- Investing in your Customer Service team
What is customer service?
Customer service is ensuring your customers are satisfied.
It is supporting your customers after and ever before the business is done.
It is taking care of your customers’ needs in a professional way by providing advice and assistance.
Customer service is not just a summer job or a gap year task.
It is, in fact, a very essential part of every business.
Customer service is caring about the person before the business.
This is why customer service and business success are codependent.
Why is customer service important?
What makes customer service important is what makes businesses exceptional.
Good customer service is what makes a customer comes back over and over again.
It helps you build the brand name and customer loyalty.
Building good customer relationships provides value to any business.
Build brand name and maintain reputation
Building a brand name takes time and effort.
A skilled customer service representative can make building the brand name a lot easier and more successful.
Also, maintaining the brand reputation is just as essential.
The deal is not done once you have made a sale or gave a service.
Customer service is what ensures that after the sale is made the customer remains happy and satisfied.
And that is what makes customers return again and again.
Maintaining a brand reputation happens when you engage with customers, letting them know they are heard, and that they can trust you.
Customer service is a representation of your business
They are called customer service representatives for a reason; they represent the whole business.
Your customer service representatives are the connection between you and your customers.
How many times have you walked into a store, for example, and left right away because you did not receive the ideal treatment by an employee?
They may be going through a bad day, hate their boss, or hate their whole job.
But what they do not realize is that they just lost a potential customer.
A happy employee means a happy customer.
But also, as an employee, how many times an angry customer walked to you, refused to listen, and then probably asked to speak to your manager so they can complain about you?
How you deal with your customers’ complaints or feedback says a lot about your brand.
Not only does it send a message to your customers, but also to people who may or may not be potential customers.
The way you respond to a customer’s needs or just mood swings, the efficiency with which you deal with a problem or a simple interaction, and even the smile with which you greet a passing customer, all of this reflects the essence of your brand.
So, pay attention to your employees, make sure they understand how essential their part is, and make sure they are appreciated.
According to a Prescription for cutting costs An increase in customer retention means an increase in profit.
Because when customers are happy and satisfied, they keep coming back.
And coming again means they trust you, and so they will want to try more and more of your products.
They will also bring you more customers over time, all of which results in an increase in profit.
“Across a wide range of businesses, customers generate increasing profits each year they stay with a company.
In financial services, for example, a 5% increase in customer retention produces more than a 25% increase in profit.
Why? Return customers tend to buy more from a company over time.
As they do, your operating costs to serve them decline.
What is more, return customers refer others to your company.
And they will often pay a premium to continue to do business with you rather than switch to a competitor with whom they are neither familiar nor comfortable.”
Keeping your existing base of customers is as important, if not more important, as attracting new customers.
And so, how you interact with a first-time customer is highly important, because only a happy satisfied customer comes back.
You must have heard the phrase “The customer is always right.”
Customers, and people in general, want someone to listen to them.
Someone who is a problem solver, even if they do not really have a problem.
The first thing a brand needs to offer to its customers is a solution to their problem.
A good rule to abide by is to actually offer a solution before they have complained of a problem.
If you are a business that serves food a good idea, for example, would be to share healthy dietary best practices without the customers asking for it.
That way a customer who has such a problem will already know where to go.
The purpose of customer service representatives is to make sure customers are assisted and well educated about a product or service before they even purchase it.
And then, to make sure the customers are not facing any problems after purchasing the product or service.
Customer support should be available at all times in case a customer needed assistance.
Not only that, but it is best to follow up before the customer even faced a problem to let them know they can always rely on you.
Investing in your Customer Service team
An example of how good customer service can build brand loyalty.
A good customer service reduces customer turn over and increases customer retention.
However, it is understandable that it is hard to give exceptional service when employees have to deal with angry, unhappy, and unsatisfied customers.
That results in unhappy employees as well.
Reading the situation
“Customer service roles are difficult, with representatives often dealing with frustrated customers with little internal support.
In our survey, many customer service representatives said they didn’t feel valued and over half plan on leaving their jobs.”
The survey shows that 58% of customer service representatives do not plan on staying in the role.
And most representatives do not see themselves pursuing a career in customer service.
