The Basics of Customer Service Management
In the Philippines, call centers and business processing outsourcing companies are thriving in the business sector because of the growing demand for handling various accounts and providing technical support for both local and international clients.
One of the common tasks in the business processing outsourcing companies is to attend to customers’ queries and issues, ensuring them the quality customer service experience. In this regard, customer service related companies make sure that they have an efficient customer service management.
Do you have an idea what is customer service management? How is it done? What is the role of customer service management in handling customer complaints?
Have a read and get a glimpse on the basics of customer service management and know the importance of communication in this type of industry.
What is customer service management?
Customer service management refers to the techniques and technologies that a company implements to effectively interact with their customers, respond to their queries, and build strong relationship with them, among others.
On the other hand, customer service management may also refer to a business strategy, internet system, or even software program, which businesses or organization uses to implement efficient communication to their clients or customers.
The systems developed specifically for customer service management are designed to enable companies to compile the information of their customers (may it be through telephone, live chat, company’s website, or e-mail), acquire customer-facing staff detailed information, record several customer interaction, and automate tasks, such as performance tracking and calendar and alerts.
One of the key job descriptions of a customer service professional is to attend to queries of their consumers. With this, it is important that companies ensure that their employees are equipped with the needed qualities and know how to utilize techniques, which will help their company maintain integrity and increase consumer loyalty.
How to handle customer complaints?
One of the toughest jobs in the market is being a customer service representative or any profession that requires intensive customer interaction. Such type of job requires interaction with customers, may it be personal, through phone calls, or e-mails, every day to either attend to their queries or provide excellent customer service experience.
The difficult part of having a customer service-related job is how to efficiently handle customers’ complaints, especially the irate ones. Whether you are from a food and beverage industry, BPO, airlines, or banking and finance, handling a customer complaint is never easy. Sufficient training is one of the essential strategies to have an effective system in handling customer complaints, thus, offering solutions immediately.
Several qualities and techniques are needed to fully be an efficient and responsible customer service representative. Here are a few of the essential qualities and techniques that a company owner should prioritize when hiring or training people.
- Listen and understand – The first step in handling a customer complaint is by listening and understanding their concerns carefully. Keep in mind that a complaining customer is concerned about a certain product or service your company have. In this regard, you should cautiously understand their queries and find ways to solve it. After all, this will benefit your company in the long run. Furthermore, acquiring efficient listening and understanding skills will not only help you solve the issue easily but enable to retain your consumer base as well.
- Stay calm – You have probably heard the saying—customer is always right. This adage is one of the principles being practiced in the customer service industry.
However, there are instances that a customer may not be always right and tend to be rude when conversing to customer service employees. In this regard, a customer service employee should stay calm when communicating with an irate customer. As much as possible, understand their situation and refrain from raising a voice while giving solutions to customer’s problems, even if they are displaying rude behavior. Keep in mind that your goal is to turn their negative experience into positive ones. Achieve this by handling the complaint in a smooth and professional manner. Furthermore, patience is necessary in this kind of situation.
- Being able to analyze root cause – The next step after you identify and understand the customer’s issue is to pinpoint the root cause of it and find ways on how to solve it. Every employee in an organization should be competent in addressing the customers’ queries. Training in problem solving is a must for a customer related company. Remember that your inability to find solutions to customer’s issue will lead to their disappointment, hence, may result to decrease in consumer loyalty. Therefore, problem solving skills is essential in the customer service profession.
- Have an efficient time management – As they say, timing is everything. This adage is also applicable to the customer service industry. Time management is very essential in any service-centric company. Being able to attend to a customer’s queries in a timely manner will help you maintain the customers’ loyalty and increase consumer base as well. For example, when a customer e-mailed their issues to you, make it sure to attend to it within 24 hours. This will signal the customer that you are attentive and sincere in addressing their issues. Efficient time management comprises of planning, identifying and prioritization of tasks, brief but detailed meetings, and eliminating distractions, such as Internet and mobile phones. Furthermore, implement these practices to be able to resolve complaints as quickly as possible without rushing.
- Have a strong business or work ethics – It is considered that demonstrating a strong work ethic is significant in the workplace. Having such trait is helpful in the success of a company. There are various components that build up strong work ethic. To make you fully understand what trait it is, here are few elements of a strong work ethic:
- Professionalism – Professionalism is a broad term. This skill may denote on how an employee dress on the workplace, how they treat their colleagues and customers, and how they value time. Furthermore, maturity plays a significant role in being a professional employee.
- Respectfulness – Being respectful is one of the essential traits of an ideal employee. This includes being calm and diplomatic when an irate customer shouts at you, displaying grace under pressure or when there is a tight deadline, or remaining courteous to difficult people, especially in challenging circumstances.
