5 Essential Components Of Choice In Customer Service

I have become keenly aware of the contrast in “shopping styles” between my wife and me.  Given the opportunity to shop without kids, she takes at least three times longer than me on an average trip to the grocery store.  I on the other hand prefer to do my shopping as quickly as possible.  That’s one reason I enjoy shopping at Costco and Trader Joes.  In general, both stores have little to no variety in the brands they carry but the products are high quality and at reasonable prices.  It makes my choice as a consumer infinitely easier and my shopping experience much more enjoyable.

Good choice bad choice

In a recent post on the Phone.com blog I talked about the key elements of “choice” which is one of the service standards at Phone.com.  Choice is such a critical component in the minds of customers.  Assisting customers in making the right choice and giving them the assurance that they made the right choice is a key aspect to building long-term relationships with customers.  The following are essential components to choice in customer service:

Choice Builds Trust- We talk often about the importance of building connections with customers using skills like empathy, referring to people by name, sending notes of appreciation and much more.  All of these things build trust and an emotional connection with your customers, and affirm their choice to do business with you.

Choice Gets The Price Right- There may not be a bigger factor in the decision to make a purchase than the price.  Customer service professionals must understand the customer’s budget and then work with them to set up a plan within those constraints.  Remember that if the customer receives their first bill and it’s different than what was agreed upon over the phone, they will immediately question whether they made the right choice.

Choice Is Knowledgeable- Customer service professionals must know your service inside and out.  Only then can they identify the needs of customers and align those with workable solutions.  The ability to present a customer with a clear solution to their problem makes their choice to do business with you that much easier.

Choice Is Creative And Customizable- These are two of my favorite words in customer service.  Different customers require varying degrees of customization but companies who want more customers find ways to make it happen.  Expert customer service professionals are in the best position to be creative.

Choice Is Proactive- Any time you can reach out to your customers proactively before they contact you is a reminder to them that they made the right choice.  Try calling customers if their bill is overdue to make sure everything is ok.  Customers also appreciate learning about new features or services that can genuinely enhance the way they use your service.

If you’re like me, the decision to spend money can sometimes be a scary proposition.  In customer service it is our job to put the customer’s fears to rest by assuring them that they made the right choice.  Pay attention to these five essentials of choice in customer service and you will be well on your way toward doing just that.

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Jeremy Watkin is the Director of Customer Experience at FCR, the premiere provider of outsourced call center and business process solutions. He has more than 17 years of experience as a customer service and experience professional. He is co-founder of the Customer Service Life blog and a regular contributor. Jeremy has been recognized many times for his thought leadership. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn for more awesome customer service and experience insights.

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