Today, there are few organizations and companies in the world that are not familiar with the basic principle of continuous communication with customers. We call it the fundamental principle, because the customers of any company are a guarantee for its survival. Knowing the wants, interests, needs and answering customers’ questions and ambiguities are the most basic principles of corporate governance. These cases help the managers of the companies in drawing the roadmap of the future activities of the company. In fact, one of the main pillars of growth and development of any company is to increase the number of customers, the realization of which requires expanding the scope of services. Due to the importance of customers, in each company, a special section has been established for constant communication with customers. This department has an independent management and is accountable to the CEO, and in Iran, it has letters such as Customer Relationship Center, Customer Club, customer club, Customer service center, customer call center, etc. are known. In this article, we take a look at the structure of the customer relationship center to get acquainted with its features.
The definition of a customer service center, also known as a call center, is: A part of a company that works in constant interaction with customers to satisfy them. Typically, the customer service center uses all means of communication with customers, such as e-mail, telephone calls, online chats and other means of communication. Customer service is the support that companies (before and after the sale or supply of services) provide to their customers. These services help customers to have a pleasant experience of communicating with the company.
The main and primary role of the customer service center and its staff is to investigate and pay attention to customer problems and solve them in a timely manner in an efficient manner. The activities of a customer service center are based on three pillars:
1) The customer is a priority: Companies need to know who the customer is, what they are looking for, how to satisfy them, how to give them a pleasurable experience.
2) Type of service: Depending on the type of customers and their needs, they need different services. Companies need to plan based on this fact.
3) Location: In terms of customer service, it is important to know where and how they would like to interact with companies; For example, via mobile phone, laptop, phone, email, etc. Customer service centers are divided into several main types, each based on the type of function, specific methods such as face-to-face, telephone and e-mail services, through online chat, meetings and gatherings, automated services (to answer questions at any time of the day) for Provide services.
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These centers generally deal with five categories of customers; Potential customers, new customers, motivated customers, discount customers and loyal customers. In the meantime, loyal customers are the most important people who should be highly regarded by company managers. After that, motivated customers are in the second place in generating sales revenue.
Skills needed for customer service staff
Because of the importance of retaining existing customers and attracting new customers, customer service staff must have certain characteristics and skills. By using these skills, the dynamism and vitality of the customer service sector is maintained:
1) Be patient: Some customers (for whatever reason) may have complaints or questions about the services provided or a product purchased. An accurate and calm response will make them feel good.
2) Language skills: Customer service staff should know that using a soothing tone and language leads to an emotional connection with the customer and builds his trust.
3) A sense of empathy: Some customers may be angry, some may ask a lot of questions, and some may be talkative. You need to empathize with them and provide them with the same services. In other words, no matter what the customer feels, the best service should be provided.
4) Compatibility and adaptability: Customers change. You may encounter new customers every week. You need to be able to adapt to the customer by understanding their situation. Remember, dealing with customers is like a classroom where you learn something new every day.
5) Explicit communication: Make sure you convey your meaning clearly to the customer. Never interrupt a conversation with a customer before making sure he or she is satisfied.
6) Work ethic: Customers appreciate the person who accompanies them until the problem is solved. However, you need to manage your time as other customers may be waiting.
7) Knowledge and awareness: Customers trust your knowledge about the product and product sold. Therefore, it is necessary to update your knowledge about all the products and services of the company.
8) Be bold: The customer is always right! It is true? The ability to control anger when confronted with angry or arrogant customers who use inappropriate language and take control of the conversation is one of the essential characteristics and skills for service personnel.
Responsibility, good listening, accuracy and consideration, time management and the desire to grow continuously at work, are other necessary skills for employees in the customer service department.
Customer service department faces people of all ages, social status, ethics, etc. But they have the biggest problem with grumpy customers. Those who are late are usually talkative and arrogant and difficult to talk to. In dealing with such customers, employees should pay attention to a few important things, because even retaining grumpy customers is an opportunity for the growth and development of the company. In addition to the general skills mentioned above, here are some other important ones:
* Listen well to the customer
* Show yourself eager to hear the talk and solve the problem
* Never raise your voice
* Communicate emotionally with the customer
* Respond as if the customer is having a face-to-face conversation
* Stay cool
* Do not personalize the topic of conversation
* Do not forget to be with a human
You are talking
* If you promised to contact the customer, be sure to do so
At the end of the conversation with the customer, explain everything briefly
Criteria for measuring customer service
It is one of the duties of the customer service department to be aware of customer feedback and suggestions about the product or service provided. Customer surveys are one of the most common ways to gain insight into customer views. But to measure the ability of the customer service department, there are two main criteria that are time (average time spent to respond and total time spent solving the problem) and customer satisfaction (usually measured by customer scoring). Also, the customer service department must comply with international standards in order to play its main role and tasks. The International Organization for Customer Service (TICSI) and ISO have set and published a number of these standards, the most important of which are as follows:
Performance improvement (ISO 9004: 2000)
Customer service management
(ISO 10001: 2007)
Quality management in handling customer complaints (ISO 10002: 2004)
Monitoring and evaluation (ISO 10004: 2012)
International Customer Service Standard (TICSS)
How to handle customer complaints is one of the most important issues in the process of customer service activities. In this regard, it is necessary for the staff of this department to know some of the main steps in handling customer complaints and act accordingly. The most important of these steps are as follows:
1) Evaluation: Make sure you fully understand the content of the complaint and know the goods or services that caused the complaint.
2) Investigation: Review the goods or services complained of and provide the information received to the relevant colleagues. Then follow up and get the result from them.
3) Evaluation of evidence: Examine the evidence obtained for computer information, invoice or e-mail.
4) Correcting mistakes: Your checks, if done correctly, will reveal the existence of any mistakes. Once you know there are any mistakes, you can correct them.
5) Accountability: This is the stage where you finalize the customer complaint. Your answer must be reasoned and factual in order to convince the customer.
Customer service of insurance companies
What has been mentioned so far is almost the same for most companies; Whether they are producers or sellers, suppliers of goods or services. But for companies operating in different fields, there are some different standards. Since the sale of insurance policies is the most important source of income for insurance companies, here we examine the customer service department of insurance companies and agencies.
Ways to improve insurance customer service
1) Simplification: Your website should be designed in a simple and understandable way for the customer to use it easily. In this case, the customer quickly accesses what he wants.
2) Communication with the customer: No one likes filling out duplicate insurance forms. Provide an enjoyable experience to your customers by designing an efficient communication platform. Online or live chat with a customer is a great way to build and maintain customer relationships.
3) Availability: It is very important for an insured customer to be able to ask and answer questions from home without the need for a face-to-face visit. Therefore, insurance companies and agencies should always be available and ready.
4) Provide the right tools: Customers like to keep their insurance coverage as low as possible while maintaining the required insurance coverage. Develop a plan to identify different customers and their needs, and use the information obtained to take the initiative and create plans to offer insurance policies with the lowest premiums.
5) Compliance: Customers do not need all insurance policies. So offer insurance policies that the customer really needs. In fact, you should design and offer insurance policies according to the customer’s needs.
Today, there are successful insurance companies around the world that, according to statistics, have a very strong customer service sector. Some well-known insurance companies that operate in the fields of automobiles, housing, health, life, etc., by designing and offering new insurance policies, not only retain their old customers but also gain the opportunity to attract new customers.