Yes, customer service still matters ….Now more than ever!!

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After spending years training newbies in Automated Ticketing ,Tourism and Soft skills in the field of Aviation, I can’t help but notice the customer service delivered to me everywhere I go, whether I am shopping, dining, or even travelling. It takes a lot of self-control on my part to stop myself from giving them a lecture on customer service whenever I find them slipping 🙂

While in the academy, the hard core syllabus training imparted was according to the rule book, the soft skill training’s were always done according to the needs of the particular industry. Having said that, Customer Service training was always the top priority, whether it was for the Retail, Banking, Hospitality, Aviation and for that matter, even medical organisations/institutions dealing with forward facing customers per se.

We have all heard that great customer service is the holy grail of any business. There were and are certain customer service skills that every employee must master. Competition in the marketplace has made it crucial for businesses to spruce up on not only their hardware but more importantly their software aka employees.

The best companies have knowledgeable, polished and thoughtful people who have been trained to not only answer questions and solve problems, but to also create confidence with the customer.

When most businesses talk about customer service skills, things like ‘being a people’s person’ tends to take the spotlight. “WOW” the customers is the mantra preached at most customer-centric training sessions.

However today customers are more demanding than ever. They have more power than they used to. They are smarter and have higher expectations than ever before. They are more up-to-date and better informed today, as technology has made it easier for them to do their homework.

Smart customers – empowered customers – know what options they want. Customers are now in the driver’s seat, expecting an experience that is targeted specifically to their demands.  Customers are communicating on Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, review sites and more. Freebies, discounts, upgrades, value addition, are just some of the motives which they believe will keep them satisfied and make them want to come back for more.

Today, customer demand is about meeting and exceeding customers’ expectations, hence businesses must be equipped to meet customers on their terms, when and where they want.

Providing flawless service, however, is not always easy. Many corporate’s would argue it’s just as elusive as the unicorn. No matter how many customer service surveys they conduct much of the customer psyche will forever remain a mystery.

The best forward-facing employees work extensively on having a deep knowledge of how their product works. Having that solid product foundation and being innovative in responding to the customer’s needs, is what the businesses should aim for. Change is the only constant in today’s environment, and by being proactive to the customers’ spoken and unspoken needs, means you stay ahead of the curve with them, anticipating problems and acting in advance to solve them. Not only is it important to pay attention to individual customer interactions but it’s also important to be mindful and attentive to the feedback that you receive at large.

Training staff on a regular basis keeps them knowledgeable and in tune with any technological advancements the company is adding. A strong customer service department is founded by solid leadership and empowered employees. Once you understand how current and potential customers engage with your business, you’ll be able to target more accurately and truly understand what they’re looking for from your brand.

The key point to note is that businesses must provide top notch and proactive customer service to keep their customers loyal.

 

🙂 madhavi

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