Every business revolves around customer service, regardless of the industry. Even sole entrepreneurs who do not work in the service industry must understand the value of customer service because they have to please and maintain relationships with clients. Let’s take a look at the most important aspects of customer service and determine which is the most crucial to success.
1. Understand and Anticipate
Customers are not necessarily looking for particular products and services. What they are really looking for are solutions that will solve their problems. They want to interact with a customer service representative who understands their problem and really tries to find the proper solution. There is not a “one size fits all” solution to customer problems. If a customer service representative puts forth the effort to understand the customer, his unique dilemma and then brainstorms a possible solution, he will earn the customer’s appreciation and loyalty. Communication is central to understanding and anticipating. It’s all about putting yourself in the customer’s shoes and developing the appropriate solution.
Understand and Anticipate comes in as a 2 seed, but their loyal fans travel well, so it will be an interesting match-up. They’ve got a strong presence down low and as long as their coach can give them a good scouting report, it should be an exciting 40 minutes.
Every customer service representative should be hyper-focused on listening to their customers. Listen to exactly what they say, how they say it and commit their words to memory. If interacting in-person, observe the customer’s body language. When one provides his undivided attention and repeats the important parts of the customer’s monologue, he will be much more likely to “win over” the customer.
Listen comes in as the overall number one seed, a tough draw for Understand and Anticipate. Listen has been the fan favorite all season. As an established franchise in the league, they have embarrassed their opponents all season. With the most fundamental and consistent play, Listen is not the most exciting team to watch, but don’t be surprised if they come away with the championship.
3. Recognize the Individuality of the Customer
Never assume anything about a customer. Doing so has the potential to offend the customer and make him think that the company representative is unwilling to help develop a solution that is uniquely tailored to his individual problem. The best representatives are willing to patiently listen to their customers in order to understand the idiosyncratic nuances of their unique position and problems. Always use the customer’s name and make attempts to compliment him while still being sincere.
Recognize the Individuality of the Customer comes in as a dark horse to the Customer Service Final Four. They live and die by the 3, but every play is unique. Easily the most difficult scouting report in the tournament, Recognize could sneak into the championship if their opponent falters.
4. A Quick and Informed Response
The vast majority of customer questions and requests are fairly straightforward and manageable. Even if you are confronted with a particularly challenging request or question, you must respond in a timely manner. If you lack the information that is necessary to help the customer right away, let him know that you need to gather more information and give him a timetable for your response. Then proceed to look into the matter and provide continuous updates to keep the customer in the loop.
One word: speed. A Quick and Informed Response relies on their speed and agility to slash into the paint for easy baskets. Sometimes that quickness can be their demise with a high amount of turnovers. Bad decisions can get their guards into trouble, but they are the favorite taking on Recognize the Individuality of the Customer.
Winner: Recognize the Individuality of the Customer
Championship Matchup: Listen vs. Recognize the Individuality of the Customer
A match-up of fundamentals versus new talent, expect a high-scoring game. Listen is going to have trouble keeping up with Recognize if they play at their pace. If Listen can slow the ball down, defend the arc, and continue to make clean passes, expect Listen to come away with the victory.