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Excellent customer service makes customers happy. But making customers happy isn't always easy. Buyers make decisions in phases, and you must think about these steps as you plan your customer service department.
Provide a way for customers to contact you easily. Examine what customers want and set up your customer service department accordingly. If customers speak English, provide English-speaking representatives; if they speak Spanish, provide Spanish-speaking representatives. If customers use the web to contact you, set up your web page in a manner that is easy to use. Confirm orders rapidly and accurately.
Examine every phase of customer interaction (before, during and after) to make sure you have appropriate support. The basic steps of making a purchase are as follows: buyers think about a need, do research about a product, examine alternatives, make a purchasing decision, go through with the transaction and after they buy, they decide whether they made a good purchase or not. This final bit of information is stored in their brains to (1) help them assess future situations and (2) to make recommendations to others.
Be aware that when you are selling one customer, you have the opportunity to influence many more.
Make each customer feel important. Without customers, new and repeat, you have no business. People want to feel like a company is listening to them and giving them what they ask for. Sometimes you cannot always do this, but a customer will always remember how you made them feel---over and above what you told them. Communicate in a respectful tone and give them your best.
Kay Balbi began freelancing in 2009 and is now a business management consultant teaching Six Sigma/Lean. Her written work appears on various websites, focusing on business, health and family lifestyle concerns. Balbi has worked in the corporate world for over 30 years. She received her Bachelor of Science in marketing and a Master of Business Administration in global management from the University of Phoenix.