What is "Customer Service”?

“If “Customer Service” is a department, you are probably missing the point”

What does this mean to you?

  • Are all of your employees in ‘Customer Services’?
  • Have they got permission to take control of customer situations and resolve the issue completely?
  • Do you learn from these issues and work to make sure that they are resolved at root cause, avoiding the problem in the future, and increasing future customer satisfaction?

For many, customer services is about answering the phone, quickly, with a smile, making sure they meet their KPIs. But few actually try to understand why customers are calling in the first place.

complaints Photo courtesy of Gordon Ednie

Why does a customer contact the “Customer Service” department? What does the customer want? What has gone wrong?

Great customer service is when any problems that arise are fixed quickly and efficiently, and where the lesson is learned at the source of the problem so it is designed out of the process, ensuring it can’t go wrong again.

Why does this matter? You may have 10s or 100s of staff answering the phone to customers. Many will be calling with the same issue, and anything up to 50% of those calls will be:

  • chasing for a response to a previous call;
  • complaining about an error or failure; or
  • asking for simple information because it’s not readily available.

Designing the process to avoid these issues could mean that 50% will improve your bottom line. Who wouldn’t want that?