Overview: What Is Customer Service?
The definition of customer service.
Why is customer service important to the success of your business?
“89% of companies now expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience.”
The State of Service Report, Fifth Edition
48% of customers have switched brands for better customer service, and 94% say good customer service makes them more likely to make another purchase*. Learn how customer service automation can help your business by downloading our free State of Services Survey results.
Explore key insights below and submit the form to see the full report.
Benefits of great customer service
Customer service can have a big impact on your bottom line.
Source: Salesforce Relationship Survey conducted 2014–2016 among 10,500+ customers randomly selected. Response sizes per question vary.
Customer service can make or break your reputation.
Support is an integral part of the product experience.
Customers are willing to pay more for a better experience.
Types of customer service channels
There are many customer service channels you can use. By using multiple channels to interact with customers, you can gather more data and insights about your customer base’s preferences, behaviour and needs. This can help your business tailor its customer service approach when interacting with customers.
There are several types of customer service channels that your business can use to interact with customers. These include:
Phone: Customers can call your support centre to ask questions or receive assistance with your product or service.
Email: Email can be a convenient option for customers who prefer written communication or need to attach files or screenshots.
Chat: Chat support allows customers to communicate with a business representative in real-time through a chat interface.
Social Media: Customer service support through social media channels can be a convenient option for customers who prefer to use social media for communication or who want to publicly share their feedback or concerns.
Self-Service: Self-service options such as FAQs, knowledge bases, or help centres allow customers to find answers to their questions or solutions to their issues without needing to contact customer service directly.
Video: Video chat support allows customers to communicate with a representative via a video call.
Eight ways to provide excellent customer service.
Since customer service is a key driver of business success, it’s time for businesses to stop thinking of support as a cost centre, and start recognising customer service for what it is: an opportunity waiting to happen.
Every person or company will have their own definition of what good customer service means. No matter how you define it, these eight tried-and-true customer service principles can help you transform your support operations and deliver the best customer service experience every time.
1. Support customers as a team.
2. LISTEN TO CUSTOMERS (AND SHARE THEIR FEEDBACK).
3. Offer friendly, personable service.
4. Be honest about what you don’t know.
5. Practice empathy.
6. Know your product.
7. Remember that every second counts.
Customers hate to wait. They gain confidence when you respond quickly and solve their problems for good, and then are more likely to have an ongoing relationship with your brand.
So give your agents the tools they need to support customers as efficiently as possible. After all, reducing the time it takes to assist a customer directly reduces the time other customers must wait, too. At the same time, be sure to motivate agents to solve each problem completely; speed is important, but resolution times should never trump customer satisfaction.