Customer Service Day is celebrated each year on January 17. No company or brand would exist without a customer. All goods and services are created with the consumer in mind. “Customer service [department],” plays the all-important role of ensuring that the customer receives the best service possible, building positive relationships to build brand loyalty and making sure that their complaints are heard and followed up on.
The adage, “The customer is always right,” dates back to the 1800’s, and exhorts service staff to give a high priority to the customer. This ideology stems from keeping customers happy to ensure they will continue coming back. The customer service department is a liaison between the customer and the company, working to make certain the customer has the best possible experience while working with the company. This relationship can make or break the possibility of doing business in the future.
In this day and age, where the internet places almost anything a person may need at their fingertips, customer service plays a major role in where people will take their business. Consumers would prefer a brand where they can get problems resolved right away. Gone are the days of working hours being 9:00-5:00, consumers do not want to wait over the weekend, the next day or even hours for responses. They are looking for immediate satisfaction, and any prolonged wait time can hinder the way they view the company. For many larger companies, “customer service” is available around the clock. As the demand for services is becoming more fast paced by the day, the need for customers to be able to contact a business is also more in demand than ever. This has led to companies having designated customer services phone lines that are available 24/7, E-mail accounts set up solely for customer service inquiries and websites having customer service representatives available online to “live chat.” As technology is advancing, everything is judged on how quickly a person can get what they need. Companies like Amazon rose to the top by offering options like same, overnight, or next day delivery. The aphorism, “time is money,” is as true in customer services as any other department.
Excellent customer service is critical to running a successful business. One Major way a company can judge how their relationship with the customer is, is through customer reviews. The internet has provided many references consumers can use to evaluate who they would like to take their business to. Sites like Google, Yelp and even Facebook offer consumers insight on how others have had experiences with companies, through their consumer reviews. If you have unsatisfied customers, they will not be returning nor will they recommend others. On top of losing their business, they will leave negative reviews warning others of the missteps a company has had, leading other potential customers to look elsewhere. These reviews and customer feedback are also important internally for the companies, as they provide them with insight on what they need to improve on, their strengths and weaknesses and can provide vital information they can use to grow and succeed. If a company cannot quickly resolve any issues that arise, they may suffer negative reviews.
Today is a day to reflect on those folks who typically deal with unsatisfied customers, and work hard to resolve any issues. Most of the time that I have contacted customer service, I was very unhappy. That was no fault of the person that I spoke to on the phone, yet before the conversation even began, I was in a frustrated mood. These workers face unhappy customers all day long, and work hard to give us the best service possible. When I call customer service, the first thing I do is apologize upfront, knowing that I am already unhappy to even be making this call, and tell them I understand that it is not their fault. I think most people can attest to taking out some of their frustration on the person on the other end of that line. Hopefully next time you are stuck having to make a call to customer service, you will remember this blog, and will at the very least, remember it is not personal with the person you are calling, and the issue is with the product/company.