WHAT IS CRM?

Customers are the prime reason for the survival of any business. No matter what the organization offers, it can only sustain in the market with a willing group of customers to buy their product or to enjoy their service. Every customer, be it existing or potential customers – the aim of the business is to keep every customer happy throughout the customer journey. Happy and delighted customers pave the way for the growth of the business.

Definition:

A good customer service eventually means providing responses to the customer needs at the right time, being attentive and delivering upbeat services and making sure that the customer needs are met which will in turn positively impact the business.

Simply put, Addressing the customer needs and solving their issues is called customer service. Customer service starts the moment when the customer purchases from you, and it will continue during and after the purchase of a product or a service. The customer service builds the reputation of the brand and will thus help the business develop a strong relationship and trust with the customers.

Qualities of a customer service professional

A Customer service professional should possess the following characteristics to deliver superior customer service.

Prompt response: You have to be prompt in the service you are offering. Delaying your services can be dangerous for your organization’s reputation.

Best behavior: Whenever a customer approaches, be sure to be polite at all times. Use words, ’please, sorry, thank you’ whenever needed. You need to possess the best behavioral attributes to showcase to your customers.

Problem Solver: Always be professional in handling customer issues. Show courtesy and empathy while solving the customer problems. Even if it is a small technical problem, explain and resolve it with great passion.

Personal touch: Customers will sense an attachment if you address them with their name and build some friendly conversations with them. Personal touch with customers will surely bring them closer to the organization.

Listen Listen Listen: Never interrupt when your customer has something to say. Listen to his/her needs and requirements. Have a clear understanding of the conversation and deliver the required result in an effective way possible.

Clarify the needs: As a professional, you will have a complete knowledge about your company’s offerings. You should be able to explain the same to your customers and clarify their requirements and expectations regarding the product or service. Clarification helps create a clear image of the scenario, enabling you to serve better.

Take responsibility: Always be responsible while standing in your position as a customer service executive. You hold an important task of serving and solving your customer’s queries. Providing good customer service will definitely result in recurring purchases.

Terms often used interchangeably with customer service

Customer service vs Customer support

Understanding the differences between customer support and customer service is important. Customer service is an umbrella term, while customer support is a type that comes under customer service.
While, both customer service and customer support might seem similar where both involve extending help to the customers, utilizing similar tools such as email, chat and phone for communication, employ similar set of skills to expedite the customer satisfaction levels and both are detrimental in delivering excellent customer experience.

Major functions of customer service and customer support:

Customer service:

Providing guidance and assisting the customers in purchase decisions.

Responding and clarifying client’s queries during purchase.

Customer service ensures the enhancement of the entire customer journey be taken care of.

Customer support:

Responding to client’s queries and issues related to the product usage.

Troubleshooting

Assisting in on-boarding

Resolving technical issues.

Customer service vs Customer care

Customer care and customer service might mean similar things, but actually they are two different concepts. Though the ultimate goal of both customer service & customer care is to provide extraordinary customer experience and contribute to customer satisfaction.

Customer care helps in building a strong personal and emotional connection with everyone who interacts with the business. In customer service, you will be provided assistance and guidance whenever needed. Customer service and customer care help in increasing customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.

Major functions of customer service and customer care:

Customer service

Customer service plays a vital part in delivering extraordinary customer experience. It provides the right answers to the queries during the purchase. Customer service assists the customers at each phase throughout their customer journey.

Customer service is quantifiable, you can measure your services to the customers with certain metrics such as customer satisfaction score (CSAT), Customer effort score (CES) and transactional net promoter score (TNPS). These metrics will help measure the customer service provided to the customers.

Customer care

Customer care is the care provided whenever a customer needs help and a quick response to a query or a problem. It helps in forming an emotional connection with the customers and builds the relationship with the customers. Customer care is a personal experience which can’t be measured.

Customer service vs Customer experience

Customer service and customer experience are used interchangeably. These terms are just related and not similar things.

Customer service involves human interaction and helps in supporting the customers, while customer experience is the resultant that the customer incurs during the entire customer journey.

Major functions of customer service and customer support:

Customer service

Customer service is the guidance and advice given to your customers regarding the product or service.

Customer service requires some skills which includes product knowledge, perseverance and patience in providing answers and solutions to the customer requirements. You are voicing out on the behalf of your company to the customers.

Customer Experience

Customer experience refers to the customer journey with the organization and includes each and every interaction that happens between the business and its customers. Customer experience contributes to enhancing the entire experience of the customer with the company and its offerings.

Types of customer service

Social media

Social media is one of the important platforms for businesses today. Businesses value the importance of social media and analyze the impact it can have on business. Customer expectations with regard to customer service in social media is skyrocketing. According to a study, 20% of US customers demand a quick response to their queries posted in social media. Hence it is very important to respond to messages, posts, queries, comments and community discussions in social media.

Chatbots

Chatbots are a smart way of extending automated customer service. Chatbots are programmed in order to provide the initial service to the customers. However, if the customer needs further assistance, chatbots forwards those chats to the relevant agent. According to stats, 67% of customers interacted with chatbots for customer service. It is to be noted that chatbots are available for the customers all the time, even if the team is offline.

Self-service

Today each and every customer wants quick response to queries and fast answers to problems. Nobody wants to wait. Self-service is a new method wherein the customer can serve themselves better by reading the self-guides, educating them by watching videos, or looking for FAQs in mobile apps.

