What is Customer Service?
Customer service is the advise and or assistance given by a company to persons who purchase or use its products or services. It is a significant part of customer relation as companies are able to determine areas of improvements necessary, receive feedback from customers and most importantly to retain and acquire new customers. A popular notion in the world of customer service is that the customer is always right and this is to ensure that every attempt is made to ensure customer satisfaction.
Customer service has evolved over the years and while the traditional methods of providing customer service still exist, modern technology is clearly making a way for improved but less personal service. There are three forms of customer service currently used; face to face, phone and email, and automated service.
Face to Face
This method of providing customer service is surely losing popularity. In this case customers engage companies directly and are able to easily convey issues. It can be really intimidating for customer service representatives as it is difficult to end the contact without first pleasing the customer. It is even more so intimidating if the customer is irate. The disadvantage with face to face is that the wait times for customers may be very long which will result in negative reviews for the companies. The personal interaction with company representatives is however preferred by customers.
Phone and Email
This is the most popular method of delivering customer service currently available. In this form of customer service customers engage companies using modern technologies such as a computer or a cell phone. This method is utilized largely to facilitate high volumes of customers that companies need to satisfy. This method however has the disadvantage of not being very personal and often wait times for a phone call maybe very long due to the high volumes of customers engaging a company.
There’s a trend no towards automated customer service. In this feature customer service engagement does not involve a human recipient. In this case a customer may make an inquiry and an automated response is generated. This is done online or via phone operator. Most of the queries that customers have are easily handled and as such the automated system quickly clarifies customer issues. There is absolutely no wait time for the service. The disadvantage is that it is not at all personal and it can only handle very simple issues. Negotiations are not possible and oftentimes customers find it necessary to speak with an agent. This service is usually free and it is the most convenient.
All these methods of customers providing customer service are used by companies satisfy consumer demands. Email and phone calls provide balance between personalization and convenience and as such it is the most popularly used method. The best form of customer service is one where an agent not only handles problems but makes customers feel like they’re appreciated. This is usually done through building rapport.