In today’s highly competitive corporate world, improving customer service is more crucial than ever. Customers increasingly base their decisions on the caliber of the customer experiences a company may offer, as it gets more difficult for them to distinguish between businesses based on their products. Enhancing Customer service is an essential aspect of daily life. A person who interacts with “people” incorporates customer service abilities. Although interacting with customer service agents can occasionally be just as unpleasant as dealing with an angry customer, it is crucial to receive thorough training in “Developing People Skills.” A person should be able to listen if they can communicate with others. Digital marketing is now an essential component of every person’s life in the modern world. Digital marketing is where people can network with potential customers to expand their businesses and maintain their personal and professional life up to date. The chance for business owners to network with potential clients has increased along with the internet’s vast user base. This is a significant contributing factor to the rise of digital marketing as one of the most in-demand professions worldwide, not just in India. Customers frequently do their homework online before making purchases and browse in person before looking online for different options. Online customer research is prevalent for expensive products and consumables like food and makeup. The paper will use online resources to research the best advice to give a business that just delivered subpar services to me while shopping for sneakers online. In addition, the paper’s purpose is to offer suggestions for ways to enhance customer service for businesses that operate online stores or offer online services in the Company to enhance a customer-oriented organizational culture.
Any service offered online to clients that support them and assists in problem-solving is considered customer service. This may occur through live chat, email, or social media. The availability of contact channels and the effectiveness and quality of the responses are the core of online customer service. Additionally, the customer support team’s abilities are critical in communication and software use. Customer service representatives, whose main objective is to help customers, can use best practices for online services. It is also possible to disseminate digital best practices without human interaction. These services are frequently associated with a company or brand that sells goods and provides assistance. Online customer service best practices can take many different forms, with some variations depending on the business.
The online shop company needed a clear mission or philosophy statement to guide its employees, which is why they had poor customer care service which was not customer based. A strategy is the ideology of customer service. It is intended for customer care representatives. Serving the clients is the main focus. The business will only succeed if the customer service is good. Hence, the business needs to provide the finest possible customer service is one of the objectives of every business. For it to occur, a potent strategy must be in place. Making the client experience quick and simple is one strategy to enhance customer service. Due to the variety of platforms your agents utilize to react to your consumers, this can frequently take time and effort. I recommend that “Customer satisfaction is important to us” will be the customer service mission. The customer service ethos cannot be formed overnight and added as frosting. In actuality, it is a method of thinking that originates from the very foundation of your Company. Moreover, to be successful in this attempt, the management should carefully consider each move they take.
Employee Roles and Expectations
In my previous experience, the employees acted as if they were unaware of the roles they needed to carry out, leading to my dissatisfaction. Most employees value the assurance that they are doing the right thing from their managers. I recommend enabling employees to have specific roles in customer care and develop a customer-based culture. Each new hire can have a long-lasting impact on the Company by setting expectations and explaining their duties; hence clear goals and expectations should be set which were not there prior. The overarching goal of performance expectations is to help the firm achieve a particular goal and foster workplace accountability among employees. Seemingly there was no employee performance evaluation; thus, the business needs to use a technique to evaluate how well each employee is progressing and performing in line with role expectations. Each employee must comprehend the significance of their position and how their duties affect their department and organization. Performance expectations go beyond a job description and cover a variety of anticipated outcomes, such as the impact of the work on the organization, the standard of service provided to clients and coworkers, and the corporate values that the person demonstrates. Employees within the organization serve as internal customers when they require assistance, knowledge, or support from other staff members should also be offered as part of customer-oriented culture standards. . Whether they are located across the hall, in a different building, or a different country, these internal customers are still considered part of the business and contribute to the satisfaction of external clients. The clients that make purchases from the business are known as external clients. Front-line, front-end, front-facing, or client-facing personnel hold jobs requiring them to interact directly with external customers. Those who operate in back-end/back-office/behind-the-scenes jobs serve internal customers.
