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What is Customer Service

Providing solutions to customer problems is a key component of customer retention. However, there are various ways to achieve this; good customer service skills stand out. Customer service is like an invisible force that shapes the perception of customers and the entire populace of your company.

Imagine how heartbroken you would feel when you can't get the proper reception from people you rely upon. That is the same feeling customers get when customer service fails to provide the correct answer or solutions to customer needs. 

A study by McKinsey has found that having a good customer service experience will increase your company's revenue by at least two to seven percent. At the same time, you can expect a one to two percent rise in profitability. But what exactly is customer service, and why is it crucial to your business? We delve into this concept and explain what constitutes this critical aspect of business success. 

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Definition of customer service

Contrary to popular opinion, customer service is not just about answering customer questions. Customer service includes all the interactions and supports businesses and enterprises throughout the customer purchase journey. 

It's normal for customers to seek clarification and guidance on any product or service you render. Your customer service team must offer explanations and promptly answer customer questions. This simple analogy better explains the relationship between customer service and the customers.

However, relegating customer service to such surface-level exchange would be a great disservice. Customer service ensures every customer has a good relationship with your company or enterprise. This can be described as giving customers a sense of belonging in your company. 

Another angle we can use to define customer service is their promptness in resolving customer issues. Customers are loaded with bags of concerns and questions. Customer service is responsible for addressing these concerns to leave a lasting impression on the customers. 

Therefore, it's essential to understand that the core philosophy of customer service transcends beyond customer interaction alone. Customer service is a reflection of the company culture. Poor customer service experience equals a toxic company culture, while empathetic and caring customer service equals a great company culture in customers' minds. 

What are the Good Customer Service Skills to deliver Customer Satisfaction? 

Setting up high-quality customer service requires an excellent blend of good customer service skills from your employees. Choosing suitable customer agents with the requisite skills to achieve exceptional customer service experience is challenging nowadays. 

Remember, your customer service team mirrors your company values. Hence, it is essential to choose people ready to put their all into helping your customers have a consistently good experience. The following are the excellent customer service skills that every employee in this critical position must possess. 

1. Excellent Communication skills 

When you look at the definition of customer service, you will see how we emphasize customer interactions. Having excellent communication skills is nonnegotiable for customer service agents. 

The reason is that your customer service team is the first point of contact whenever customers encounter any issues or need clarification on your product or services. 

The ability to communicate requires a deep understanding of the product details. This is not about spitting jargon or crafting complex concepts. Customers want to break down those complex terms into a well-simplified and structured form so they can understand. 

Also, your customer service team must pay close attention to what customers say. This is like having an active listening skill as a subset of being an excellent communicator. It's prevalent to come across customers who are fast talkers or lump up their problems in such a way you won't even grasp anything. 

Therefore, being a good listener who can get the essential pieces from customers' complaints is highly important to provide solutions to their problems. 

Lastly, every customer service personnel must maintain a friendly tone throughout the communication. Regardless of the provocation, you must maintain a friendly and respectful tone of communication. 

2. Problem-solving skill 

We can equate the role of customer service to that of first responders. They identify the problem, analyze the situation, and find solutions. Customers only see the end stage of the problem without understanding the root cause of the issue. This is where the problem-solving skills of your customer service team come In. 

Customer service agents must be resourceful in diagnosing customer problems and thinking outside the box to solve them. For instance, a customer calls to complain about having a problem refreshing their dashboard. This is an instance of a frozen dashboard. 

The role of a good customer service agent with practical problem-solving skills is to look at the problem from his or her end to see where the problem lies. After that, you can log them out and log in again so as  to refresh the page. 

That's not all; you must tell them to always check their network connection or log out of their account and log in again to their dashboard if a problem like this arises again. 

3. Empathy and Emotional Intelligence 

Showing zero empathy and no compassion is a bad customer service skill. This is like being an overzealous person who understands your customer's pain point but acts like an unhelpful jerk. Empathy and emotional intelligence are excellent customer service skills essential to all types of customer service. 

