Ever wondered about the bottom line of a good and an average salesman. It is the act of communicating effectively with the customers which decides a make or a break situation while pitching to a prospect. It's about creating a positive impression and goodwill in the minds of a customer. Develop and evolve the concept of customer experience. It's about keeping the customers happy and establish a long-term loyalty and brand equity for the service or a product.
Did you not try to impress your recruiter for a job interview and present yourself the best of your abilities?
Its a package you provide to the customers that count in increasing the overall customer experience. The attitude and the skills complement each other to crack a deal. Any of the one failing to stand tall may result in failed calls which the business would not like to afford. In a nutshell customer service is a blend of marketing and the logistics in the supply chain management.
Now the customers could be internal or external to the organization. An internal customer can be from within the organization, channel partners etc. Any person seeking information outside the company, giving a call, dropping by to visit an external customer. The motive behind seeking help is for the assistance.
The necessity under attitude is helpful and upfront, ability to manage the team and manage people well. Put your feet in the shoes of the customer and think on his behalf about the value proposition.
The necessary skills for customer service include developing a deep understanding of the organization. Understand both the management as well technical function of the organization. The organization must be able to communicate well about the deliverables and must answer “what’s in it for me?”.
It would be simpler if we could channelise our efforts in the direction of what the consumer needs out of our product or service. This would also save the time and other resources to expand the market.
From the organization point of view, it should keep a check on the following to deliver a better customer service
What decides the make or a break situation is meeting the benchmarks in customer service. In other words, meeting the standards of performance. A business would ideally want its service to exceed the expectations. Setting standards of performance is a step by step process.
Let us deep dive into it one by one.
A standard is an agreed and feasible benchmark. It is repeatable in the process. By setting operational standards, we can rely on the business operations and use it effectively to amend the business practices for continuous process improvement.
A SMART way of doing it is when developing standards are to be
Specific: A goal-directed approach to achieving the goal is very fruitful in the long run.
Measurable: Any standard must be measurable and quantifiable for the ease of calibration and control.
Achievable: You would not like to run behind a goal with no limits to achieve.
Realistic: The standard to put into practice must be practical and pragmatic
Timely: the standard set for business must be achievable for a financial year or a quarter.
The motive in setting the operational standards is to bring to the notice of the employees to upgrade to the expected performance level. The implementation of operational measures would ensure formalisation in work and streamline the business operations.
After setting the targets for the business the next step after implementation is to evaluate the performance of the standards set for the total quality management. This also involves identifying the areas of improvement.
A more straightforward way of doing it is to prepare and sheet with the deliverables in the operations and ask both the employees and his immediate manager to rate. After rating performs mapping for bridging the gap to meet the expectations.
Based on the results obtained after assessment, improve the areas of deliverables. This would act in the nest interest of the organization and the employee expectations and enhance the overall productivity of the organization making it effective and efficient.
Customer service can be used as a marketing tool for competitive advantage and can be used to be known as treatment pre and post the purchase. If we were to recollect the existing companies renowned for customer service it would be Trader Joe’s, Rackspace, Ritz - Carlton etc. It develops goodwill in the minds of the customer. This, in turn, establishes a customer loyalty and brand equity for the product. Above all, it develops a competitive advantage for business operations.
We will now take a look at the positive of emphasis on customer service
B2B refers to the context of business to business and B2C refers to the context of business to customer.
Complexity : The customer support in business to business is more complex are compared to B2C. This takes longer time in resolving.
The B2B has a highly valued customer and fewer in number than the B2C customers. This is because the if we are into the software selling to an enterprise we would sell a particular software to an individual business. Whereas in the business to customer scenario we would be selling software to many customers.
In B2B, there is a need to develop a deeper understanding of the expectations of the business requirement. It is very diverse in case of a B2C scenario. The needs and the demand vary from individual to individual. In general, the B2B has longer sales cycle as compared to the B2C scenario.