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Everyone knows that providing quality customer service is important. Yet in the push of day-to-day activities, customer support staff can lose sight of this. They get busy. And managers often lose focus and fixate on secondary issues, which threatens to push aside the all-important goal of providing excellent service to customers.
Here are three commonsense essentials we all know but sometimes forget. This is a good reminder about why providing quality service matters more than anything else.
No one can be perfect on every phone call and even the best employee can have an off day or an interaction that goes bad. However, this must not be the norm. Employees who are consistently rude serve to consistently drive away customers. Employees may be rude by the words they use or the tone in which they use them. They may also be rude because of an underlying negative attitude. Rudeness also creeps into how long they wait before answering the phone, how focused they are when they say “Hello,” and the way they greet callers.
Coupled with rude staff are unhelpful staff. While these employees may not actually be rude, they are ineffective because they don’t help callers. They may not resolve the reason for the customer’s call, they may give out wrong information, or they may blame others. None of these produce helpful outcomes. They defeat the reason why the customer called. While some people may call back, hoping to get a better answer from a different rep, many more just give up.
In fact, one third to one half of all customers switch brands because they were turned off by rude staff and unhelpful customer service personnel. Your customer service staff should attract customers, not drive them away. That’s why quality customer service is so important.
The opposite occurs from friendly staff. Customer service staff who treat customers right serve to build their company’s reputation and draw customers to the brand. But what makes for friendly service?
This includes things like answering the phone quickly and clearly. It means focusing completely on the customer and the reason for their call. While professionalism is important, being personable is even more critical. A distant, cold professionalism doesn’t come across as friendly, whereas a bubbly, personable staff member does.
Two things that support the perception of friendly staff are being helpful to the callers by giving correct information and resolving the reason for the call. Almost three-fourths of customers value the friendliness of customer service personnel, even to the point of admitting that friendliness draws them into the brand. Providing quality customer service requires hard work, but it’s worth the effort.
Each customer service contact is critical. One bad call can be the one that drives away the customer. Give that thought serious consideration.
However, every good call will serve to further cement your company’s relationship with your customer. The key is quality customer service. Don’t leave this to chance. Tap customer service experts to minimize the downside of poor customer service and maximize the upside of good customer service. Quality customer service wins every time.
Richard L. Hutcherson is the director of operations for Answering Service One, a new kind of answering service that wants to become your number one resource to handle your communication needs. Contact Richard at 865-505-0456. Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan. Check out Answering Service One to see if they’re the right answering service for your company.