Customers are often frustrated and sometimes out of bounds. It is necessary for a good customer service agent first to acknowledge their pain. When you do this, you already put yourself in their shoe and show empathy for their worries. Then, you need to make them look as important as they are while you validate their feelings and find solutions to their problems. 

Emotional intelligence entails knowing how to react to situations. It would be terrible to let customer frustration get to you. As a customer service agent, you must stay calm and understanding, irrespective of how toxic such a situation might be. 

Types of Customer Service

There are multifaceted approaches to customer service. This is possible because of the technological advancements that drive people to choose different options to reach companies nowadays. It would be a poor choice for businesses and enterprises to restrict their mode of customer engagement to one channel. 

Another one is the customers' diverse needs nowadays, which also play a crucial role in the development of various communication mediums. For instance, a not-so-tech-savvy customer would prefer a phone call to any other tech-enabled medium of customer service. These varied instances require explaining the various types of customer service channels you can provide to your customers. 

1. Traditional Channel

Traditional customer service channels include phone calls and face-to-face support. The fact that we call it traditional channels does not mean they are outdated. 

  • Traditional voice call is an age-long customer service process requiring direct interaction with customers via phone. Most customers love this type of service because of the personalization it provides compared to any other channel. Another reason many still pick this over others is the real-time real-time assistance they can get with just a phone call. 

  • Face to Face support is another prominent traditional brick-and-mortar type of customer service that's never going away. Customers find thrill in walking into your company or shops to seek inquiries about a product or service. Face-to-face interaction during this period is a form of customer service because you provide solutions and answers to their problems on the spot. 

2. Digital Channels

    These are the well-known email support, live chat, social messaging, self-service, etc. We can refer to this type of customer service as the gold standard because it can be executed anywhere at faster rates. 

    Email support is common among corporate entities that can subscribe to email management software. The ease that comes with email support is quite valuable. This is because of its asynchronous nature, which allows everything to be executed within the email platform. 

    Email support will enable customers to get timely replies to their questions and the required resources they need seamlessly. 

    Live chat support is another option under the digital mode of customer service. With live chat, customers can talk to real-time assistants who represent the company. This representative answers customer queries and helps them solve their problems. 

    Social media support also falls under this section. Remember, we are in the age of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and others. It's now possible to leverage these platforms to provide answers and support to your customers while at the same time building brand awareness on them. 

    3. Automated Channels  

    The age of artificial intelligence and other destructive technologies has made many unimaginable things happen. This has also transcended customer service with the emergence of AI-powered chatbots, interactive voice responsiveness, self-service, and others. 

    Chatbot is an AI-powered machine that carries out customer service functionalities nonstop. Human agents can be tired of having a moment to sleep. 

    This has been an issue with customer service for brands that want to scale into many countries. However, chatbots have made it possible to cater to customers' needs irrespective of their time zones. 

    Interactive voice response is another emerging that has made providing an automated phone system possible. IVR in call center works by guiding customers through menus and options. This is done to ensure every customer has the opportunity to get answers to their questions irrespective of their location and time. 

    Importance of Customer Service in Business Success

    Most people have regarded customer service as the engine for business growth. This analogy is entirely plausible if we examine how brand perception affects business success. 

    The importance of quality customer service to business success is an unending spectrum of possibilities. This is because customer service helps build brand loyalty, increase revenue, build a positive brand reputation, enhance product quality, increase customer lifetime value, and many others. We must delve into this importance to showcase why you have to prioritize customers like an investment. 

    1. Improve Customer Retention Rate  

    Every metric point towards how cheaper it is to retain your existing customers than acquire new ones. A recent study states that acquiring new customers will cost you 5 to 10 times more. This is where customer service benefits your business in the long run to reduce your cost of acquiring new customers. 

    Your customer retention rate will definitely go up when you leverage customer service to build customer trust and loyalty. Doing this will automatically reduce your churn rate, and your retention rate will increase. 