I noted that the customer care workers lacked the critical skills expected from them; hence thorough training should be done by management. Customer service professionals need a wide range of skills, including the capacity to work well in teams, learn continuously, manage time effectively, and handle stress to excel in their roles. Other skills include serving various customers, being persuasive, using active listening, and being an excellent communicator. To find innovative solutions to issues, they must also be empathetic and capable of critical thought. These abilities and others are essential for producing exceptional client experiences, and the majority take time and effort to perfect correctly. The following are some of the skills that customer service representatives need to possess:
Possibility of Showing Customer Service Orientation
This is the ability to exhibit good attitudes and behaviors as an employee and to show knowledge of the significance of reaching or surpassing client expectations. Today, many businesses focus more on generating new leads, increasing sales, upselling, growing their market share, and capturing a more significant “share of wallet” than they do on satisfying and exceeding the needs of their clients.
Communication Skills, both Verbal and Non-Verbal
It is critical for a service professional to comprehend the needs of the client thoroughly and to take care to provide any additional information such as answers, instructions, facts, or other details that may be necessary to close a deal, provide the client with the requested service, or otherwise interact with the client in a way that fosters a good working relationship. Customer confusion or misinterpretation due to imprecise communication may result in lost sales.
Ability to Use Positive Language
Communicating with your audience in a positive, encouraging manner is known as using positive language (or anyone else, for that matter). To establish a rapport with others, it is crucial to speak positively. One aspect of providing excellent customer service is breaking unpleasant news to consumers.
Ability to Actively Listen
Active listening involves paying attention to your client’s words. While your consumer is speaking, try to keep your attention focused. One asks the consumer if the interpretation of what they said is accurate after paraphrasing it. Customers can be questioned to learn more about the nature of the problem and might need to soothe an agitated client. Put yourself in the customer’s position and pay close attention to what they say so you can offer the best possible customer service. The customer is undoubtedly looking for answers and results.
Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills
Service interruptions happen daily in all kinds of companies. They occur if a product or service does not meet the customer’s needs, wishes, and expectations. Disappointment and irritation may arise after a customer purchases a good or service that falls short of the promised promises or standards, resulting in a confrontation and a decline in business.
Policies and Procedures
The online retail industry places a high focus on customer service. Without distinction for age, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, handicap, language ability, social or economic standing, or any other factor, customer care need to get prompted to provide courteous service. The Company lacked defined customer service policies and processes, and its employees were indifferent to customer complaints. Kumar & Ayodeji (2021) suggests that a good customer service policy ensures that staff members are accountable for offering the best customer service possible and are given the authority to make decisions that will balance the needs of the individual with the collective needs of the library users across the district, ensuring the best experience for each patron. Upon answering the phone, employees will identify themselves and the department in which they work.
Additionally, I recommend that all personnel wears name tags so that clients may identify them as Company representatives. In addition, the StaffStaff will accommodate customers’ service requests as much as feasible without interfering with other clients’ requests. In order to ensure that the necessary information, materials, or equipment are accessible, employees will, if possible, get in touch with the organization to whom a customer is being referred. The senior staff member who was on duty at the time, or the library director, should be contacted if a customer has complaints about the service they received or about company policy. This is because, during my shopping, I did not experience customer care getting in touch with me to provide updates on my order; instead, I am the one who contacts them now and then.
Products and Services
Customer service refers to helping current and potential customers. Customer service agents answer most client inquiries via social media, chat, phone, email, and in-person interactions (Vasic et al., 2019). They might also be in charge of creating the instructions for self-service support. On the one hand, it is helpful to understand and give customers more time to articulate their concerns and requirements. The employees must instead concentrate on promptly satisfying customer expectations because there is a time limit on how much attention each customer can receive. Customer service professionals can quickly direct a customer to someone who can assist them when they cannot, unlike my experience where I had to physically visit the shop by myself. Customer service agents also need extensive knowledge of how their companies’ products work. I noticed in my experience that there needed to be more knowledge from the employees who attended to me. They can only help customers with problems because they must fully comprehend your products. For instance, every new Help Scout employee receives customer service training during their first or second week on the job; this is a crucial component in our onboarding process. A strong product foundation guarantees to have the most excellent strategies to help customers through even the most challenging scenarios. It also enables one to understand their experience better to act as their strongest ally.
