Characteristics of Quality Customer Service
Customer service is a very important aspect of a business. Since technology is constantly changing then there is a need for a business to adapt. Customer service has evolved a lot from just the basic face-to-face interactions. Now there are websites, mobile apps, among other things that create a whole new customer experience. It’s expected of businesses to always be available for support or have some options for assistance 24/7. Technology has provided ways for this to be possible, but this has positive and negative impacts. Some of the positive impacts include being able to have quick response times which can be vital when dealing with an angry customer. I believe that a business that fails to adapt and upgrade their ways of providing customer service will fall behind and eventually go out of business. Obviously, a company won’t do well if the products they offer aren’t top-notch but it they also need to address customer’s needs in almost real-time (Wade, 2010). Building a relationship with the customers is essential, and they must know who to contact for any concerns (Parasuraman, 1991). There should also be a balance of customer-initiated contact as well as company-initiated contact (Parasuraman, 1991). Also, to improve customer service and the overall relationship with the customer, a company must have the tools necessary to meet a customer’s specific requirements (Parasuraman, 1991). Lastly, what I believe is the most important and yet the most overlooked quality essential to great customer service is empathy. Why is empathy a key characteristic in quality customer service? According to Merriam-Webster, empathy is “the feeling that you understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions: the ability to share someone else’s feelings.” Customers want to feel like the company and specifically the employee who is assisting them cares about their needs.
In my experience with customer service if a customer experiences a problem and becomes angry about the issue, showing empathy helps the customer realize that they are in good hands. Personalization of service is something that tends to go with empathy in customer service. In my opinion overall customer satisfaction will increase when the individuals are greeted and referred to by name. This personal style of customer service along with empathy will help create a comfortable environment for the customer. Innovation in the customer service field is critical and companies have to constantly be working on new and better ways to provide their services. Incorporating technology with face-to-face customer service brings unlimited possibilities for a better customer experience. Customer service will always be a part of business, it’s something that will always be evolving. A company has to always be looking for ways to improve their customer experience, and providing excellent customer service that is timely, empathetic, and well equipped to handle every situation.
Hacker. 2016. In Merriam-Webster.com.Retrieved May 8, 2011, from http://www.merriam- webster.com/dictionary/hacker
Parasuraman, A., Berry, L.L., & Zeithaml, V. A. (1991). Understanding Customer Expectations of Service. Sloan Management Review, 32(3), 39–48.
Wade, J. (2010, April). Customer Service Innovation. Risk Management, 57(3), 74.Retrieved fromhttp://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=AONE&sw=w&u=azstlib&v=2.1&it=r&id=GAL E%7CA223823027&sid=googleScholar&asid=0766b05f169d729863f06a15a144a56e
First image retrieved from http://www.confessionsoftheprofessions.com/simple-ways-to-keep-your-customers-happy/
Second image retrieved from http://blogs.wgbh.org/innovation-hub/2014/8/1/secrets-getting-smarter/