The following article aims to provide a general overview of customer service basics, theories, and practical advice. Everyone involved in customer service – from frontline support reps to service managers can benefit from this guide. It can be also used as a helpful resource for free training in help desk, ticketing, call center, and live chat capabilities.
However, since the topic of customer service is so broad, we have decided to make a couple of in-depth articles so you can get detailed insights. Thus, if you would like to learn more, do not hesitate to click through the topics that interest you below.
Customer service is the support and assistance businesses offer before, during, and after purchasing the products/services. Quality customer service adds an immense amount of value to a product and helps build long-lasting relationships with customers.
Today’s customer service is much more than traditional phone support. Rapid tech advancements reshaped the way businesses interact with customers and created the proliferation of digital service channels. Receiving fast, efficient, personalized support and a seamless experience is what consumers generally expect from brands these days.
Find out more in-depth information about types of customer service.
As consumer expectations are on the rise, delivering excellent service is one of the most valuable things a business can do to stay competitive and successful in the long run. Numerous studies have proved that happy customers are more loyal and spend more. On the other hand, those experiencing bad service abandon the brand, which costs them revenue and affects their reputation.
In order to provide excellent customer service, you need to have customer service representatives that exhibit specific skills. Customer service skills can be divided into two categories;
The first category includes soft skills. The customer representative’s job is to communicate with customers effectively and efficiently. Thus, knowledge about the product/service is essential to assist the customer. However, customer service is not only about providing information/solving problems. The agent also needs to know how to communicate the outcome or the information to the customer. Here are a few necessary soft skills that the agent should possess to excel in customer service:
The other category is called hard skills. These skills can be acquired/learned throughout training, school, or self-taught. Here are some examples of hard skills:
Make sure you keep these in mind when hiring a new customer representative. However, do not dwell on them too much. If your company provides proper customer service training, all you need is a person that is highly motivated and is willing to learn.
If you do not have proper customer service training I suggest you keep reading below to gain more information and perspective on how it can affect your overall company success.
Customer service training refers to teaching customer service employees the knowledge, competencies, tools, and skills required to serve and support customers. Therefore, delivering more value from a company’s products and services.
The quality of customer service a business offers will never exceed the quality of the people providing it. No matter how talented and experienced service employees might be, there will always be more to learn or new skills to develop. In fact, any customer-facing employee whose job entails interacting with customers either personally or online should undergo basic customer service training. In addition to service representatives, this could also include other positions such as; technical support and sales representatives.
Customer service employees are typically the first point of contact consumers have with a brand. They create the first impressions that impact your customer’s perception of the company. Incompetent, untrained, or poorly trained service agents are not likely to deliver stellar service. On the other hand, well-executed customer service by properly trained employees results in increased customer satisfaction and improved customer experience. That’s why training customer support teams is just as important as training marketing and sales teams.
Best customer service training enables service employees to meet the highly demanding, tech-savvy consumer expectations effectively. Moreover, investing in training gives employees a feeling of value, improves their morale and motivation. And when employees feel valued, they value their customers and are willing to go the extra mile for them.
Customer service has become a brand differentiator for helping businesses stand out from the competition. It is especially a key aspect in the oversaturated market of similar products/services. Some of the world’s most known customer-centric brands like; Amazon, Zappos, Ritz-Carlton, and Southwest Airlines, spend a substantial share of their earnings on delivering excellent customer service. These companies provide consistent training for their employees to provide a great customer experience. Overall, their success proves that it’s worth the investment.
Poor customer service can be a fast downward spiral for any business. It can lead to:
It is really hard to rebuild the trust and overall customer perspective about your brand once it has a bad reputation. Do not underestimate the power of customer service.
If you would like to learn more, check out the How to avoid bad customer service article.
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