Even people who voted to be happy with the role said that they do not plan on keeping it.
The study goes on to question why do representatives do not plan or want to stay in the role.
Some of the answers were:
“First, they are less likely to feel that they can make decisions to help their customers, whether it’s because of structural or procedural limitations.
Being in a role where one doesn’t feel empowered can impact morale and longevity in the job.
As new reps likely churn out of the role, those who remain after three or five years are more likely to report satisfaction with their ability to assist customers.”
“Likewise, less tenured service representatives don’t feel as valued in their organization.
When customer service is perceived as an afterthought or a second class function within a company, it makes sense that many would want to leave to do something more ‘high value’.
There’s also a dip for service representatives with over five years of experience.
Their confidence in their value to their organization drops after four years in service.
A full 15% of long-time representatives disagree that the service team is valued in their organization.
It appears there’s a ceiling of satisfaction after four years in a service role.
When the longest-serving representatives, who should be the most loyal and bought in because they’ve stayed on so long, feel less valued, it should be a warning signal for business leaders.”
The key is to let your customer service representatives team know how appreciated they are.
And that business success comes from their success.
Letting them know that you understand the hardships they go through is highly important and greatly appreciated.
Employees who feel underappreciated are not going to stay and even if they did they are hardly going to be productive.
If an employee feels that their role is not important or is looked down upon, chances are they are not going to take the job wholeheartedly.
Thus, it is essential to be the start, with good treatment, benefits, and attitude towards your customer service team.
Happy employees are more likely to represent your brand in a way that ensures customer satisfaction and retention.
Customer service is without a doubt one of the hardest and most stressful jobs.
Employees probably meet more angry, unhappy, hard to deal with customers than happy, satisfied, grateful for the service ones.
Just like a happy employee means a happy customer, an unhappy employee means more unhappy customers.
This is why it is essential to invest in your team.
Ideally by providing good packages, compensations, annual vacation days, plus health and social care.
A study about Happiness at work showed that 40% of people agreed to being happy at their job.
“Ask any employee, ‘What will satisfy you?’ and the answer is easy: free lunches, more vacation time, latte machines – and don’t forget a ping pong table,” Gallup CEO Jim Clifton
But does happy mean engaged? or productive?
“Someone can be happy at work, but not ‘engaged,’” says engagement author Kevin Kruse.
“They might be happy because they are lazy and it’s a job with not much to do.
And they might be happy talking to all their work-friends and enjoying the free cafeteria food.
Or they might be happy to have a free company car. They might just be a happy person.
But! Just because they’re happy doesn’t mean they are working hard on behalf of the company.
They can be happy and unproductive.”
Providing training and support is a vital element.
Your customer service representative team need to realize how important their job is.
They need to be educated regarding their essential role, and most importantly, they need to be appreciated and told that their job matters big time.
A good start would be providing training to your customer service representative team.
Setting rules and policies that address all aspects of their job is essential.
For example, implementing policies of how to deal with angry customers, how to answer to negative online reviews, or when to be or not to be too generous with the customer.
Your customer service team probably gets tired of supporting customers all day.
The last thing they need is a manager who is not on their side.
It is vital to support your team all the time.
And we know the saying goes “The customer is always right” but employees do need their own support at the end of the day.
It is good to know their team also trust, support, and appreciate their efforts.
Ensuring your team knows that you have their backs is going to drive them to give more and more to the job.
Because, again, a happy satisfied employee means a happy satisfied customer.
Without a doubt, customer service is one of the hardest jobs.
But it is also one of the most important jobs.
Customer service represents your brand vision, image, and values.
The customer service team is your connection to the customers.
On the same hand, an important reminder that happy customer service representatives will result in happy customers.
This means loyal, happy, and satisfied customers who are probably going to come back.
And happy customers mean customer retention and referrals, which means more customers and an increase in profit.
All of this would only happen with the help of our partners in success, the customer service representatives teams.
This is why investing in the customer service industry is highly essential.
From emotional investing through providing support, understanding, and compassion.
And also financial investing by providing training, compensations, and benefits such as health care and social insurance.
As representatives help build your brand name, reputation, and loyalty.