Customer should always be treated with exemplary behaviour and a proper attitude because it is they who help any organization to earn profits and survive in these competitive times.
Almost all the companies have strict instructions to ensure the best possible care of their customers via delightful interaction and satisfactory transactions.
Customer care department is the front-facing department as it takes a personal approach in dealing with their customers to make them feel valued. When you show that you care you are indirectly showering respect, and this creates an unbreakable bond between the brand and their consumer.
Customer care is, no doubt an important key in maintaining good and healthy relationships. Companies are working doubly hard to ensure the highest level of customer satisfaction.
A separate team is entrusted with customer care department where an important number of employees work as the face of the company and deal directly with consumers and an equally good number work behind the scenes to ensure that everything takes place as it should.
There are lots of ways by which you can connect with a customer care team. You can approach them directly and have a face-to-face interaction. If it is not possible, you can opt for their helpline numbers and make contact.
Chat portals, telephone conversation, email, and online helpdesk are other important options that you can use in accordance to your suitability.
All these facilities have been created for showing the customers that the brand or company cares and is willing to hold out its hand for further assistance.
Concept of customer care
The concept of customer care has always been in existence, but in recent years it has gained due prominence. Business entities have recognized the worth of satisfied customers and are working towards building an encouraging relationship.
Business is not only about selling and making profits. It is the customers who play the most important role in any organization. You can sell a product or service once to any individual but to do so a second and a third time requires careful handling.
Companies have recognized the power that a satisfied customer has over a company and are working very hard to ensure maximum customer satisfaction. It is important that a business entity or a brand listens to the voice of a customer and address any concern.
Taking care of existing customers is more important than creating new ones. Put your onus on customer retention by building loyalty so that you can increase your revenues and of course, profitability.
Remember a loyal customer will visit your outlet repeatedly and will also prove a good source of promotion via mouth publicity.
Once you build a good and loyal base, you will be able to save extra expenses. It is possible via good customer care and service experiences.
Separate customer care departments have been created so that they can take a proactive and if necessary reactive steps to ensure best possible customer care services. Employees must have accurate and complete information so that they can deal with arising issues promptly.
Examples of customer care
1) Going the extra way
Going the extra way to make your customers happy is what a good customer care department does. Recently I went to a restaurant with my friends and ordered an assortment of dishes because we were quite a few in numbers.
While we were eating one of my friends pointed out that we had asked for a different variety of pizza and the waiter had served another. We were talking and debating amongst ourselves what should we do because most of us had not realized the mistake and already started eating it.
Just when we decided to let go of the matter suddenly one of the authorities was there with an apology and the pizza we had ordered along with one extra.
During the billing, we realized that the restaurant had not included the amount of the pizza that we had not ordered or the one they delivered later on.
This was a prime example of customer care. We all were impressed and told about it to our other friends. Later it became one of our favourite joints. Going the extra step made all the difference in the attitude and impressed us a lot.
2) Be vigilant
A customer does not want to feel like one of the crowd. He knows the truth but expects personal care to make him special. For example, I went shopping with an elderly aunt who lived in another city.
She wanted to buy a particular dress, and we went searching for it. She tried two sizes and selected the one she thought was the correct one and dumped the other in the basket. While we were at the billing counter, I met a friend of mine who wanted to show me something.
I did not want to leave my elderly aunt alone in the queue and was hesitating when a customer care employee who was passing by heard about my dilemma and agreed to help my aunt during the billing process.
He made way for her so that she could get a priority in billing because of her advanced age. At the counter, she realized that she had chosen the wrong size.
The employee called a staff immediately, and the wrong size was replaced by the correct one. He later helped her to find a corner and sit down until I came back.
When a customer care employee is vigilant in his efforts, he will earn extra praise just like my aunt praised him in front of everyone and expressed her sincere thanks.
When she went back to her city, she mentioned the incident on the company website and expressed her thanks once again to the particular employee who went on to win a monetary appreciation from his company for his extra efforts and vigilance.
Advantages of customer care
Customer care is often used to indicate the care taken by a business entity while interacting with their customers so that they can make the experience count. The advantages of this department are varied and have been explained below.
1) Customer satisfaction
An important benefit of customer care is that it tries its best to satisfy all its customers, irrespective of their attitude and behaviour. The employees manage to mould the perception of its consumers positively with their professional and friendly attitude.
It is their willingness to offer a helping hand that makes them stand out that eases and soothes their high temper and give 100% customer satisfaction.
2) Solid business network
A good customer care department helps in creating a solid business network. When you are dealing amicably with the customers, they become your promoters and helps you in creating further customers through their network.
