Perfecting the Customer Experience: Four Qualities of Successful Customer Service

How many times have you become frustrated with a customer service operation? I would be surprised if everyone hasn’t had a similar, less than positive, experience. This recent encounter of mine may sound familiar: I called a company’s customer service department and I was placed on hold for 20 minutes. Eventually, my call was disconnected. Then, I reconnected with the customer service department and the representative on the line couldn’t help directly. As a result, I was passed off to several of their colleagues, with each person asking me the same questions. Once reaching a customer service professional who could help, I had a great deal of difficulty understanding them. Either their phone system was poor and muffled, or I was connected with their outsourced colleagues in the Philippines or India. In the end, I still did not have a resolution to my problem.

 

As a result, when you do reach a customer service department that is exemplary, it really stands out. What does above-average customer service entail? Here’s what your experience should look like:

 

  • Consistent: One person should be able to handle and answer the questions and problems of a customer. Avoid passing the person around to your colleagues as much as possible. If you need to enhance your knowledge to solve the issue, find out the answer quickly and remain the consistent contact with the customer.

 

  • Results-oriented: Be tenacious and find the solution to the problem. Call the customer back to ensure the issue was resolved. That second call will go a long way to cementing a positive relationship with the customer.

 

  • Patient: Customers are most likely frustrated when they call the company. Being a patient and empathetic listener will make it easier to solve their concerns more quickly and efficiently, resulting in a more positive experience as whole.

 

  • Knowledgeable: All customer service representatives should be properly trained on product or service information. If they are not, they can seriously hinder the reputation of the company and turn a loyal customer into one who will go to your competitor. Consistent and ongoing training is key to a successful customer experience!

 

Having a thriving customer service department is crucial for developing and maintaining positive relationships with your consumers. If handled correctly, a customer’s problem could turn into a fruitful opportunity in the future.

 

What other tips do you have for creating a positive customer experience?

Sally Stetson
Sally brings more than two decades of experience as an executive search consultant. She has worked across diverse industries including life sciences and pharmaceutical, healthcare systems, manufacturing, telecommunications, non-profit and professional services. The Philadelphia Business Journal named Sally as one of its "2006 Women of Distinction", and as one of SmartCEO Magazine's 2010 BRAVA! Women Business Achievement award winners.

2 Responses to 'Perfecting the Customer Experience: Four Qualities of Successful Customer Service'

  1. Dan Kowalski says:

    Sally,

    Well said! I’ve passed this along to a client.

    Enjoy!

    Dan Kowalski

  2. Sally Stetson says:

    Dan,

    I’m glad you felt this post was helpful to you and your client.

    Sally

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