Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How to succeed in Customer Service Field

I believe none of you like to be in this field. It is not a nice job. Everyday will be full of challenges and ordeals. You can’t expect how your customer would be, but you have to be well-prepared to meet any type of customer.

Personally, I got few years experience in customer service field after I graduate from my degree. I won two most outstanding customer service awards in a year during my time at my previous company. I can’t say that I am very good because I believe there is still a lot of outstanding Customer service out there.

After involving in this field, I start to expect more and best service from customer service representatives.

What is the thing that Customer service representatives fear of?

The answer is: Angry customer.

Actually, there should be a reason why a customer is angry. One possibility is they are not satisfied with the service or product that they get. They are complaining in order to protect themselves because consumers have their right to complain and if they didn’t protect themselves, who is going to care on them? Is it the company that offered the service?

The answer is “Definitely not”. Company will care of their own reputation and pride. As a result customer must be very brave to stand against the rights.

Being a good customer service representative, when you encounter angry customer complaining towards the company, at this moment you have to put the complaints in your own shoes. Keep on thinking what you will do if you are having this kind of problems.
Then you have to be a good listener instead of explaining all around. Be helpful enough and show your sincerity. Be patience. Please don’t act clever.

* Customer service representative or other officer: Please don’t promise anything with the customer if you are not very sure whether you can do that or not. Only promise when you are 100% sure. Otherwise you will put yourself in trouble.

Recently, I got an experience dealing with a customer service officer which made me think of the criteria for a company to employ a customer service officer.

That day, my dad and I went to a company which the name ahead in Malaysia. We went there for two purposes. One is to complaint. Another one is to enquire.

I will not mention the complaint part here.

That time my dad enquired about a product in Malay with a guy customer service. He asked whether the product still available or not. The guy told us to wait so that he could check. After checking, he said that product was still not for sales. Then one lady customer service came. My dad asked again in Malay. She said “No no no. Not for sales yet”

Then my dad asked whether they have the product number or not. This time the lady said in an impatient mode “No no no. We are not open for sales yet”.

To be honest we were informed that the product already for sales in the market earlier on before we went to the company. We even knew the prices for that product. I knew there is product number as well because I am a frequent internet surfer.

At that moment I thought are they chicken and duck talking.

I asked in Malay “No product number is it?”

She said “No. Not open for sales” with a “bun green sky” looked but without moon.

I told the lady that I had seen the product number in the website before.

This time she started to response in a higher tone. “No no no. Not open for sales. We have product number but it is not open for sales.”

She said the products don’t have number earlier on but now said they have the product number. She didn’t answer to what the question was throwing towards her. What she wanted to tell us was “Not for sales”.

Summarise of the conversation with the lady customer service officer:

Question: Availability of a product
Answer: Not open for sales

Question: The product number
Answer: No. Not open for sales

Re-Question: The product number
Answer: Not open for sales

Re-Question2: Why there is no product number yet internet shown the product number.
Answer: Got number but not for sales.

Stop doing that!!:P

Conclusion of the above matter:
She might be trying to chase customer away without answering to what the customer asked. Maybe the customer seemed to be unaffordable or maybe she is lazy to entertain poor looking customer.
After few findings from others, the products already open for sales and already fully booked.

What do you get from that example?
The customer service officer is too rude, acting clever, not helpful enough, not patience, and the most important thing is that she is not answering to what the customer asked.

Customer service representative can’t act clever in front of customer because it will boost customer anger. Customer might be more knowledgeable than you.

Here, I wish some of my guidelines can be helpful if you just started to join customer service field as well as that lady please bear in mind:

Think twice before opening your mouth,
Reply when you are really sure,
Answer according to the question shooting towards you,
Stop being rude and ego,
Patience and helpful you should have,
This field is not easy,
Customer service characteristic you should know,
Keep on learning from others will place you to the top.

Story Boarding: Egg
Comic Artist: Yolk

*paiseh ya, so long din't update. Will update more soon!!