An efficient customer service department is able to resolve customer issues quickly and create a high level of satisfaction. Part of what makes a customer service department efficient is the implementation of good customer service procedures and processes. Create sensible procedures, and develop a training program that helps your associates learn to use these techniques and adapt to customer needs.
When your customer service department is familiar with each client, then it can create solutions to issues that are tailored to the customers' needs. To help customer service associates remain intimately familiar with the business needs of your clients, you need to have a customer management system that allows representatives to input data about the client. When a customer service management system is used properly, data is entered each time the client calls in to a database that is accessible by each customer service associate. When that client calls in again, the data will be available and the customer service professional creates a personalized experience for the client.
A customer service associate is only as effective as the company guidelines allow her to be. This means that each customer service professional in your organization should be regularly trained on what types of services that are authorized to offer customers, what instances would require management involvement and the best ways to use the computer system to maintain client retention. Ongoing training keeps customer service associates up to date on any changes in company policy that can be used to serve the client, and refreshes the associates on basic company procedures.
A good customer service process recognizes that the customer's experience is as important as the results that the customer service representative offers. Make sure that there is a system in place that gets customer calls answered immediately. Customers should not be placed on hold for more than 60 seconds, and a customer service professional should always apologize for putting a customer on hold when he picks the call back up. A customer service professional should be able to recognize immediately if he can help the customer, or if the customer needs to be transferred to a manager or different department. When transferring a customer, the service associate should remain on the call until the customer is connected to someone else.
Customer service is a dynamic department where improvements to the tools available to associates, the processes associates use and the interaction between customer service and other departments should always be explored. Customer service associates receive valuable information from customers all day long regarding product improvements, packaging issues and marketing suggestions. There should be a procedure in place that allows customer service representatives to share customer input with the appropriate departments within the company.
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