Step Up Your Customer Service to Survive Today’s Economy

Customer service is vital to any business. Having capable, competent people working with your candidates and clients to solve their problems creates a bond that humanizes your company, engenders trust, and generates good word-of-mouth. This is especially important in the modern world of easy sharing and instantaneous communication online and through social media.

But what impact does out-of-the-box customer service look like? When British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s received a letter from a three-and-a-half year old girl about renaming their “tiger bread” product “giraffe bread” instead, the customer service representative didn’t ignore it. He didn’t send her a boring form letter thanking her for her interest. He took the time to write a warm, personalized letter to the youngster, agreeing with her and including a £3 gift card so she could buy a loaf of the bread.

When her mother posted the letter to a blog, the letter went viral on the Internet, creating a public relations bonanza for Sainsbury’s. It was priceless, a highly visible organic marketing campaign for essentially nothing more than a little compassion.

Conversely, a negative, cynical attitude towards customer satisfaction is sure to get your company named and shamed on the same channels that could be praising it.

When dealing with clients and potential recruits, robust, flexible customer service creates confidence that your staffing firm is not only competent, but actively working to meet their needs. Effective customer service can help your staffing company attract and retain clients and recruits. Here are some tips to help you improve your company’s customer service experience.

Value your customer service…

No customer wants to be made to feel like a nuisance, another unwelcome interruption in someone’s day. Sitting on hold or standing in line for extended periods of time only to be dealt with by a poorly trained, uninterested customer service representative is nobody’s idea of fun, and it makes clients and customers feel unvalued. Improvements in hiring, training, and compensation to make your front-line customer service more motivated and effective will reap you significant rewards.

…and let it serve your customers

Investing in better customer service makes little sense if your customer service reps are given no authority to actually help your customers. Granting some autonomy to your customer service department and encouraging an environment where they can generate creative, engaging solutions to customer issues will create a bond of trust and make clients more willing to work with you in the future.

Be human.

Most of all, customer service is about making people feel like they matter. While nothing is ever perfect all of the time, when problems do occur, taking responsibility, apologizing, and then working to solve the problem can make your clients feel more valued than if they had never had a problem in the first place.

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Tags: Funding, Prosperity, customer, service, staffing

Comment by Ryan Leary on September 27, 2012 at 11:02am

"Investing in better customer service makes little sense if your customer service reps are given no authority to actually help your customers"

 

This point is spot on. Speaking to a customer service rep is often like speaking to a buffer. They can't really help you. I agree with this 100%.

Comment by Dale Busbee on September 27, 2012 at 11:37am

Thanks Ryan; I agree that CSR's are not always given the authority to help the customer, but should be given the latitude to do so, within reason.

Comment by sheila Greco on September 29, 2012 at 12:50pm

Nice article. A company's success depends on superior customer service. The customer is always right!

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