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ARTICLESCustomer Focus

CUSTOMER SERVICE - AN ART

WHAT MAKES CUSTOMER SERVICE AN ART?

The fact it has to do with human beings who are so diverse in their likes and preferences; the fact that it is experienced or practiced by one and all, either consciously or sub consciously; the fact that it does not follow a set pattern or formula.

Unlike Newton’s third law, here every action has a reaction that is directly proportionate. If your services are focused, transmitting the right vibes you could expect a similar reaction. The reverse is also true.

ENSURE CUSTOMER SATISFACTION AND EXPECT A POSITIVE REACTION

Between setting objectives and ensuring customer satisfaction lies a world of customer service with no holds barred.

 It is so vast that innovative and creative methods can be devised with every new customer encounter. It is filled with challenges and excitement. A path if well trodden can only accelerate ones enthusiasm to go the extra mile and excel in servicing their customers.

CUSTOMER SERVICE IS AN EXPERIENCE FOR EACH AND EVERY INDIVIDUAL ON THIS PLANET

As a matter of fact it is a way of life. This is because in our day-to-day activities we are constantly interacting either in giving or receiving service of some sort. You buy the newspaper in the morning where you are the customer. At work the situation has changed with you delivering service to your customer. The afternoon lunch converts you back to a customer. And we keep switching roles thru the day. Customer service is an experience that touches everyone whether they are employed, a housewife, children, senior citizens. It is experienced in Australia or the Arctic, in Jamaica or Japan. Whether you are selling gum or gold, dealing in metals or machines, buying diamonds or daisies you have a customer.

Stretching it a bit further would take activities in personal life where the returns are not measured in monetary terms but ends up with a satisfied individual. You cannot call them customers but when you have a request that is met and ends in satisfaction it reflects good service.

IN SHORT WE HAVE CUSTOMERS ALL AROUND US

Customer service does not understand hierarchy. It has to be performed by all in the company. Customer service is applicable from the chairman to the charwomen. If front line has a responsibility to ensure customer satisfaction with effective service then back office is equally responsible in achieving the goal. Front office or operations, employees will perform well only when they are adequately motivated. Managers and team leaders come to play here. The management has to be the driving force for the service culture to take shape. They need to walk the talk. All this is possible only when the captain at the helm has his vision and objectives very clear. He is responsible for initiating and maintaining the momentum in customer care. He should be well focused to direct his deputies. Customer service must be a cohesive effort. It is a process of happy internal customers that translate to a satisfied external customer. It hence should be a culture that the entire organization has to understand, assimilate and practice to ensure satisfaction at each and every stage. Even a janitor has to perform his designated duties in a manner that ensures customer satisfaction. Any spoke in the wheel can jeopardize the mechanism.

But the first step to good service is a positive attitude towards customers. This by itself gives sufficient impetus to ensure satisfaction. Determined to see a satisfied customer can open a world of opportunities in exercising the art of customer service. One is never sure what might tick the customer. It might be anything from a pleasant smile, a well-handled telephone call, efficient response, on time performance, after sales service, the list in endless. While there are various tested and proved strategies that satisfy a customer, service is constantly changing to meet the challenges of today’s customer.

It is indeed an art to service customers, ensure their satisfaction that in turn means business growth and success.

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