To deal with a customer is a more complex and convoluted approach. It requires adapted behaviours. In other words, working in customer service does not fit to everyone. In today’s world, the border between supporting (customer) and selling (vendor) is very slight, because of the fast development of our society and the relationship with the customers in constant evolution. This blog will give you a better picture of the relation and quality in customer service. To conclude, we will approach the e-commerce industry.
The business or customer relation and quality approach
The scheme defines the two types of relationship and how there are connected. The business oriented relationship is more on sales focused and the customer oriented-one concentrates on customer care and support.
The next scheme will give an overview how the quality is defined and how it impacts the company.
- When the perceived quality is lower than the quality expected it leads to insatisfaction
- When the perceived quality is equal to quality expected it leads to satisfaction
- When the perceived quality is higher than the quality expected it leads to high satisfaction
These two schemes present, that working in customer service shows multiple facets. Knowing your customer by understanding his expectations and needs (customer orientation) combined with effective processes to create the best value for the customer’s perception and envy for the performance of your company (business orientation) will lead to fulfil the satisfaction and a high quality delivery.
As mentioned previously, not everyone’s personality is suited to be part of a customer service team. Your soft skills play a major role: sensitivity, empathy, patience and interpersonal skill are key competences. These competences are not acquired through books. You have it or not, characterizing the complexity.
In concrete words, in every day’s business:
- You are in direct contact via email or phone; you materialize and deliver the service.
- You are the procurer between the customer and the company.
- You permanently interact and serve the customer and build a long term relationship.
- You aim to convince, support and accompany the customer in every step and stages.
- You try to customize each request, individualize the case, make feel to your customer you are focus on him and he is your priority.
- You deal with complaints and need patience and good nerves as sometimes you serve as a ‘punching-ball’
- You sometimes need to be creative and find compromise. Not being able to completely fulfil the request is not wrong. Showing your customer you have heard him and as company’s representative you accept the part of responsibility it implies to negotiate and make the fairest offer as far as possible (better pricing, free fees or delivery, voucher, etc.)
- You are flexible and adapt you to situation. Every request is different and varies your duty.
- Your environment also plays a role: if you feel supported by your team, you have a good inter-departmental communication and communication with your colleagues; this will help to give a better service and be more reactive. The relation to your supervisor and your remuneration are also important to keep you motivated because your satisfaction will reflect your service.
- Your empowerment: the appropriation of the product/service details, the feeling you are autonomous, you believe in the quality and identify you the company’s philosophy will give you a good self-confidence.
The ‘dehumanization’ effect in e-commerce and tipps to improve the customer’s experience
The price and rapidity of the delivery are not only the most important criteria and demands to purchase online nowadays. Before it comes to the purchasing, customers tend to check other’s experience and comments to make a decision. The expectations are evolving and the relationship takes a different direction.
- More social and friendly approach to encourage the customer to spend more time on your website and to ‘come back’.
- Invest more in excellent customer care
- Connect with your customer and use the social networks at your advantage
- Create experience by establishing a trust relationship. Be able to support your customer and guide the choice to every step of the purchase.
- Create a valuable and unique offer.
- Share experience with for example storytelling.
- Keep seducing and convincing the customers with a qualitative and efficient service
- Compensate the non-face to face interaction with a more customized offer and individuality of exchanges