Customer service is being seen as increasingly important. Companies are beginning to measure and improve the quality of their service and new departments are now involved. The importance of quality service is seen in the brand loyalty of companies that prioritize service leading to increased revenues. However companies differ in correctly identifying their weak points and fixing them. Accurate assessments of customer interaction with service are limited and consumers complain that their needs are not met. Some companies might have difficulty in focusing on their customers instead of internal workings. For many companies, customer service is a low priority or not even on the radar.
Consumers pay for quality and companies are taking notice. Many companies base their success on good quality instead of low costs leading to rising service standards. As companies raise these standards, customer experience trends show an increased level of convenience. Two seemingly opposite trends are also taking place. Automated systems are increasingly effective while better information gathering can personalize and speed up service. Online chatting with a real person sometimes takes the place of an automated phone service. Response times are shorter and many companies can now solve problems before they arise.
Customer experience trends are increasingly focusing on a more localized personal touch. Locations differ in their approach by adding local flavors to good service. Individual employees are moving away from the rigid scripted approach to service allowing a more authentic experience. However, this personalized approach is not had at the expense of speed and convenience. Another trend is an integration of the customer experience with social media. Customers can connect with both friends and service associates as they are navigating the market.
There are a few essential components of a good service team. Dividing roles makes it easier for customers to receive fast informed service. This allows for authorized employees to apologize or give discounts properly. An apology might have more meaning with a future discount or a small gift. Clear direct communication can solve problems before they occur and make the customer feel important. Some approaches should be avoided like rushing customers. Rushing service can lead to more problems by confusing consumers. Blaming customers might lead them to associate negative emotions with the customer experience and should be avoided. Failing to deliver on a promise will cause more harm than simply not making an empty promise and must also be avoided.
Individual employees should also have specific traits. Being attentive and patient will ensure good time management but also assure and satisfy customers. Speaking clearly and informed will make the service experience timely and understandable. Often seeking a co-worker’s help will make the employee seem uninformed. Clear informed service also positively affects sales and customer satisfaction levels. Being able to control one’s emotions so as to remain positive will ensure that surprises are dealt with properly. Finally, the ability to feel confident enough to make some mistakes and learning from mistakes will also lead to a more competent associate.