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Improving the business-to-business customer experience

BREAKING DOWN 'Customer Service'

❶An advanced track for more difficult deals included extensive auditing, the addition of senior executives to the working team, and more interactions with the client. When someone is willing to spend money with your business, they deserve to be heard and treated with respect.

Understanding a complex experience

What good customer service skills look like?
Improving the experience
Why is customer service important?

One of the first impacts that a business will see from good customer service is consumer loyalty and raving fans. People will return to a business in which they feel they are treated with respect. Not only do these customers come back but they also tell their friends, post on social media and discuss the positive experience they had.

For example, a lot of people hate going to the dentist. They fear what the X-rays will show and dread the sound of the drill. For some, this creates so much anxiety that they avoid the dentist until something is really wrong making matters worse. If this customer finds a dentist who not only understands how fearful his patient is but also has methods of making the entire process more enjoyable, the client will certainly share his experience.

Of course, few think about dentists and good customer service in the same sentence, but there is a way to make the client feel cared about and validated in his fears while still taking care of the issue at hand. Sometimes a business gets a prospect in the door that they feel is a sure sale.

Then the sale doesn't happen. It can be easy for a sales representative to take a negative tone. But if the representative takes a customer service perspective, he might get the sale later. An insurance agent is a good example of where this happens a lot. He might have a great rapport with the client and do the entire quote. For this reason, many companies have worked hard to increase their customer satisfaction levels. Although many people may work behind the scenes at a company, it is primarily the personnel that interact directly with customers that form customers' perceptions of the company as a whole.

A courteous and empathetic interaction with a trained customer service representative can mean the difference between losing or retaining a customer. When problems arise, customers should receive timely attention to the issue.

Prompt attention to emails and phone calls is critical to maintaining good relations. Requiring customers to stand in long lines or sit on hold can sour an interaction before it begins. Ideally, customer service should be a one-stop endeavor for the consumer. For example, if a customer calls a helpline regarding a problem with a product, the customer service representative should follow through with the customer until the issue is fully resolved.

This may entail scheduling appointments with in-person repair personnel if the problem cannot be resolved on the phone, or transferring a call to skilled technicians in another department. Proactively following up with the customer to ensure that he or she is fully satisfied is another smart move. Customer service representatives must be accessible, knowledgeable and courteous. They require excellent listening skills and a willingness to compromise to reach a resolution.

Training in conflict resolution can be very beneficial in fostering those skills. Strong speaking skills are another important attribute of a successful customer service representative. For phone staff, this means speaking clearly and slowly while maintaining a calm demeanor, even if the customer becomes upset. Companies must make a commitment to providing up-to-date information to customer service representatives.

Do this via surveys, focus groups, or by having an online or in-store comment box available. Carefully review compliments and complaints and look for common threads that can be addressed and improved upon. Ask your employees to keep you apprised of the most common complaints and compliments they receive and strive to do less of the former and more of the latter.

Consider rewarding staffers for exceptional levels of service as well. This encourages not only compliance but also above-and-beyond efforts. Lisa McQuerrey has been an award-winning writer and author for more than 25 years. Skip to main content. What Is Customer Service? Tip Customers frequently share their opinions of businesses online and through social media, which means even one wrong move or perceived slight — especially one caught on camera — can spread quickly and damage your business.

Tip Customer service is important to reducing turnover. The Customer Service Report: About the Author Lisa McQuerrey has been an award-winning writer and author for more than 25 years.

What is 'Customer Service'

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For example, it's how you interact with your customers. Improving your customer service skills can lead to greater customer satisfaction and a more enjoyable experience for them. No matter the size of your business good customer service, needs be at the heart of your business model if you wish to be successful.

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Customer service is the act of taking care of the customer's needs by providing and delivering professional, helpful, high quality service and assistance before, during, and after the customer's requirements are met.

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Jun 29,  · Good customer service creates happy customers who are willing to shop with you again and bring friends and family. It also . These articles will teach you what excellent customer service is and provide you with the tools to assess and improve it in your small business.

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Often, customer service takes place while performing a transaction for the customer, such as making a sale or returning an item. Customer service can take the form of an in-person interaction, a phone call, self-service systems, or by other means. Customer service is the most important part of any business. Keep these five things in mind so that you understand how important it is to your success.