Customer Centricity: Begin With Customer Service

One of the basic tenets of Customer Centricity is service. Why? Service is taking action to take care of someone else. More importantly, it is taking action to create value for someone else (Ron Kaufman). It is how one adds value to others and in the process, gains more of himself. In most cases (though not on purpose), people feel good about providing others a service, as doing so naturally entails a positive feeling within themselves. In essence, service is a spirit of altruism. It is not just a procedure to follow, but a mindset of purposeful engagement and proactive communication that leads to a productive behaviour.

Let us define Customer Service.

Wikipedia defines Customer Service as the act of taking care of the customers’ needs by providing and delivering professional, helpful, high quality service, and assistance before, during, and after his/her requirements are met. One of my favorite Customer Service (CX) gurus, Michael Falcon, defines it as “an action within an entire customer experience; and to achieve an excellent experience, every touchpoint from beginning to end must be exceptional.” Take note that this definition of Customer Service gives rise to its particular ingredient, “touchpoint,” which means, every point of contact with a customer (face to face, phone calls, emails, ticket logs, etc).

On the other hand, Turban (2002), defines Customer Service as “a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction — that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer’s expectation.”

Apparently in these concepts given by the experts, common factors in Customer Service surface: action/delivery, care, and meeting customers’ needs. In addition, there is frequent usage of superlatives such as exceptional, excellent, highest quality, and the like.

In a nutshell, Customer Service is any action on all customer touchpoints, where we deliver our knowledge and abilities to customers to meet their needs and expectation in an excellent way. It is a cornerstone to a customer experience (CX) strategy. It is a balance of commendable acts between delivering service (which includes best practices and agent experience) and satisfying customers at a cost. It is about how an organization delivers its products or services in the most humanly satisfying manner, as pleasurable as possible.

What kind of service is needed then? Answer: we need superior service be delivered at any touchpoint, for “Good is no longer good enough.” To quote Ron Kaufman once more, “What was good enough for yesterday, isn’t good enough for today. What’s good enough for today, won’t be good enough for tomorrow.” This is so because of the fast-changing business world. It is very important to keep climbing the ladder of service level to keep up with the competitive environment. Being close to your customers and really anticipating their needs as even their wants and needs also change quickly. “The business world is always unpredictable,” as they say it. This gives us more reason to get even closer and know our customers even better.

With standards ever rising, how then do we give great or superior service? As mentioned, there should surely be a balance of sterling performances between the product (technical or otherwise) and experience (relationship aspect of our customer interactions). On top of this, we must make our customers a priority. One critical component of Customer Centricity is a customer-focused mindset (or for some people, “customer-first mindset”). Focus on them as people and not an issue to create a satisfying human experience. Superior/excellent customer service may not only result to Customer Satisfaction alone but more so, Customer Loyalty — the ultimate reward of Customer Centricity. Without a question, top-notch service creates loyalty and a returning customer, which is all our aim in business.

Customer Service Cover Letter Sample

The customer service cover letter sample below shows the principles of good cover letter writing. It is longer than the conservative standard. The sender begins by saying which job she is applying for. She also pays a few compliments to the company. In the second and third she highlights her skills and accomplishments. The last paragraph of the customer service over letter sample sets the stage for an interview.

Customer Service Cover Letter Sample

Dear Mr. Smith,

May this letter find you well. I read in your web site that you are in need of a customer service representative. I have been in this field for six years and presently am employed with ____ in its sales department. Having heard of your recent acquisition of ____, I see that yours is a fast-growing company with a bright future; I would be happy to render my skills at your service.

My warm, friendly and charming personality helped win the loyalty of our clients. I am proud to say that since I started working for my current employer, the number of returning customers has doubled!

Besides customer care, I also worked as public relations officer for the Office of the Mayor. Attending to people and listening to their concerns so that we may work out a solution is natural to me. My experiences have taught me that for any business or organization to thrive, it must always maintain an open and active line of communication with its patrons. It is the task of customer service representatives like me to secure this for you.

For your reference, I have attached my resume which details my work history, training and seminars, and awards. But I think I would be able to tell you more about my qualifications in an interview. Please do not hesitate to call me so that we may schedule a meeting.

Thank you for your consideration.

Yours sincerely,

Jane Henry

Successfully Resolve Customer Service Problems to Retain Customer Loyalty

It seems that as our technology improves, the business/customer relationship is declining. With online technical and sales support, the personal side of customer relations is not as prevalent. There is no longer any loyalty to a business and its products and services. This trend can cause a significant decrease in sales. One way to counteract this trend is to resolve customer service problems successfully and efficiently in order to retain customer loyalty.

The following list outlines simple but effective methods of successfully resolving customer service problems:

Create a Customer Complaint Department: The best way to deal with customer complaints effectively and efficiently is to have experts who are able to manage irate customers with their problems

Be Polite and Courteous: If a customer walks into a business or calls, it is important that the customer service representative takes the time to show that they care and are willing to listen and help. Empathize with the customer’s problem. An angry customer will calm down if they feel they are valued and respected. Be positive.

Record the Problem: Writing the complaint down and the actions that will be taken helps avoid any misunderstandings. It also shows the customer that the matter is important to the business.

Provide Solutions or Methods of Resolving the Problem: Don’t list business policies and practices. This will only infuriate the customer. Work with the customer to come up with a solution that will satisfy the customer. If possible, don’t pass the problem off to another representative or transfer the call to someone else. If you do, make sure the new representative has all of the pertinent information so the customer does not have to repeat himself.

Empathize, Don’t Apologize: A direct apology will assign blame to the company. It is better to empathize using such phrases as: ‘I am sorry you have had such a difficult time with our product.’ It will show that you care about the customer’s situation. Try to understand the customer’s feelings and point of view. Understanding will go a long way in satisfying the customer.

Keep Your Promises: Make sure that you don’t make promises that you can’t keep. It will reflect badly on the company and make you look incompetent. The customer will also appreciate reliable service.

Produce Positive Results: Always follow through with your plan to resolve the problem. Bad or poor quality service will cause you to lose customers. The key to maintaining customers is to always follow through with your promise.

Offer loyalty Incentives: If the problem cannot be adequately resolved, offer a customer an incentive so they will continue being a loyal customer. This can include giving them a replacement product or service along with a gift or discount on their next purchase. Everyone loves free things. It will make the customer feel appreciated.

Think of customer complaints as lessons for improving customer care. The solution to great customer service is being able to identify the type of customer you are dealing with. To reap the rewards of customer loyalty, the customer needs to be put first when there is a problem. Showing the customer you care and are willing to resolve the problem efficiently and effectively will go a long way in retaining customer loyalty. Customer loyalty cannot be established immediately, but the investment is well worth it. A happy and satisfied customer is essential to achieving a successful and long term business.