Customer service is the way in which the business employee interacts with the customer during their visit. The intent being to provide an excellent and satisfactory experience. However, this will be determined by how the employee who delivers the service, feels about giving good customer service and the way in which he or she treats the customer during the interaction. There are customer service schools of thought that call this an art.
RetailTouchPoints.com provides data showing that your chances of selling a product or service to a new customer is 1 in 6. Your chances of selling a product or service to a current customer is 1 in 12.
Guy Kawasaki, speaker on business principles, offers some tips for businesses on the art of customer service:
- Start at the top-The CEO's attitude towards customer service is the primary determinant of the quality of service that a company delivers. That attitude will permeate the company.
- Put the customer in control-The best kind of customer service happens when management enables employees to put the customer in control. This require two leaps of faith: first, that management trusts customers not take advantage of the situation; second, that management trust employees with this empowerment.
- Take responsibility for your shortcomings-A company that takes responsibility for its shortcomings is likely to provide great customer service. It's acknowledged that it's the company's fault and the company's responsibility to fix.
- Hire the right kind of people-Customer service is not a job for everyone. The ideal customer service person derives great satisfaction by helping people and solving problems. This cannot be said of every job candidate. It's the company's responsibility to hire the right kind of people for this job because it can be a bad experience for the employee and the customer when you hire folks without a service orientation.
- Under promise and over deliver-The goal is to delight a customer.