Business, inspiration

What is good customer service?

So, what encompasses good customer service? And why is it so important in order for a business to succeed?  Well, with good customer service comes returning business.  So it’s no surprise that many companies are training their employees on how to represent their company well. But employers also realize that the key to good customer service is happy employees.

Customer service is one of the most sought-after professions for young professionals who not only want to love their job,  but also be well compensated for their job as well.   A survey conducted in 2012 of more than 100,000 employee-generated reviews concluded that the Customer Service Representative was one of the “happiest” jobs in America.  The number of customer service jobs, those that are high-profiled, as more than doubled since 2006.

Companies today are growing more and more aware of the importance of social media, and customer service jobs are starting to take on that social-media feel as well.  That could be one of the reasons that employees are more happy in this field.  So it’s safe to stay that the customer service job has come a long way from call centers.  Today’s customer service agent is probably spending the majority of their time on Twitter, Facebook, and other forms of social media.  They are interacting with customer is a much more natural and comfortable setting.

Technology changes all the time, but perhaps no other field has been able to drastically change the way they conduct business than the customer service field.  Because instead of pursuing the complaint as a discrete communication, customers reach out to corporations and businesses like they do their friends.  It’s up to the customer service department to engage with the customer, to ensure that they have rectified the issue, and that the customer is happy.  Companies are realizing the hard way that the way their customer service department is run needs to be to provide interaction with the public immediately and quickly, and not just ignore the issue. Facebook and Twitter have a way of taking an issue and running with it.

In order to have effective customer service that works, things need to be done differently than in years past.  In previous times, customer service reps were trained to take the complaint, and pass it on up the chain of command.  Today’s customer service representative must be smart, fast, attentive and personable, as well as be able to work in a volatile situation.

Customer service agents today are more like ambassadors.  They need to skillfully represent their companies, all while being sensitive and creative.  It’s important to the reputation to the business they represent.

As Alon Waisman, the social media operations manager at the website company GoDaddy, and his team had a problem recently.   A customer by the name of  Wes Tweeted that he was having problems with his service. He  did not directly address the company, and he used some salty language.   Regardless, the  team, monitoring Twitter, learned about the customer’s  problem, and tweeted back to fix the issue.  A few hours later, the customer Wes Tweeted ; “You want to know what great customer service is,” he wrote, “then talk to the people at @GoDaddy they tweeted me after seeing that I had a problem.” That’s an example of being an ambassador.

Good customer service agents need to resolve a huge amount of queries each day.  And social media customer services is evolving and growing daily, which makes good customer service that much more important.  It doesn’t take an economist to predict the results of good customer service.  Good customer service, when it feels like genuine care, goes a long, long way in building lasting relationships.

By Ross Davies

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