Customer service isn't what it used to be; customer service also isn't what it should be. Chalk it up to generation gaps, changes of economic climate or even entitled youth taking over sales positions — the truth is that it’s very rare to find a company that has a stellar customer service department. Surely customer service can’t be so difficult to figure out? There are three factors that can contribute to less-than-perfect customer service.
First, insurance and benefits packages can be very expensive, especially for larger retailers or companies with more customer service agents. Many companies hire more part-time employees to work around this problem; however, this can cause new problems that have nothing to do with how much money a company is spending or saving. By hiring many part-time employees rather than a talented group of full-time workers, customer service suffers because part-time employees don’t receive the same training and generally have a much higher turnover rate. One way to improve customer service is for businesses to hire more full-time people and offer more training and resources so that they can elevate customer satisfaction through knowledge and being relatable.
However, in the areas of being relatable and knowledgeable, some companies are hiring customer service reps who are over-educated. Many will argue that it’s unfair to disqualify college grads from customer service simply because they’re more educated; however, those who hold degrees or have some form of higher education may also feel too smart or too important. This feeling of superiority makes the rep hard to relate to and can result in an experience that is not ideal for the target consumer. Companies can improve customer service by hiring from their target market. Not only will this ensure that no customer service reps have a superiority complex, but it also creates relatable agents who have an interest in the product or service because it’s focused on them.
Finally, companies that do not use a responsive, preemptive plan for their customer service reps can find that their ability to problem-solve and fix mistakes suffers. By having a responsive plan, a team can ensure that mistakes are only made once. Likewise, a preemptive plan ensures that the customer service team is prepared for any problem a customer may have. This makes the company appear in touch with its product and its consumers. If a company fails to have these two things in place, it can make it seem uncaring, uninterested, or worse — unprepared.
Though customer service seems like common sense to the average consumer, there are many factors that come into play to ensure customer satisfaction. Companies that hire over-educated, part-time employees can have trouble creating a welcoming, helpful atmosphere. Being unprepared or unresponsive can also lead to unhappy consumers.
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