Customer service is the provision of exceptional service to customers prior, during, and even after a sale. The perception of such interaction depends on how well employees adjust themselves to that of the customer. I call this ‘customer consciousness’ or ‘customer awareness’. How do you practice it?
If you are selling a product and you fail to communicate well with your customers, the whole thing comes down to poor communication skills. You must know what questions to ask and how to get those questions answered. It’s also important to understand that great customer support team work in harmony with the sales person. Both are necessary for good customer experience.
In an interview with potential customers, you need to ask questions that show you are interested in understanding their needs and wants. So many companies just wing their product interview questions. If you are hiring support staff, think long and hard about what kinds of questions you should ask to demonstrate that you truly care about your customers. One good technique is to go through your company website and list the top 10 most in-demand functions. Ask each support employee what they are best at doing.
As mentioned at the start of this article, customer service isn’t just about technical support. If you have an online operation, perhaps adding social media functionality would be a good way to improve the experience of your customers. This is a strategy that works especially well for small businesses that aren’t expecting massive volumes of new customers.
Another strategy is to look for examples of good customer support operations. What successful companies do to ensure stellar support? Often we see successful companies using social media as one of their marketing tools. Facebook and Twitter are not just tools for marketing, they can be a valuable tool for demonstrating to your customers how much you care. If you follow this strategy, you’ll be able to build your reputation and your customers will trust that you really do value their opinion.
A final note on customer service: interviewers want to understand why your customers use social media. Why is it better than email, phone calls or in-person contact? Why do you think they do it? In the next article, we’ll look at some more strategies for incorporating social media into your interview strategy. When it comes to meeting the needs of your interviewers, customer satisfaction is one of your best assets.