It’s About Creating Relationships

JIM TIERNEY: Customer service has failed to make the grade since 1995, according to Rosanne D’Ausilio, president of Human Technologies Global. Why?

Because it’s not about managing numbers anymore, she told attendees at her session, “Kick Your Customer Service Up A Notch With the 5 Ws,” at the National Conference on Operations & Fulfillment last month.

What’s it about? “It’s about creating and managing relationships,” she said. “We’re all in the service industry.”

It’s up to customer service personnel to take customers from a satisfied level to loyal, D’Ausilio said. Who should be trained to deliver expert customer service? Everyone, she said.

First-call resolution (FCR) is vitally important, and it’s all about “respect and service,” she explained. The differentiating factor is the ability to create customer relationships.

“The more professionally you treat employees, the more professionally they will treat your customers,” D’Ausilio said.

Just how important is excellent customer service?

D’Ausilio pointed out that an unhappy customer tells between nine and 15 people; a satisfied customer tells between four and six people.

She said 82% of customers stop doing business with a company due to bad customer service, but 85% will pay more to a company that produces better customer service.

Common customer service complaints: call center reps who are hard to understand because of a thick accent; length of time to reach a rep; and reps who are not knowledgeable about the company’s products and services.

D’Ausilio said that to succeed, customer service has to be personalized — as in: “My name is so-and-so and I will help you.” Or, offer to transfer customers to a manager.

Two questions to ponder: How much will it cost you to have a live voice on the telephone? And how much will it cost you if you don’t?

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