Customer service is the service provided by a business or organization to its customers before, during, or after a purchase. It includes assistance with customer complaints, answering questions, resolving problems, managing expectations, providing technical assistance post-purchase, problem-solving, troubleshooting, and information-seeking. A team that is expert at providing quality customer service is very important in any business or organization. Businesses that provide quality customer service to their clients have a loyal customer base that continues to use the products and services they offer. Some core customer service skills include communicating over the telephone, which is still the most common way of reaching customer service. For instance, people tend to dial the Time Warner cable customer service number when they have problems with their cable service or equipment. However, customer service includes much more complicated tasks as well like, computing, bookkeeping, negotiating, writing reports, problem-solving, being a team player, and being a good communicator while working under pressure.
Why Customer Service is a Team Job
It is crucial to have a team of people who can provide a high level of customer service in a positive, productive, and professional manner. Customer service is a term that describes the management and provision of a service to customers before, during, and after a purchase. A good customer service team will be able to keep customers happy, satisfied, and loyal by listening to their problems, acknowledging their needs, and providing quality service to them. Customer service is a vital part of the business world and probably the most crucial one because your customer service is the frontline force that represents the face and image of a company. So, an efficient and stronger customer service team in a business will result in a better image in front of the customers.
As a lot of customers may try to reach out regarding their services all at once, the job of customer service can’t be put into the hands of a single person. There’s a team that does all this, and “teamwork makes the dream work.” No other department does justice to this quote like customer service. Since you never know which agent is going to receive what kind of customer, so it is increasingly necessary that all members of the team are well versed, have good communication skills, and have sufficient knowledge. It’s also important because a mistake by one agent can have devastating effects on not only the whole team but the complete business entity as well.
Why Customer Service is Important
When you feel happy about how you are being served, you are more inclined to buy. This is quite simple, isn’t it? Customer service is important because it makes customers feel special. This is why you should always remember to put your customer first. The best way to achieve this is by making your customers feel that they are really important and that they are being served properly. When you put your customers first, you are not only making them feel important but you are also putting in a lot of effort to make your business a successful one. To make your customer a priority, you will have to learn the trends of how current customers behave, and as this field is constantly evolving with the changing consumer behavior, so organizations who are not aware of current customer service trends would end up annoying the customer, thus making a loss for the business.
Customer Service Trends of 2021
The customer of today is very aware thanks to the easy access of technological resources like the internet. This leaves little to no room for error plus a recent survey suggests that post-COVID, 59% of customers care even more about customer service before doing business with an organization. So, companies should keep a note of these current trends in order to provide a smooth experience for the customer.
Greater Focus on Agent Experience (AX)
This is a new term that has come into the limelight in recent times. Usually, companies focus on Customer Experience (CX) in order to ensure that they remain satisfied and loyal clients for the company. However, organizations do ignore the fact that the agent who is interacting with the customer should have a positive experience as well to ensure that he can assist the customer in the best way possible. Customer service is a tough job and agents are under a lot of pressure. Catering to hundreds of customers and their queries is not an easy task, plus most customers are angry and frustrated who usually spill all their mood swings at the agent on the other end. In retrospect, it’s the agent who’s the face of the company at that moment and if something happens from the agent’s side, it will surely hamper the company’s reputation.
In the current COVID crisis mental health has also become an important issue. That’s why companies are keeping a check on their employees’ mental health as well as conducting sessions, giving appraisals, and boosting the morale in order to keep them satisfied and increase work productivity. This becomes much more crucial in terms of customer service agents, who are there assisting customers even in lockdowns and strict restrictions. To put it simply, happy agents equals happy customers, so in 2021 and onwards, an important customer service trend is going to be improving the agent experience.
Gone are those days when customer service was considered as calling on the number provided by your company. Although, calls are still one of the major means of how consumers interact with customer service, however, this trend is changing rapidly. With an internet-centric approach, customers no longer want to remain in longer hold times or stay on the call with agents, instead, they want a quick resolution of their queries and that too in an efficient way. Companies are increasing their online presence with options like live chatbots, WhatsApp business accounts, dedicated email addresses, and social media profiles through which consumers can directly interact with them. This is a step in the right direction and those companies who are going to stick to their single-channel communication will soon have no customers to interact with.
The interactions between customers and an organization are no longer hidden. With the advent of social media platforms, every kind of communication is present on open forums for anyone to see. Plus with a surge of review websites, customers can freely express their views about a product or service. This makes it vital to have positive interactions with a customer because these interactions are influencing thousands of potential future customers who are looking up reviews before buying a product or service. According to stats, 70 percent of Americans now look for online reviews before deciding to do business with a company. Thus, customer reviews have become a major driving force and a free marketing tool if used correctly. That’s why we are seeing that customer service is evolving accordingly, keeping in mind that their every move is being judged and rated upon.
Consumer trends are constantly evolving with time as well as expectations of customers regarding their service provider are higher now than ever before. In times like these, it has become necessary for customer service departments to adopt new and upcoming trends so that they can meet the consumer’s expectations and provide them with the best possible experience. These are only a few new trends that if followed can bring a positive outcome regarding the interactions of customers with their respective service providers.