Customer Service• Customer service is a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction• Customer Satisfaction is the feeling that a product or service has met the customer expectation
Customer Support• assisting customers in • Involves assistance in making cost effective – Planning and correct use of a – Installation product – Training – Troubleshooting – Maintenance – Upgrading – Disposal of a product
Customer Support Scope• deal directly with customers either by telephone, electronically or face to face• respond promptly to customer inquiries• handle and resolve customer complaints• obtain and evaluate all relevant information to handle inquiries and complaints• perform customer verifications• process orders, forms, applications and requests• direct requests and unresolved issues to the designated resource
• manage customers accounts• keep records of customer interactions and transactions• record details of inquiries, comments and complaints• record details of actions taken• manage administration• communicate and coordinate with internal departments• follow up on customer interactions
Customer Support Key Competencies• interpersonal skills• communication skills - verbal and written• listening skills• problem analysis and problem-solving• attention to detail and accuracy• data collection and ordering• customer service orientation• adaptability• initiative• stress tolerance
Customer Service Skill List• Product Knowledge – You can only provide good customer service if you know what you’re talking about. This means understanding what your products are as well as the services you provide. – Providing extra details about your products, enhanced features and support for how to use products correctly all feeds into truly excellent customer service skills.
• Communication (verbal, written and listening) – You need good customer service skills with regard to your diction, clarity of communications and how you converse with customers in order to get to the root of their problems. – requires the ability to use positive language in all communications and to actively listen in any verbal interactions – Using persuasion methods should not however alter you, or your staff’s, sense of ethics in business
• Problem resolution – being able to effectively analyse the information you receive from the customer and provide quick and accurate decisions about what can be done. – to be able to understand how to use the resources available to you (both IT systems and work colleagues) to seek out new solutions.
• Task orientation and time management – For many phone/online support or technical support roles there are daily demands as regards the amount of customers that should be dealt with or time spent with each call. – requires careful time management by the representative to focus on providing a good quality service in a timely manner.
• Persuasive abilities – Being able to persuade customers who may be aggravated or emotional to see things clearly can prove to be most helpful in one-on-one communications
• Flexibility – each customer may have different requests, queries and issues they wish to raise so each individual has to have the flexibility and presence of mind to be able to deal dynamically with requests. – requires a certain amount of confidence and a keen understanding of your own product knowledge in order to provide flexible solutions that are apt to each request.
• Work ethic – requires a lot of interaction with customers so having a positive attitude towards your work and towards the customers is essential• Professionalism – Better communication skills can in still a better attitude and level of courtesy when dealing with customers. – To ensure that levels of professionalism are be maintained in all dealings with customers.
• Confidence – a confident individual is nearly always a result of proper training and education on their products as well as incremental levels of experience – This level of confidence instils a sense of trust within customers as regards your ability to effectively deal with their issue in a professional and prompt way
• Leadership – once you build up excellent customer service skills it is important to share this knowledge with others – Leadership and mentoring of new representatives is the long-term goal for aspiring representatives as this ensures the company can expand its existing workforce and improve the quality of service they provide by all individuals
Call Handling Procedure• General Points of Good Practice – If possible, answer promptly – Smile when you pick up the phone - the caller can hear it in you voice – Speak at a reading pace, use punctuation and speak clearly – Use courteous words and phrases: "may I ask you to write and confirm?" sounds much better than "you’ll have to put that in writing" – Be positive! Say what you can do, not what you can’t’ – Avoid using jargon – Accept responsibility for dealing with the call and carry it through – Use closed questions (questions which can be answered simply ‘yes’ or ‘no’) to slow a caller down or check your understanding of information given – Avoid irritants (e.g. calling people ‘love’)
• Opening the Call – ‘You never get a second chance to make a first impression’ – Pause before you pick up the receiver, to give yourself time to adopt a positive attitude
• The Conversation – Identify the caller’s needs using questioning skills - open questions to speed up the flow and closed questions to slow it down – Actively listening - giving ‘verbal nods’ (e.g. ‘I see’) and repeating information back to the caller to test your understanding and gain their agreement – Avoid making assumptions – Take responsibility for the call and any action - say ‘I can’ and ‘I will’ and do it! – If you have to go and get some information, Let him/her know why you are going away from the phone and for how long. – Dont leave an "open" telephone lying on a desk where the conversations of yourself or your colleagues may be overhead. – Do your best to ignore colleagues who try to attract your attention or to interrupt you while you are in conversation with a caller.
• Closing the Call – ‘The last thing you hear is the first thing you remember’ – Summarise the action to be taken – Gain the customer’s agreement with a closed question – Give your name and telephone details to the caller – End of call signal and final offer of help e.g. ‘so is that everything Mrs Bailey?’ – Then the ‘thank you’ and ‘goodbye’ – And finally let the caller replace the hand set first - just in case they remember something at the last minute
• Transferring calls and putting the caller on hold – Explain why you need to do this – Ask permission from the caller – Give accurate time scales – Let the caller know what to expect – On returning to the call thank the caller for waiting – If there is any chance that the call will be ‘lost’ make sure you have the caller’s name and telephone number – Only transfer a call when you are certain you know the right person to deal with it. – If you cannot answer an enquiry quickly, give the caller the option of your calling back.