Importance of Customer Service and Delivery Method The Middle East has one of the most competitive business environments in the world. In such environments, the customer service department plays a key part in the company. After all, what business operates without customers or sales? It is, therefore, fitting that they are given importance and attention according to their role for the business. Remember that long-term survival in todayâ€™s fast evolving world depends upon how customers are treated. This does not mean that other departments are supposed to be neglected; it means that the customer service department should receive ample time, investment and attention. This article is a complete guide for companies or individuals who are looking to learn about customer service and trying to understand its significance in todayâ€™s world. Here, we highlight the main reasons customer service is of the utmost importance. We also state how a particular company can provide good service to its customers. By the time you are done reading this article, you will know why customer service is important and how you can deliver it at an exceptional level.
The Importance of Customer Service Good Reputation Research shows that when a customer interacts with your company, he/she will share the experience with at least 7- 10 people. If the interaction is pleasant then positive words about your company will be passed on to people. With time, this will create a good reputation for the company. Once you have developed a good reputation, attracting new customers gets a lot easier, as your company will benefit from several referrals. Creates Word-of-Mouth Advertising Companies in the Middle East spend millions on advertising campaigns hoping that they will be able to attract more business than others but a cheap way to attract customers is by providing great customer service to existing customers. These positive experiences will be communicated to other people; this is known as word-of-mouth advertising. This form of advertising is considered to be the most effective way of promoting a particular product, service or business. This is because people tend to understand a particular service a lot better when they are personally explained the benefits by someone they value and trust. Thus, to make use of this advertising, customer service must be exceptional.
Survival As mentioned earlier, in order to survive in today’s competitive world, the customer service department must be given due attention. But one might wonder, why is customer service so special? After all, other departments have a huge part to play in an organization’s survival as well, right? Yes, they do but by concentrating on the customer service department, companies can gain the competitive edge as consumers will always prefer companies who look after their needs as opposed to those who don’t care. This competitive edge can be converted into a unique selling proposition, securing your company’s position and making survival less complicated. Higher Sales Customers who have positive feedback about the company and its offerings tend to help bring in sales. How? Customers who have experienced good service are typically loyal towards the firm because they appreciate receiving that level of service. These same satisfied customers help bring sales as they share their positive experiences with their friends and family. Thus, trying to earn higher revenues by increasing the level of customer service is always an effective business strategy. Creates Identity As mentioned earlier, the Middle East has so many businesses that it may be hard for consumers to choose from so many products and services; so it is important for companies to differentiate themselves. One of the best ways of doing this is by providing superior customer service. In order to attract attention, customer service must be special and extraordinary. Now when the Middle East economy is expanding, it is the time for businesses to consider investing in their customer management programs and staff. The right training and courses can really have a significant impact on the company and the attention it receives. Helps Understand Customer Needs Customer service is not just about solving the issue that the customer has; it’s about understanding a particular issue from their point of view. Once the customers feel that you understand how they feel, they will begin sharing information with you. They may make new suggestions of their own or give honest opinions on your products and services. Such interactions will help you learn from your customers. Thus understand, help and extract from your customers. Low Costs Companies that have satisfied customers tend to also enjoy a lower total cost. Wondering how? Companies that have unhappy customers tend to need to hire additional staff in order to deal with the complaints and issues to save their clientele and revenue. Having high attrition and high call volumes (mostly for complaints) yields a high total cost. On the other hand, companies that have satisfied customers tend to hire fewer people and have a lower call back cost. These companies then can choose to save or reinvest the money in other areas of the business, making them look
smarter for investing in better customer service to start with than businesses which didn’t see the justification of improving customer service. Growth Organizations grow with a loyal client base and, of course, revenues. Customers are the main source of the revenue. In order to grow, you have to keep the ones you have and build up from there. In order to invest in new ventures you need the existing revenue to fund it; otherwise, you’ll find your organization drowning in debt from all of the interest. Customers must be kept happy so they stay with your company and allow it, enable it to expand.
