It’s often said that it’s cheaper to keep existing customers than to find new ones. (It’s even been estimated that acquiring customers costs 6–7x more. ) And it’s true: Bad customer service is a key driver of churn. The U.S. Small Business Administration reports that 68% of customers leave because they’re upset with the treatment they’ve received.
Customer Service 101
Great customer service professionals are masters at understanding people, displaying empathy, remaining calm under stress, and politely diffusing conflict. They usually interact with a company’s customers to answer questions, take orders, trouble-shoot technical issues, respond to complaints, and process returns. The great ones do all of this efficiently, while skillfully building relationships between the customer and the company.
What they do:
Customer service representatives often analyze situations, investigate problems, and create solutions based on the resources available. They need strong listening skills to accurately understand customer needs. They also need strong speaking and/or writing skills to efficiently resolve customer concerns via phone, chat, or email. Resolving issues through these communication methods can be a little more challenging because they don’t see body language. As a result, they’re usually skilled at picking up on subtleties.
Typical services and deliverables include:
- Resolving inquiries within the allotted time
- Maintaining customer records
- Scheduling appointments
- Providing accurate information about the company’s products or services
- Handling a high volume of calls or tickets
- Researching answers or solutions as needed
- Creating a positive company experience for the customer
- Meeting sales or call handling targets
- Generating sales leads
- Entering data into the company’s databases
- Making outbound prospecting calls
- Taking orders, determining charges, and payment processing