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If you don’t care for the customer, someone else will!

Source | | Dinesh Narayanan | Founder & CEO, Vasutti Services Pvt Ltd

If you don’t care for the customer, someone else will!

Without sounding cliched – this is a reality. In a world full of choices, one bad customer experience is all that it takes for a customer to reject a brand. Customer Service is a critical part of the customer experience and is only as good as the frontline team’s attitude and capability.

How often have you not encountered situations where you call the customer service call centre of a service provider and narrate a problem.The call centre agent listens, asks a few standard questions to identify you and comes up with an irritating standard response almost denying you have a problem. You get into an argument and the person promptly puts you on to a supervisor. The supervisor, in turn, listens and gives you the same robotic response. Eventually, you are asked to send a mail, which also evokes some typical response…..and it goes on.

Companies start customer service departments with good intentions and a good philosophy. The staff are trained on aspects such as being nice, polite and patient with customers but often, they are not equipped adequately to resolve an issue in a single call. Hence the kind of situations explained above.

While patience and empathy are great qualities to give comfort to the customer, a customer expects the frontline team to have good communication skills, adequate knowledge about the product, a good understanding of reasons for issues that come up, reasonable empowerment to resolve the issue and the willingness to go the extra mile to solve the problem.

Selection and Training

Organisations therefore need to put some good thought into putting the right frontline team in place.

To start with, while selecting the team, companies need to ensure that the interviewer has the ability, experience and tools to look for the right attributes in frontline candidates, in terms of

  1. Basic language skills
  2. Logical thinking capability
  3. Responsiveness to situations
  4. Ability to understand product/service functionality

But that’s not enough….

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