    In summary, reducing your churn rate will also reduce your marketing expenses and other overhead required to attract a new client. Hence, it is a win-win situation for your business. 

    2. Customers Are Willing to Repurchase When You Treat them Right

    With an outstanding customer service experience, customers are ready to loosen their wallets on your product. According to a Gartner report, over 80 percent of customers are prepared to purchase the same products that offer them a good quality customer experience. This is simple human nature, and they tend to stick around with brands that listen to their worries and provide an unforgettable customer experience. 

    3. Your Customer Lifetime Value will Grow

    Customer lifetime value is the total revenue you generate from a customer. This metric can only be improved when you build a long-term customer relationship. 

    Building long-term relationships and trust relies on your customer service. Hence, there is a need to ensure you provide a good quality customer service experience all the time. 

    4. Good Customer Service Increases Revenue and Profitability

    This is why you should enshrine good customer service in your business. Increased revenue and profitability are heavily reliant on how you treat your customers. Not only is customer service an avenue to foster loyalty, but you can also use it to get valuable feedback on your product. Combining these two possibilities allows you to reduce customer churn rate and improve your products in line with their demands. 

    Benefits of Quality Customer Service

    Quality customer service is a strategic approach that propels business to long-term success. Let's look at the benefits of quality customer service outlined below. 

    1. Prevent Business Failure 

    When you provide your customers with a good customer service experience, you are already positioning your business as one to reckon with. Your company will stand the test of time by listening to customer concerns, meeting demands, and improving where necessary. 

    2. Reduce Employee Churn Rate 

    The way your business treats customers sends signals to your employees. Quality customer service is an avenue to tell your clients you care for them. Hence, it fosters a good quality company culture and promotes brand prosperity. Remember, employee retention is sacrosanct to the survival of your business. 

    3. Gives Competitive Advantage 

    Quality customer service is a bragging right among your contemporaries. We are in a saturated market where a yard of competitive advantage is essential. You can make exceptional customer service one of your primary business goals. This will give your entire company a more focused target of acquiring customers interested in a personalized experience. 

    4. Increased Customer Satisfaction

    Empathy and genuine care are rare commodities in today's business landscape. When you listen to your customers' problems and share their pains, you provide them with long-lasting customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is a strategic way to foster brand sentiment where customers feel you are the only one who can provide them with the level of communication they want.  

    5. Gain Valuable Insights about Your Products and Services 

    Customer service is an open-ended model of communication. This form of communication has made it easy to deduce quality insights from customer pain points. Also, it's much easier to know what customers want and how they feel about your products or services through the feedback mechanisms you provide. 

    How to Deliver Excellent Customer Service

    You have to deliver excellent customer service to ensure your customers enjoy the value for their money. To do this, you are required to have good customer service skills. That's not all; you must know how to leverage those skills to foster customer loyalty

    1. Understand Everything About Your Company Products or Services

    Product knowledge and expertise are the core fundamentals of providing excellent customer service. Customers see you as a resource person who has the solutions to their problems. You must answer customer questions accurately and always guide customers to the best possible solutions. 

    2. Master the Fundamentals

    The fundamentals of good customer service include excellent listening skills, empathy and emotional intelligence, clear communication, etc. You must be proficient in picking from this pool of skills to deliver excellent customer service. 

    3. Be Proactive at Solving Customer Problems

    You don't have to be reactive all the time. In most cases, customers need to be made aware of their problems. One way to deliver excellent customer service is to identify the issues and proffer solutions to them without saying it. 

    Conclusion

    Customer service goes far beyond ordinary customer engagement. It's the beacon of customer perception and the critical drive of your business's success. The game-changing impact of AI in customer service has mandated the need to change your entire customer service process. 

    This is where the Helport AI contact center comes in. With Helport AI Contact Center, you can boost profit, increase agent performance, and increase customer service efficiency. 

    leave your information to find out how our platform can help drive your business.