A good customer service model focuses on increasing satisfaction while decreasing or minimizing customer conflict. Implementing a business model that focuses on an atmosphere of service is essential to the majority of businesses worldwide. Customer service models should include strategies for getting customer feedback, retaining angry or unsatisfied customers and continually updating policies and services to meet customers' needs.
Define what you and/or your company means by "customer service." Write down all aspects of the customer experience that you feel is important to work on and develop. Review your company goals and missions to determine if there are any customer service models already written into your policies. Include everything from welcoming the customer and assisting him with products/services all the way to providing for a complaint resolution service when issues arise.
Develop a strategy for welcoming the customer to your business. This means having a friendly and light atmosphere if you have a traditional brick-and-mortar store; an example is chain department stores such as WalMart that use greeters. Welcoming the customer also means placing products/services in easy-to-find locations.
Institute employee training programs that focus on improving and creating a customer service atmosphere. Each employee should have a distinct role, but customer service should be a part of all positions. Employees should be trained in welcoming customers, assisting and conversing with customers as needed. A company's reputation and brand image partially rely on a customer service focus, which is why employee training programs should be used.
Create plans to include customer service after a purchase has been made. Low-cost or free installation services should be considered if you're selling high-priced items such as appliances or electronics. Technical support services and service warranties are also possibilities that enhance a company's customer service image.
Make company management personnel available for any customer issues or concerns that need to be taken care of immediately. Names and phone numbers of company management should be easily accessible to low-level employees if management is not available.
Consider using multiple channels to communicate with your customers. Provide a toll-free or local phone number so that customers can call and get in touch with a customer service representative to talk about issues and complaints. Include other communication channels such as live website support and social media methods like Twitter and Facebook. When customers need to get in touch with a company representative it should be fairly easy to do so.
Develop a clear method to resolve customer complaints. Decide how and with whom complaints will be handled and resolved. Consider using customer relationship management (CRM) software such as that offered by Oracle to help. Institute complaint resolution policies such as giving account credits, free coupons and products, or refunds. A good customer service model should be flexible and resolve each complaint on a case-by-case basis.
Matthew Schieltz has been a freelance web writer since August 2006, and has experience writing a variety of informational articles, how-to guides, website and e-book content for organizations such as Demand Studios. Schieltz holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. He plans to pursue graduate school in clinical psychology.