- Accountability – At times, admitting your mistake is more than just saying sorry. This deed is not only applicable in real life but in the workplace as well. Moreover, this refers to the trait of taking the responsibility to a certain action, regardless if the outcome turns out to be positive or negative. For instance, a person who has a strong work ethic and accountability acknowledges responsibilities and do not blame others for their own actions or mistakes.
- Humility – Sometimes, when a person desires to be the best, he/she tends to forget being kind since he/she will do everything to be on top, regardless if it is good or bad. This can be avoided when one practice humility. Humility refers to the state of being humble, and not being too proud of yourself. Showing gratitude and appreciation to your colleagues, acknowledging that you are not always right, and recognizing other’s achievement are some of the examples of humility. It is necessary that people should develop humility, regardless of their achievement or status.
A complaining customer is a common part of a company’s daily grind, occurring even in the best organization or company. It is necessary that a company hire people who possesses qualities mentioned above or someone who are willing to acquire those qualities to efficiently handle customer complaints and provide the best customer service experience to their consumers.
Apart from what is mentioned, an effective communication skill is needed to fully implement the organization’s strategies and vision and attend to a customer’s requests and demands with ease.
The importance of effective communication
Communication is important in any kind of organization. Given that jobs related to customer service is merely focusing on customer interaction, effective communication plays a significant role in handling customer complaints and providing them the best customer service experience. Communication has different types—each one plays a significant role in building a strong relationship between the company and the customer. Here are the different types of communication that are essential in customer service management.
- Listening skills – As mentioned above, listening is essential in company-client relationship since it is the first step in addressing the queries and issues of customers. In this regard, listening skills is essential in any customer service company, especially in call centers around the metro. For example, one typical scenario in call centers is a customer calling to a company wherein they will tell their complaints or issues. The struggle of the customer service representative is to fully listen to the queries of the customers since the conversation is done through telephone. Hence, developing good listening skills is important to successfully address the concerns and issues of the customers.
- Written communication – Unlike in verbal communication, written communication is often misinterpreted since it does not have any emotion or tone. Hence, an efficient written communication skill should possess by employees working in a customer-centric industry, such as hotel or travel agency. For example, a customer will e-mail to follow up regarding his or her accommodation or travel package. In this regard, the customer service employee should respond to the customer in a timely manner and craft a sentence that is simple and straight to the point. Hence, a customer service employee should be knowledgeable on how to effectively write an e-mail, which contains words that are fully constructed.
- Proper use of language – English is the most used language in the world, and constantly evolving as time goes by. In this regard, people using this language should be aware on the changes, guidelines, and variations to stay ahead in using the English language, hence, avoiding to cause misinterpretations. Furthermore, slang, profanity, and off-color humor should be avoided in the workplace.
- Nonverbal communication – As they say, action speaks louder than words. It is indeed true. Body language, mannerisms, and tone of voice play a big part in completing the thought of a certain message. Such types of nonverbal communication denote meaning and should be carefully use to send the right message. Hence, companies should educate their employees on what are the appropriate types of nonverbal communication that can be used in the workplace.
Tools for efficient customer management
Apart from efficient qualities and reliable techniques, tools are also essential in implementing effective customer service management. With the advancement in technology, several tools, may it be web-based or mobile, are available to help companies implement their customer service techniques efficiently and quickly. Here are few of the tools that a company should have.
- BlueBlue.com – A website that provides efficient tracking of customers, partners, and vendors.
- Entellium.com – Entellium is a website that offers a wide variety of solutions, which are perfect for your business.
- MojoHelpDesk.com – A tool that enables companies to track their customers’ issues easily and quickly.
Utilizing such kinds of tools will surely help you utilize your customer service strategies and provide an excellent customer service experience to your consumers.
Excellent customer experience is one of the key reasons why consumers stay loyal in a certain company or brand. Most of the successful companies today build their business solely around their consumers. Therefore, excellent customer service experience is essential in a company’s growth. One of the leading call centers in the country that truly values customer service experience is Piton Global.
Piton Global, leading contact center in Manila, is known for providing quality services to their clients, both local and international. Being the leading contact center, they hire the best people, which has the right set of skills, attitudes, and experiences, to give the best customer service experience to their clients.
At Piton Global, we provide cutting edge customer service that specializes in customer service or care, tech support and help desk, and lead generation and telemarketing. This organization is committed in bringing the world-class solutions to drive revenues and continually improve customer satisfaction.
To completely have an understanding on what Piton Global does, visit this link: http://www.piton-global.com/about-us/company.html.