It is wise to be understanding and give clients a little extra time so that you may learn about their issues and requirements. However, there is a time limit on how much attention to give to each customer, so the staff needs to focus on quickly providing them with what they need. The best customer service representatives quickly admit when they cannot assist a customer, allowing them to refer them to someone who can.
Motivators and Rewards
Customer service representatives are crucial for brand loyalty. However, how well they execute and serve customers will have a significant impact (Tzeng et al., 2021). The Company must understand how to enable and inspire customer service representatives to add value for clients. According to my observation, the employees were demotivated. Therefore I recommend the following strategies for increasing team potential and motivating the customer service department:
Finding motivational factors for customer service is essential
The organization’s full potential can be realized when workers are inspired. Managers must identify what drives their employees before motivating them (Kim & Han, 2021). Because everyone on the team has different motivations, find out what rewards they seek to feel inspired at work and what they want from the organization to drive them. Here are some helpful pointers for figuring out what motivates agents:
- Engagement: Having regular conversations with the service staff, paying attention to their worries, and getting ready to take action on what they can inspire them.
- Employee surveys are among the finest methods for learning about customer service motivation.
- Appreciation: Every business should emphasize the importance of customer service representatives and the impact their efforts have on the Company’s performance.
Customer service personnel should be given details about the products and services: They need to be more informed on the commodities they sell and how to handle customers’ complaints (Kim & Han, 2021). Suppose customer service representatives are knowledgeable and fully comprehend the products and services. In that case, they can manage consumers quickly, unlike my case, where they were unbothered and slow without giving me any material solution and instead kept me waiting. After all, creating a motivated team depends on understanding the most crucial components of customer service training.
From my experience at the merchant shop, management support could have been better, which was the main reason for poor performance because the two departments needed to coordinate better. Customer relationship management includes providing excellent customer service (CRM). It is a method for businesses to control their interactions with clients. Ibrahim & Wang (2019) opines that a business may better plan and manage its contacts with customers when it has quick, simple access to client information. Exceeding customers’ expectations with superior service aid businesses in increasing client loyalty and retention, according to Cheng & Peng (2021). Management must ensure that customers have a positive experience, I suggest this can be done through management ensuring that the team feels at ease working within the established support flow. i recommend Support managers to take the following actions to keep customers and support personnel satisfied with the customer service and organizational strategy:
Management should choose the appropriate technology stack for customer support
Let us face it; adopting a new customer service solution always takes some time. The payback is worthwhile, but you will need to customize it to your needs, integrate it with current systems, or move existing data to it. Consider the caliber and length of the onboarding process when selecting customer service tools.
I recommend management to maintain regular contact with other departments
Create a workflow for your customer service. Do you observe anyone interacting with customers except the first and second support staff? It might be a general manager, general counsel, salesperson, warehouse owner, or accountant. To prevent bottlenecks, consider several customer handling scenarios and involve everyone.
Frequently educating customer service staff
Nobody becomes a specialist at birth; it takes time and practice. Never overlook training your customer support team. The commitment to managing the customer service sector is greatly reflected in the personnel’s attitude and work style. Training sessions, conferences, or online courses, provide the agents with regular access to new and current information.
Understanding the audience with data
By attentively examining their communications and interpreting their body language, get to know your customers personally. Collect information using a specific customer relationship management (CRM) system or ticketing program. Then, please make an effort to profile your clients and divide them into groups that will be useful to other departments in addition to the support team.