How to provide exceptional customer service Now that we have discussed why customer service is so important, many of us will be wondering how to do it right. The next section details how exceptional customer service is provided. Listen It is of utmost importance that you listen to what the customer has to say. You must understand what they are asking, saying or enquiring. You must give them your undivided attention – try to pick up cues from their tone and body language. Do not make assumptions; always ask the customer in case you are presented with a vague issue. Make sure you do not ask too many questions, as this too will annoy the customer. Keep the questions as simple, short and as infrequent as you can. Once you understand what the customer is enquiring, make an appropriate suggestion. It’s always wise to give more than one suggestion. Honor Your Commitments Nothing irks a customer more than when companies agree to do something and then they don’t end up doing it. Only make promises you can actually keep. Feel free to ask customers for more time but do not make a commitment and miss its deadline. Simplicity When dealing with customers, you must understand that the majority don’t possess much knowledge. Therefore, you have to assume that they have little or no technical knowledge about the product or service they are using and avoid using terms that are specific or too fancy for them to understand. Keep your language as simple as you can. Patience Many unhappy customers are very difficult to deal with but even so, you must remember that you need to be patient while dealing with them. Take control of your agitation and politely tell the customer their boundaries. Do not start losing your cool; you are making your money because of them. Be professional and show your calmness and patience even at the worst of times.
Admit Your Mistake We don’t live in a perfect world. Even the most successful companies end up making mistakes, which results in unhappy customers. When you are at fault, simply admit to it and work to fix it. You should apologize and suggest solutions immediately. Such dedication, sincerity and honesty will help you save an unsatisfied customer. Low Response Time Customers hate to wait, even if it’s 5 minutes of waiting. Yes, unhappy customers are impatient and demand service and responses promptly. In order to retain your customer base, you must ensure that you respond to the customer as soon as you can. Even when you don’t have the solution to their issue, you should reply to them so that they know that you are working on helping them. By not replying, the unsatisfied customer will feel ignored and uncared for. It is important to mention that it’s not only about responding, it’s about responding quickly. Don’t take weeks to reply to a customer. Think and act as soon as you can. Be Helpful In order to retain unhappy customers, you must be helpful. So, even when you cannot help with a specific issue, try directing the customer to a source that can. It’s never a good idea to leave the customer without any suggestions or recommendations. Give Something Extra All customers love receiving more than they actually paid for. Companies can opt to give coupons, small gifts or allow entering into sweepstakes for free. The appreciation token doesn’t have to be something of high value; it can be just about anything that gives some value to the customer. Smiling When it comes to interacting with customers face to face, always make sure you are smiling. A simple smile will make you more approachable. Even when your customer can’t see you, make sure you are smiling. This is because customers can detect a smile in the way you respond to them. Smiling is a must when dealing with customers. Be Prepared In order to effectively deal with customers, you must always be prepared. Have your pen, notes and numbers near just in case you need them. You should also know who your customers are so that you can efficiently deal with their issues. By following the above techniques, you will be able to deliver exceptional customer service and with time, you will reap the above rewards too. It is important for all companies to understand that good customer service determines the life of the business. With good customer service, you will be able to sell just about anything. Thus, companies must dedicate themselves to form a relationship with their customers, a relationship that customers would willingly like to pursue in
the future. Good customer service will bring more business and revenue than any promotional campaign or price cut strategy. Good customer service is not dependent on few people in the company; rather, it depends upon how all the employees interact with the customers and do their jobs in delivering the product / service. Therefore, it is important for companies to train all their employees on how to deal with customers. Training can be expensive and time consuming but companies must remember that all money and time spent on the customer service department is a true investment. This is because it is responsible for bringing high rewards in the long run. Organizations should not hesitate when it comes to investing in the customer service department; itâ€™s one of the most important departments in the company.