Business Relations The 6 Facets of Customer Service What does “customer service” mean? According to Melvin Richardson’s article “What does customer service mean? ”, Customer service means: listening to your customers, satisfying every want and need, taking ownership of the customer’s account, showing appreciation, smiling and following up with each and every customer. These are all simple tasks to complete individually but they become more complicated to fulfill when they are all lumped together and expected to be shown all the time. Is it possible? Yes, yes it is!!
During most customer service experiences, the “customer” is looking for one solid factor to occur: Satisfaction. Satisfaction can be found through providing the customer with each and every one of the aspects listed above. It can also be broken down into hundreds of different needs and wants but there are six main aspects to consider during every customer service encounter. These facets include: the customer, organizational culture, human resources, products & deliverables, delivery system and service. First, the customer and finding out everything you can about that customer.
Who is the customer? What are their dislikes? What are their likes? What are they looking for? What are they needing or wanting? These are all examples that you either need to ask them directly or decide on your own, through “personal interrogation”. Personal interrogation is “feeling someone out” or finding out all of these answers by asking more “indirect” questions. For instance, you could ask, “what do you do for a living? ” and their answer of “bookkeeping” would lead you to assume that they like numbers and they are familiar with customer service themselves.
Second is the organizational culture of a business. Where does the business come from? What is their background and history? What are their personal goals as a business? Finding out what a business is made of and where is comes from will help you to understand how they have evolved into who they are today. If they were a small business at the start but evolved into a large corporation, chances are that they still carry and stay true to some of their original values as a small business.
Smaller, more intimate, businesses tend to have a better understanding of customer service because of their ability to relate to their customers’ needs. These small businesses tend to have the same needs as their consumers. Thirdly there is the human resources side of customer service. The human resources is made up of the employees that are hired into that company. Another aspect of human resources is the training that is provided to the employees and the values that they are asked to carry on, in their job.
A huge part of every single business is its employees and the way these employees are trained in the aspect of proper customer service. Job titles can include but are not limited to: customer service rep, bookkeeper, manager, call desk, front end clerk, cashier or associate. All of these job titles carry the responsibility of providing excellent, top notch customer service to each and every customer they encounter. Fourth are the products, deliverables and/or information that the company is providing.
A product is a tangible item that you can reach out and touch while you are shopping or eating – it’s the product that you physically put into your shopping cart. Deliverables are items that you purchase but you do not touch until they are “delivered” to you. For instance, you may purchase a microwave from an online store and you do not actually see it or feel it until UPS delivers it to you. Deliverables have become a huge trend since the World Wide Web was created and “online shopping” became popular in the early 2000’s. Information can also be a product that a company offers.
You could buy a “code” that you will then enter into a database and retrieve an e-book for using on your computer. Fifth is the delivery system that different businesses use to get their products to their customers. One type of delivery system is a direct delivery and this consists of 1 shipment, directly from the manufacturing plant to the consumer. Another type of delivery is an indirect delivery. An indirect delivery is more complicated but can save the consumer costs on shipping. For instance, you can order a product online at Walmart. om, have it shipped from the manufacturer to your local Walmart and then you can go to your local Walmart and pick it up, for Free! It may take a day or two longer and be more of a hassle to the business but the customer will be happy in the end because they did not have to cover the shipping costs. Last, but not least, is service. What are the companies’ policies and procedures? How are their employees’ treated? The answers to these questions could make or break a business, big or small. As a consumer you do not want to witness or hear of employees being treated negatively.
This type of behavior will, by word of mouth, run a business into the ground. It is very important to know how employees are treated in the places that you frequent. All in all, customer service is a very complicated matter, when it is broken down. But, in order for any business or anyone to be successful, customer service is the key. All of the above aspects should be followed, obeyed and reiterated. Companies should always remember that their customers are their livelihood. Companies only exist because of their customers, no matter what type of business, no one is excluded.