Time to Startup!

The BizFilings blog covering business tips and trends.

Is Your Customer Service Overrated?

Published on Nov 16, 2011

Summary

Read 'Is Your Customer Service Overrated?' at 'Time to Start Up,' the small business blog by BizFilings.
IsYourCustomerServiceOverratedIf you’re running your customer service like many of the big companies and banks do, there’s a good chance it is overrated. Why? Because many large companies have made their customer service team powerless. Call in with an issue that doesn’t fit into a very small paradigm, and the customer service team becomes helpless instead of helpful. Management has set these teams up in such a way where there are no winners. The customer is certainly going to be dissatisfied. Even if their problem is eventually resolved, it’s only after they’ve been elevated to a supervisor (or the supervisor’s supervisor). This is incredibly frustrating, time consuming — and it’s often completely unnecessary. Employees will be unhappy. Nobody likes to feel powerless. When a customer calls with a problem, being able to solve it gives the customer service rep an opportunity to make a difference in that customer’s day. When the authority to make decisions is taken away, employees can easily become discontented, bitter and de-motivated. Empowering your customer service team with the ability to make decisions adds relevance to their jobs and their day — which makes for better customer service and happier employees. The company will suffer financially. Disgruntled employees plus dissatisfied customers are not the optimal formula for increasing one’s bottom line. Unhappy customers will not come back, and they’ll tell their friends about their poor experience. It’s also expensive to run a customer service team this way. Involving unnecessary levels of management in a decision diverts that leaders time away from other projects. What is the most important aspect of customer service? Once you’ve empowered your team, what’s next? I asked a couple of BizFilings customer service gurus what they felt was the most important aspect of successfully serving the customer. Here’s what they had to say …

“It’s all about seeing things from the customer’s point of view. That opens the way to being friendly and effectively helping them.” — Brittani P., BizFilings’ Customer Service Trainer

“Taking the time to understand the needs of the customer in order to provide a solution that truly meets their needs." — Tim J., BizFilings Customer Service Leader

What Brittani and Tim are speaking about is sometimes referred to as "empathy" by successful businessmen (such as Steve Jobs and Mike Markkula). And it's a key component to providing customer service to one’s external customers — as well as one’s internal customers.

As a small business owner, you hold a substantial advantage in the customer service arena over big corporations, and over competitors who believe that providing “wanna-be” customer service is enough. As long as they’re comfortable with being mediocre, it is enough. Elevate your game beyond the ordinary to customer care and see how it transforms your company to a new level … Business Blogs blog