Customer service

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Excellent Customer Service Defined

An important business concept relating to workplace quality is customer service. Customer service is the treatment an employee provides the customer. Companies cannot survive without customers; therefore, you need to know who your customers are and how to treat them.

A company has internal and external customers. Internal customers are employees within a company. External customers are individuals outside of the company. External customers include the individuals or businesses that purchase a company’s product, vendors, and investors. You may have a job where you do not directly interact with the company’s external customers. If such is the case, you still have an obligation to serve and treat internal customers as well as the company expects its employees to treat external customers.

Maintaining customer satisfaction is one of the best ways to sell a product. Satisfied customers will not only make repeat purchases, but will also encourage others to purchase your product. Similarly, unhappy customers also tell others about their bad experiences. Given the increased use of social media to share customer experiences, both favorable and unfavorable experiences can quickly go viral over the Internet. No business wants customers bad-mouthing the company or its product.

Employees need to be competent and dependable. A competent employee knows the product(s) his or her company offers and is able to answer common customer questions. Customers expect employees to assist them by providing correct information about a product. Dependable employees are reliable and take responsibility in assisting customers. Do not pretend to know something when you do not know the answer to a customer’s question. You will gain customer respect when you admit that you do not know all the answers, but can find someone who can assist the customer. If there is a situation that requires you to seek assistance from another employee when helping a customer, do not just hand the customer over to the other employee without explaining the situation. Whenever possible, stay with the customer and learn from your coworker so that you will know the answer the next time someone asks.

Strive to provide customers with personal attention and try to anticipate customer needs. Some customers like to be left alone to shop for a product but want you near if questions arise. Other customers would like you to guide them step by step when purchasing a product. When you see a customer, make every effort to acknowledge him or her as soon as possible with a greeting and an offer of assistance. Use the customer’s name if you know it to create a more personal and friendly atmosphere. Customers need to be treated differently according to their needs. Many companies provide customer service and sales training specific to their industry. If provided the opportunity, take advantage of such training.

Customers also expect a welcoming, convenient, and safe environment. This includes the appearance of the building, as well as the appearance of employees. As soon as a customer comes in contact with a business, an opinion is formed about that business. There is only one first impression, so it must be positive. The appearance of the building and/or employees can be the reason a customer visits your company in the first place. Whether you work directly or indirectly with customers, you have an obligation to keep your workplace clean and immediately address potential safety hazards. If there is trash on the floor or a spill of water, clean it up as soon as possible. Take responsibility for keeping your workplace clean and safe. Your attitude, language, and attire contribute to the image of your company. Display loyalty to your company by consistently supporting the company and its mission through your actions. Do your job and do it well. Respect company policies, your coworkers, and customers. Make every effort to promote the company and its products. Understand your company, including its strategy and business structure. You are a walking billboard for your company. Your behavior both at and away from work represents the company. Do not speak poorly of your company, your coworkers, or the company’s product either at or away from the workplace.

The Impact of Customer Service

Excellent customer service is the gateway to a company and the biggest reason customers return. Satisfied customers keep returning when you make them feel valued and provide them a high-quality product at a reasonable price. Happy customers also tell others about your business. With so many choices and increased competition, the same product can be purchased from many different businesses. Your goal is to build a long-term relationship with customers that will make them loyal to you and your business. Customer loyalty is another important element that contributes to the success of a company. If a customer perceives he or she has received value and a quality product, he or she will display loyalty to your company by making a repeat purchase. Companies want to build brand loyalty with customers and want customers to not substitute their product with a competing product. Customers will be loyal to a company and its products when quality products are consistently provided.

The success and profitability of a company depend on how you treat your customers. The happier customers are, the more likely they are to return. A business needs satisfied customers to not only make repeat purchases, but also tell other potential customers about their positive experience.

An important element of customer service is how customers view employee-to-employee interactions. Customers have more respect and credibility for a company when they witness positive interactions between employees. Employee conflicts should not be visible in front of customers. These matters and related discussions should be kept private and away from customers or it will reflect poorly on the entire organization.

The Difficult Customer

Customers can sometimes be difficult to deal with. Historically, companies have had the motto “The customer is always right.” But, in many instances, the customer may not be right. Although the customer may be wrong, adopt the attitude that the customer is unhappy and do all you can to help the customer solve a problem. Have patience and sympathize with the customer to maintain a positive relationship.

Many times, a difficult customer will be unfriendly and may even begin yelling at you. If this occurs, stay calm and do not take the customer’s inappropriate behavior personally. By remaining calm, you are better able to identify the real problem and logically get the problem solved as quickly as possible in a manner that is fair to both the customer and your company.

The Difficult Customer

Customers can sometimes be difficult to deal with. Historically, companies have had the motto “The customer is always right.” But, in many instances, the customer may not be right. Although the customer may be wrong, adopt the attitude that the customer is unhappy and do all you can to help the customer solve a problem. Have patience and sympathize with the customer to maintain a positive relationship.

Many times, a difficult customer will be unfriendly and may even begin yelling at you. If this occurs, stay calm and do not take the customer’s inappropriate behavior personally. By remaining calm, you are better able to identify the real problem and logically get the problem solved as quickly as possible in a manner that is fair to both the customer and your company.

Instructions

For this essay, you will explore both internal and external customer service and consider ways to provide excellent service to customers within an organization and outside the organization. Your essay should address the following questions:

1. Explain your definition of internal customer service. How do you personally provide excellent internal customer service to your colleagues?

2. Explain your definition of external customer service. What is an example of an organization that you feel provides excellent external customer service? Describe this organization and how it provides excellent customer service.

3. How has social media and the Internet changed customer service? What suggestions can you give to an organization that is struggling with online customer service?

Your complete essay must be at least two pages in length. Adhere to APA Style when constructing this assignment, including in-text citations and references for all sources, if used.

Recommended Resource

Anderson, L. E., & Bolt, S. B. (2016). Professionalism: Skills for workplace success (4th ed.). Boston, MA:

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