Empowering customer service employees to make decisions that will eventually benefit the client and the business requires motivating and giving them the necessary authority. An empowered customer care workforce may communicate with customers using their knowledge and skills. This greater autonomy may boost worker productivity and motivate them to seek original ideas. Customer service representatives are trusted by management to use their education and experience to make wise judgments, which is a type of employee autonomy.
From my prior experience i recommend the following actions can assist in empowering a customer care team:
Offer resources: Customer care personnel must have all the tools they need to carry out their duties in the most effective manner. Ensuring reps have fully functional laptops, phones, note-taking applications, and survey tools can significantly simplify their task.
Provide training: Employees trained in all facets of their responsibilities will feel more secure in their abilities to perform their jobs. Management can train reps on how to use business phones, computers, software, and any other technology they employ. Implementing an employee mentoring program can assist recent recruits settling into work while providing first-hand guidance on accomplishing their job requirements.
Assessing the performance of employees
Another strategy for empowering a customer service team is to track progress. Use software that measures response time, call duration, and the total number of issues a person can resolve.
It is crucial to frequently check in with customer service employees to ensure they feel competent in handling their duties. Meeting with staff members one-on-one may encourage representatives to answer any queries about the position.
According to Lee & Lee (2020), when selecting members for your customer service team, take your time and exercise caution. These individuals will lay the groundwork for the team’s success and significantly influence its culture. Specific experiences and characteristics will position a person for success right from the start, while some talents, like Company and industry knowledge, can only be acquired after being hired and growing through time. We suggest that your customer service training program contain
- a walkthrough of each stage of customer assistance,
- online training courses to master new skills,
- information about the business, product, and services;
- an onboarding guide for new hires.
As a result, employees are more equipped to provide excellent customer service.
Through this strategy, the Company may gather, organize, and analyze customer data with a well-built and structured customer service management system. Once customer’s demands are known, this can help design targeted messaging or campaigns for marketing, sales, education, onboarding, and any other purpose. You can get an advantage by using clever customer service management technology. Daily customer care operations can be supported, and customer win rates can be raised. With automation, the speeded communication process is assured, more adaptable and approachable, and responds to client inquiries with more accuracy achieved. A well-planned support strategy results in time, financial savings, and a lower attrition rate. Providing excellent customer service generates income. It provides clients with a comprehensive, integrated experience that supports a company’s mission. Numerous studies have found that bad customer service costs American businesses more than $62 billion annually and that seven out of ten customers have paid more to do business with a company that provides excellent service. The ability to take advantage of the chance to please consumers and engage them in novel, exciting ways is enhanced when you recognize that customer service is the foundation of customer experience.
Chen, S. W., & Peng, J. C. (2021). Determinants of frontline employee engagement and their influence on service performance. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 32(5), 1062-1085. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09585192.2018.1505764
Ibrahim, N. F., & Wang, X. (2019). A text analytics approach for online retailing service improvement: Evidence from Twitter. Decision Support Systems, 121, 37-50. https://research-information.bris.ac.uk/ws/portalfiles/portal/187989148/DSS_social_media_manuscript.pdf
Lee, S. M., & Lee, D. (2020). “intact”: a new customer service strategy in the digital age. Service Business, 14(1), 1-22. https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/345181768.pdf
Kim, M., Koo, D. W., & Han, H. S. (2021). Innovative behavior motivations among frontline employees: The mediating role of knowledge management. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 99, 103062.
Kumar, V., & Ayodeji, O. G. (2021). E-retail factors for customer activation and retention: An empirical study from Indian e-commerce customers. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 59, 102399. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0969698920314077
Tzeng, S. Y., Ertz, M., Jo, M. S., & Sarigöllü, E. (2021). Factors affecting customer satisfaction on online shopping holiday. Marketing Intelligence & Planning.
Vasić, N., Kilibarda, M., & Kaurin, T. (2019). The influence of online shopping determinants on customer satisfaction in the Serbian market. Journal of theoretical and applied electronic commerce research, 14(2), 70-89.