Your Customer Service Team Is Your Secret Weapon by Cindy Stradling CSL, CPC
In the increasingly competitive marketplace, it is challenging to be able to set your business apart from the competition. With consumers able to go online and buy virtually anything from anywhere in the world, finding a way to build your brand and connect with a customer base may seem like an uphill battle, particularly against international companies and brands with seemingly limitless marketing budgets.
What your business may be missing is a critical link to your customers. Your customer service team, the first line of contact for your customers to your business, can be a secret weapon that immediately establishes your brand and gives your company a leg up on the competition.
Taking the time to focus on your customer service team is a simple way to create an environment and philosophy in the team about the importance of quality customer care. This means starting out with the understanding of the importance of customer service and the role the team plays in the success of the business. Recognizing and treating customer service staff in the way you want them to treat customers is the first step, and it is definitely a top-down modeling of the behavior and message you want for your customers.
Customer Satisfaction Comes First
While it may sound a bit cliché, happy customers are return customers. People that have problems before, during, or after a purchase are much less likely to return and more likely to take the time to provide negative feedback, ratings, and negative posts on social media about the experience.
Making the customer service team a customer satisfaction team is a critical first step. These employees should come into work with the goal of providing the answer, solution, or resolving the issue the customer has, ensuring full satisfaction for everyone they deal with throughout the day.
To make this happen, the customer service team has to be able to be creative and to make decisions that are in the best interest of the customer. This may mean offering a discount, accepting a return, or providing options for the customer to consider. It may also mean spending time with the customer to listen to the problem and to offer ideas and support that fully addresses the customer’s concern or issue.
Choose Your Staff Wisely
A key factor in building a customer satisfaction and support team is to hire people that are genuinely “people first people.” These are customer service staff who naturally focus on building a relationship with the customer and seeing the problem through to the end. They are not going to be focused on answering X number of calls a day or responding to Y number of chat support requests. Instead, these are the people that are willing to work through the difficult issues and to make sure the service ends only when all that is possible has been done for the customer.
Having a top customer support, service, and satisfaction team takes work. However, it is also the most effective way to build your brand, connect with your customer base, and to make your mark in any market.