Customer service basics
After years of polling and market research, it turns out customers are constantly internalizing their customer service experience. What this means is they are grading your customer service during each transaction but you rarely know it.
While there are a multitude of customer need, five basics need stand out:
- Friendliness: The most basic and associated with courtesy and politeness.
- Empathy: The customer needs to know that the service provider appreciates their wants and circumstances,
- Fairness: The customers wants to feel they receive adequate attention and reasonable answer.
- Control: The customer wants to feel his/her wants and input has influence on the out come.
- It is also very important for customer service employee to have information about their products and services. Service providers who answer” I don’t know” or ” It is not my department” are automatically demeaned and demoted in the mind of the customer.
These employees can end up feeling hostile as well as unequipped. Customers want information, and they disrespect and distrust the person who is supposed to have information but does not.
Employees need to be empowered to satisfy the customers. eMPLOYEE WILL GIVE BAD SERVICE to customers if they themselves receive bad service and little feedback from their managers and supervisors.
[ Remember : External customer service starts with internal customer service.]
Delivery on time
[Customer service basics]
Making a good First Impression:
Every salesperson in every business knows the importance of making a positive first impression. Sales people know their success and livelihood will depend on how their potential customer perceives them in the first 30 seconds interaction.
Good salespeople develop an almost instantaneous rapport with potential customers. Customers like them, follow their advice and buy their product.
For the purpose of the services received by the people the population of the Country may be looked at from three different angles. These are present customers, potential customers and general public. A bank provides services to all these three categories of people. Present customers may be considred as direct customers and potential customers and general public as indirect customers.
Direct Customers Indirect Customers
There is no statutory definition of customer. Considering different views to be a customer the requirements are
- a) An offer by a person to open some sort of account whether savings or current or fixed deposit account.
b) Banker’s willingness to accept such an offer ultimately resulting in the opening of an account.
Thus, it is clear to us that the different sections of people might take the services of a bank but all of them are not customers in the true sense of the term.
There are people who sometimes take services provided by banks but presently they are not customers. In course of time, they may become customers of a bank.
This group consists of people who are neither customers nor potential customers but they may take the services of a bank on some occasions.
While thinking of customer services these three types of people should be taken into consideration by the bankers.
The service that can be rendered to its customer lies within the function of a modern Bank, Now- a-days a Bank renders the following functions to her clients:
i) Receipt of deposit from the public under Current, Saving and Fixed deposit account as a safe custodian.
ii) Granting Loam/Advance to the public for-business as well as for other purposes.
iii) Remittance facility by issuing draft T.T., P.O., M.T. etc.
- iv) Issuance of Letter of Credit on behalf of the importer to facilitate imports into the country.
- v) Discounting Bills, Promissory notes.
In addition to the above, sometimes a Banker is to provide the following special services to her customer
- i) Buying and selling of securities including foreign currencies.
- ii) Periodical payment of insurance premium, telephone, electric and WASA bills, T.V. licence fees and remitting institutional fees as per standing instruction.
iii) Collecting proceeds of cheque, interest and dividend on security.
- iv) Receiving in safe custody valuables and securities under locker system.
- v) Acting as Executor and trustees.
Sometimes Bank acts as an Adviser to her customer in connection with export, import and other financial matters. He introduces new seller and buyer to her clients. In fact Bank can become an honorary financial partners of his/her customer.
On enquiry from the customer it revealed that customers desire to have the following facilities :
i) Prompt service (ii) Entertainment (iii) Easy Credit facilities (iv) Courtesy (v) Helping them in writting deposit slip, cheque & other correspondences.
The elements of customer services
Three key elements of customer services are:
- Expanding your definition of services
- Identifying your customers
- Developing a customer friendly approach
Customer service means providing a quality services or products that satisfy the needs of a customer and keep them coming back.
Good customer services means much more- it means continued success, increased profits, higher satisfaction, improved company or organization morale, better team work, and market expansion of services/products.
Think about the places where you enjoy doing the business- stores, petrol stations, suppliers, banks etc.Why, aside from actual products or services they provide, do you like doing business with them?
You probably find them courteous, timely, flexible, friendly, interested, and a series of other exemplary qualities. They do not only satisfy your needs and help in your endeavors but make you feel positive and satisfied. You come to rely on their level of service to meet your needs and wants.
On the other hand, lets review a business you dislike patronizing but do so out of necessity. May be it is the police when you need a new drivers license or may be it is the local store that carries a product you need but who offers lousy service when you purchase.
In the booth of these places it’s likely that the customer experience is marred by long lines, gruff service, inefficient processing, impolite and unfriendly clerks or salespeople, lack of flexibility, and no empathy for customer plight. In this cases you feel abused, unsatisfied, and taken advantages of – in essence, your experience is wholly negative.
Unfortunately, in the cases outlined above there is no competition for the services/products offered or you would gladly not consider using either the Ministry of Transport or the rude department store. This is the advantages of a monopoly on a good or service because in a competitive marketplace, the unsatisfied customer shops elsewhere.
Professional qualities in customer service:
Professionals who constantly deal with customers(inside and outside the company) need to strive for certain qualities to help them answer customer needs.
The professional qualities of customer service to be emphasized always relate to the customer wants.
Impressions in Customer Services
The reality is that we prefer doing business with those we like and trust. Impressions are the key to developing trust and confidence in the customer.
As the old saying goes, ” You will never get a second chance to make a first impression. ” This is why the first impression is extremely important and can
set the tone for all future transactions.
Here are some ways of creating positive impressions:
- Thoughtfulness in meeting the customer’s needs
- Personal responsibility for a customer
- Quick problem solving for customer
- Offering immediate assistance
- Using Customer’s name in a conversation
- Pleasant voice tone
- Polite and courteous manners
- A genuine smile
Here are some factors that create a negative impressions:
- Making the customer wait
- Not answering the phone promptly
- Not saying” please” and/ or thank you”
- Speaking loudly or condescendingly to customers or colleagues
- Making faces, frowning, acting distant, not smiling
- Looking disheveled or like you do not care about your appearance
- A poor handshake
- Focusing on another task while addressing or servicing a customer.
Simple Actions, Huge Returns
As the following statistics demonstrate, simple customer service can create huge return on business:
- Customers will spend up to 10% more for the same product with the better service.
- When customers receive good service they tell 10-12 people on average
- When customers receive poor service they will tell upwards 20 people.
- There is an 82% chance customers will purchase from a company where they were satisfied.
- There are about 92% chance that poor service will dissuade a customer from ever going back to the company.
It is often not what you articulate but how it is presented. What you wear and how you express yourself has a lot to do with how what you say is received.
Have you ever noticed how a person who is dressed-up, even in older or out of style clothing, always commands more authority and respect? The impression they make and what they have to say is enhanced by their personal presentation, facial and hand gestures, as well as the substance of what they have to say.
As it turns out, substance is only part of equation of being persuasive and influencing perception.
On one level this seems unfair and superficial because what a person says and how they behave should be more important than if they are well groomed, smiling and dress-up.
Yet visual perception plays a vital role in human impressions and reactions. For this reasons psychologists do not always understand, nature and learned behavior have taught humans to perceive neat, smiling, well-presented individuals in a more commanding manner.