Muhammad Farrukh Iqbal (February 20, 2015)
Customer Service standards are a key differentiator between an ordinary and a well performing organization, no matter which industry sector it belongs to. The overall user experience at multiple touch points defines customer expectations. There are many reasons why Customer Service standardization is important. The first and most important factor is the comparison that customers do for the customer service they receive. Therefore, it is very important for a company’s brand image to ensure it has standardized its customer service. Many airlines have become famous because of their exceptional customer service. Once you set standards for the customer service offered, customers can expect same quality of services delivered every time. Lastly, excellent customer service lets the customers feel valued. Here are some important ways to set customer service standards.
Delivering Timely on Promises
A company must realize that it needs to save the time of its customers. There are many examples of companies taking good care of customers’ time. For example, a restaurant that is delivering food must serve it within a reasonable time. Similarly, a company that has promised to launch a product at a certain date and time must make sure it does. Any promises made to customers must be kept. A company that falls short of promises loses trust of customers and eventually starts losing business.
Devise Robust Complaint Resolution Process
Every business organization that offers any service or product receives complaints on regular basis. The process setup for customer complaint resolution must be proficient and reliable. Successful business organizations categorize complaints into level of priority and accordingly assign time limits to them. The complaint resolution process must be transparent and should regularly keep informing customers about status of their ticket or issue. Many industries heavily rely upon complaint management systems to ensure customers’ problems are solved in a speedily manner. One classic example is the web hosting service offered by companies. A lot of customers prefer web hosting service providers that quickly resolve their problems instead of making you wait for long times.
Management hierarchy is very important and companies need to be very smart in delegating power. A company needs to maintain a fine balance between too much decentralization and centralized decision making. Too many layers of staff members is not recommended, particularly in roles where customers’ problems have to be tackled. There are many reasons why you need to consider lean management hierarchy. Lesser number of layers ensure that the complaints are taken up with the right authority within a short time. With lesser number of staff members involved, it takes less time to solve issues. And lastly, by delegating authority, a lot of complaints can be managed by junior or mid-career customer service staff without having to bother senior management about every issue.
Product or Service Quality
One of the most important parts of customer experience is the quality of product or service offered. In order to ensure consistent user experience, companies need to make sure that the products or services they are offering are of same quality. Inconsistency in quality is one of the main reasons why customers leave a company or brand. One example of inconsistency in quality of service is the internet speed. If an internet service provider does not offer the bandwidth that it has promised on consistent basis, customers will not only be dissatisfied but would also switch to another more reliable Internet Service Provider (ISP).
Introduction of New Technologies
New technologies have been introduced in almost every industry. Some of these technologies are promising in terms of improved customer service and better user experience. IPad menus have become a service standard in many restaurants. The use of IPads has made it a lot easier for hotel management to take several orders and the processing of payment has become a lot more efficient. The customers who were wary about giving their credit card to hotel staff can now make payments by themselves. Smartphones and software applications have all combined to offer new possibilities. Business owners and managers need to be more creative in utilizing these available technologies for raising the standard and quality of customer service.
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