5 Critical Components To Valuable Customer Service

I recently wrote a post on the Phone.com blog defining the word “value,” which is one of our directional-valueservice standards.  Value is so important in fact that we have it hanging on our wall as a reminder.  That got me thinking in more general terms about what valuable customer service looks like in an organization.  Undoubtedly companies like Nordstrom, Apple and Zappos have proven that amazing customer service is indeed valuable.  Here are some key characteristics of valuable customer service.

Valuable Customer Service Is Easily Reachable-  Low wait times when customers call, email, chat or social media are critical.  If time is money then making customers wait reduces the value of customer service.

Valuable Customer Service Is About Making Meaningful Connections-  Zappos challenges their agents to make personal emotional connections with their customers.  Put very simply, when customers service representatives are real humans serving real humans they are free to use things like humor and empathy in their communication.  These connections are not only between humans but build a bridge between your customers and your brand.

Valuable Customer Service Is About Clear Communication- I believe that most escalated calls stem from poor communication where customer expectations are not met.  There is nothing more frustrating to a customer than signing up with sales only to find out that the information they received was incorrect.  It only gets worse if the customer is billed more than expected.  The message customers receive must be clear and consistent.

Valuable Customer Service Makes Accurate Diagnoses- Customer service representatives who are well-trained and possesses the ability to accurately diagnose and fix issues are extremely valuable.  The more times a customer has to call about the same issue, the more value is reduced.

Valuable Customer Service Finds Creative, Long-term Solutions-  Saying “no” or “not possible” slams the door on doing business with a customer.  So what if you can’t do exactly what the customer asked for.  Be creative and offer alternatives that may also work for them.  These should be solutions that are sustainable well into the future.

You may ask “how do I measure the value of our customer service?”  I recommend you set generous service levels in your call center, accurately track first call resolution and implement surveys to track customer satisfaction and net promoter score.  In addition to this, if your customer service is valuable, churn (accounts cancelled) should be low.  Remember that if your customer service is valuable, your customers will believe they are getting more for their money.

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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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