Customer Service Principles your team should possess.

Customer Service is going nowhere. As long as there is an exchange of goods and services, we will need particular behaviors to carry out this exchange and a way to support it should anything go wrong. Yet, poor customer service continues to be an issue every day. There is no end to the degree of complaints and problems customers endure daily. I’m sure you can recall the time a company was not only unable to resolve your issue but was indifferent to it all. What makes it even more alarming is the difference in perception of what companies think they are delivering and what customers experience. According to a famous survey of 362 companies by Bain and Company, 80% believe they hit the mark with customer service, yet only 8% of their customers surveyed agree with them!

How do we get better at serving better? As a Customer Service Professional for years, the best teams I’ve worked with had a defined set of principles on how we will serve our customers. We would review how well we were performing based on customer feedback and our metrics and make the necessary adjustments to improve our service. The best teams are also those that can hold each other accountable for not keeping these principles. Customer Service will never be perfect but it can be successful with consistency and non-negotiable principles such as:

Empathy

Gimme an E!

All customer service interactions should be based on Empathy. The genuine ability to understand what the customer is going through should be a principle all teams serving others undertake. Take a walk in your customer’s shoes. Many customer service teams fail to do this. They have scripted responses — spoken or written — that does not apply to the gravity of the situation at hand. The main reason that this has to be a principle is that you won’t always give customers what they want, but you can always be empathetic. A simple empathy could be the difference between a customer that stays and one that leaves. Make sure it’s forefront at all times.

Advocacy

It’s generally believed that Advocacy happens one way. A customer loves your product so much that they become an advocate, telling others about your greatness. Advocacy works two ways. Your Customer Service Team should have Advocacy for customers as well. They need to be consistently willing to take a customer’s issue and run with it on their behalf. They should take recurring issues with the highest priority and work to resolve them. That’s true advocacy. Have customer Advocacy is a core principle ofyour customer service.

Respect

Respect is big. It should happen with customers and also internally; within the team and towards other departments as well (internal customer service). A team that respects each other will be willing to help each other with their weaknesses. They will be willing to be transparent with each other and the customer. Principles of respect extend to how customers interact with you as well. Your team should have a Customer and Customer Support Code of conduct, which governs how you should interact with customers and how they should interact with you. There should be no tolerance for foul or discriminatory language for example. This should be accessible to your customers and your team members and (respectfully) enforced when needed. I’ve operated in teams where respect was not a core principle.

Customer Experience (CX)

Your team should be attuned to exactly what their customers go through at every touch point, from the perspective of the customer. As a result, your team should do whatever they can to make the experience:

  1. One that’s as easy as possible
  2. One that has as little friction as possible
  3. One that’s memorable

Customers now expect their interactions with you to be a memorable one. It should be a principle of yours to make sure their experience with you stays that way.

Resolution

At the end of the day, fixing the problem is your ultimate goal. Service sectors tend to forget this. Have you ever had your issue passed on to someone else only for it to be…. passed on to someone else? Your objective should be to resolve the issue and make the resolution quick, fair for the customer and for your company as well. You should also be getting feedback from the customer if they are satisfied that the issue is resolved. If they aren’t satisfied, it allows you to find a resolution that is mutually beneficial. Your team philosophy should be to keep finding new and creative ways to resolve the issues that customers come to you with.

Conclusion/Call To Action

There are other principles that you can apply, sure. But these could make you into customer service stars. If you work with a customer service team, manage a team or provide a service, take a look at what your team stands for. What’s your principles? What are your customer service philosophy? Now would be a good time to adopt some and live by them consistently.

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Marvin Marcano

I help grow your traffic with blogs and SEO. Writing about Freelancing, Side Hustles, WFH, and Personal Development. Contact me at marvin@ascendcontent.com