SMS/Messages

SMS customer service is any type of service provided by a company to a customer via text messaging on mobile. Messaging via mobile improves the service options for the customers and helps send quick responses. Texting gives you a more personal touch and helps showcase your brand’s personality in a less formal way.

Phone

At some point, we all would have interacted with a customer service agent regarding our inquiries over the phone. It is a great experience to get relevant help over the phone without having to visit the store in person. Based on study, 61% of customers prefer phones as their most preferred channel to get their customer service issues resolved. Most of the live chat bots and social media chats are escalated to a phone call to have a word with the customer service agent. Phone is one of the dominant and popular customer service touchpoints for decades and will continue to hold its place.

E-mail

Email is the most cost effective and easy way to send responses to the customers. The best thing about email customer service is that it doesn’t cost a penny. Companies might use personalized email templates or canned responses to send faster replies. CRM software help log the emails into tickets in order to address the issues promptly.

In-person

Interactions that happen person to person provides a great opportunity to build a good rapport with the customers. When you chat or call a person over the phone, you might not be able to sense the thinking or feeling of the person on the other end. But when you have the opportunity of talking to your customer in person, it helps create a better impression and can provide exceptional customer service that the customer requires.

Top Benefits of customer service

WHAT IS CRM?

Customer service is a primary function for the growth of your business as it helps deliver superior value and thus retains the existing customer base. By providing exceptional customer service, businesses can cut acquisition costs and follow a classic way of serving customers better than the competitors. Some of the benefits of customer service are listed below,

Increased customer retention

As per study, 5% increase in retention rates is equal to 25% increase in profit. Remember, unhappy customers churn and happy customers stay. The key behind a happy customer is the customer service provided by the company. Companies need to strategize ways to effectively bring about exceptional customer service which will reduce the churn rate by a significant percentage.

Superior brand image

Customers will have no idea of what your brand is like, what services you offer and such, until they encounter your ads, contents, banner ads, social media posts and other forms of marketing. Customer service team will help build the brand perception among the customers. The team has direct connection with the customers and are highly responsible for shaping the brand image and values in the customer minds. It is said that 98% of customers state that customer service is important in building loyalty towards a brand.

Happy customers

When your customers are happy with the service provided, they will recommend it to their family, friends and peers. It is quite natural for people to share their positive brand & customer service experiences to their immediate social group. Your happy customers will do the WOM marketing for you.

Builds loyalty

Customer service can increase the customer’s lifetime value and thus can contribute to the company’s profits. Also, it is to be noted that the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%. Providing superior customer service to your existing customers than the competitors can help build value and loyalty towards the brand. Customer service team can strengthen and create strong long-lasting relationships with the customers.

Customer service traction

Customers are quite willing to pay more than usual, to companies that offer great customer service. As per stats, 67% of customers pay more for exceptional customer service. When a brand interacts, guides and provides service in an unimaginable way, the customers will be highly delighted. Customers are moved by every service, every experience that they encounter with the business and this would probably be the biggest deciding factor for them to stay and stick with your brand.

Increased Customer lifetime value

Increasing the customer lifetime value is very much important in a business. CLV (customer lifetime value) represents the total revenue that can be expected from a single customer during his/her journey with the brand. Growing this value is possible only when your customers make recurring purchases and spend more money on your products. Improved customer service is a great way in increasing the CLV. If the service offered is great, customers are likely to shop from you more often.

Proactive customer service

Proactive customer service is an approach where the team reaches out to the customers to know if they have any issues or if they need any kind of assistance. Thus, proactive customer service creates marketing opportunities by introducing and promoting products and services to the customers. Say, if you have introduced a new product feature, you can refer that to the customer saying this particular feature would help in solving this issue and such. And customers feel valued with the proactive services offered, and are quite effective than a sales pitch.

Builds competitive advantage

You can dwell better in your business if you keep your customers loyal by maintaining a continuous interaction with your customers. Customer service is a remarkable differentiator for every company. A well trained, responsible customer service team can showcase the business as the best version among other players in the market. Based on this, the customers will choose you over the other competitors.

Greater revenue

Customer service contributes to the revenue of the company. Business experiences an increase in revenue of about 4% and 8% when they deliver better customer service to their customers. A positive customer experience creates an impact on the customers, thereby leading to increased revenue and growth of the firm.

Increased Online conversion rate

Personalized customer service can improve online conversion rate by 8%. A higher conversion rate will help your business earn profits. Without customer service, you cannot convert customers and retain those customers. If your business needs to reduce churn rate, attract new customers and build brand image, it is possible with excellent customer service.

Final thoughts

Great customer service should be the DNA of every company today. Customer service is not just being courteous, it is a very important element that will have a huge impact in your business. Several big shot companies have failed because of poor customer service, however it is relatively easy to implement and deliver a top-notch customer service that will keep your business in a desirable position.

Essentially, the 3 important qualities of customer service are the three “p”s: professionalism, patience, and a “people priority” attitude. Although customer service varies from customer to customer, as long as you’re following these guidelines, you’re on the right track.

Good customer service typically means providing timely attention and upbeat service to a customer, and making sure their needs are met in a manner that reflects positively on the company.

Delivering respect, empathy, ability to communicate, Being patient, effective listening and time management are some of the important skills in customer service.

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