There are a lot of articles written about customer service. And most of those articles are not very positive about its performance. It even does have a hashtag on Twitter (#custserv). But who is customer service?
It is a name of a department or even a collection of departments. In those departments work people, yes PEOPLE! Very hardworking people who try to satisfy the customer, solve problems and give other information.
It could be sales support, the bid team, receptionists, support engineers, call center employees, logistics, administration and many different other tasks/departments.
I did mention that they try to satisfy the customer. Why ‘try’? That is because they are most of the time located between a rock and a hard place. They are the bridge between the customers’ needs and the internal organization. Their task is rather challenging when the internal org is not supportive, not up to date, when the processes don’t work or when the systems are outdated or not reliable. Despite these issues they still have to represent the org towards the customer. Sometimes that is not a job to be jealous about.
Service business is people business. So, customer service is people business as well. This means that we can never judge the performance of a complete department based upon the experience with just one employee. Many employees are part of the team, and so the team performance should count as well. And organizations should do much more to support and empower these people in the trenches. After all, they are a crucial connection between the brand and the customers.
They have to be seen as people who perform a very challenging job and they need to receive the right support tools and coaching to do a fine job. The main thing is that they are taught people skills as well. They are on a daily basis building relationships with your customers.
Do you know your customer service representatives, personally?
GROW YOUR PEOPLE, GROW YOUR BUSINESS!