An important advantage of a customer care service is that it helps to build a solid business network that can include friends, family members, professional acquaintances, associates, and colleagues.
3) Builds loyalty
An important advantage of good customer care is that it helps the brand to build loyalty. Remember a satisfied customer will repeat his experience compared favourably to an unsatisfied one who will only lament about his.
4) Builds relationships
Customer care deals in building relationships so that they can increase their profitability at the end of the day. It is their customer-centric approach that makes the consumers responds positively.
Never take your customers for granted and treat them in an off-hand manner because no one will take to such an attitude lying down.
They will shift their loyalty then and there and will try never to repeat such a bad experience. Better maintain a good and positive relationship that is based on warmth and openness for your company’s benefit.
Building a relationship with new customers to make, then your permanent ones are the goal of a customer care team.
5) Builds trust
Customer care department builds trust by coming to the rescue of every customer who is having a problem.
It keeps interacting with them to maintain their faith in the system and make them understand that the department is doing everything to satisfy displeased customers and their queries.
6) Open communication
There are unhappy customers everywhere, and it is upon the business entity to decide how to deal with them. Customer care department keeps communication open so that you can resolve issues admirably by talking and sorting out the problem.
7) Encourage feedbacks
A customer care department encourage feedback so that they can make viable changes in their system.
Regular contact via surveys and feedbacks helps the business owner to understand the viewpoint of the customer and how his products, services are perceived by them.
8) Deal effectively with complaints
One of the most important works that a customer care department does is listen to the customers and deal with their complaints effectively. It is imperative to be positive in your approach to maintain an optimistic attitude towards every issue.
Be sincere in your efforts and see a marked difference in your customer as they will also respond positively to your efforts. This is why a customer care department is also called a problem solver.
Disadvantages of customer care
An important reason for the failure of any business entity is the inability of the entity to offer good customer care experience to its customers. Remember, unsatisfied customers means one less customer because he will not repeat his horrible experience at your door.
Several disadvantages of customer care are as follows-
1) The overall increase in expenses
It is not easy to set a customer care department. The overall increase in expenses is a huge problem for any new firm as it is not possible for the company to tolerate them.
Setting up will take out a huge chunk of your finance, and hence, most companies do not prefer to maintain a proper customer care department at the beginning of their journey.
This can prove a disadvantage as unhappy customers will not have a place to air their grievances and resolve related issues.
2) Time-consuming process
Setting up a customer care department is, no doubt a time-consuming process.
You just cannot ask any employee to take hold of this department as he will have to face some unhappy customers. Without any proper training, it is like letting loose a non-swimmer in the river.
The interaction will become impersonal and seem unprofessional and unhealthy to the customer.
3) Long waiting time
It is a myth that every customer care department maintains a high standard of interactions.
Most of them are overloaded with issues and do not have enough manpower to deal with them. The long waiting time seriously pisses off the customers and can work against the reputation of the brand.
Remember if a customer is unhappy, he will have his say in front of his friends and family and will create a bad reputation for the organization.
Good customer care
There is a self-explanation in the words customer care. Caring for your customers involves customer care.
How you can take care of your customers is an important question. You just cannot ask every employee in your company to approach a customer and take care of him in whatever manner he deems suitable.
It is certainly not feasible as it will involve unnecessary wastage of valuable resources. The best option is to create a separate department that will deal with customers efficiently and take proper care of any issues or grievances.
Courtesy is a necessity during empathetic interaction and who better than a trained employee to handle the customers who are life and blood of a business house. Representatives must be knowledgeable and accessible.
It is their willingness to help that attracts the customers and ultimately results in conflict resolution. It is important that all the employees in customer care are fully trained to handle all the different types of issues that they will have to face during their interaction.
Appoint employees who are good at listening. This is an important skill to have because the consumers connect quickly with those employees that show such traits.
The next important aspect is a strong speaking skill because until and unless you are not clear, precise and distinct in your diction the customers will not be able to understand whatever you are trying to say to them.
Patience, along with a calm demeanour, is a job requirement of employees that work in the customer care department. You will be getting different types of people, mostly at the end of their patience, and it will be your soothing hand that will help them to calm down.
Be sure to include people who are good at thinking on their feet because sometimes the circumstances require out-of-the-box solutions to please the almighty consumers.
Timely attention along with the need to resolve the issue is what can make a difference between retaining and losing a consumer. Be prompt because a customer does not like to be kept waiting and becomes irritated quite quickly.
It is the perception of a customer that is important because if he feels valued and all his demands are met in accordance to his satisfaction, he will become a regular customer of the brand. If not, he will shift his allegiance to another brand, and you will lose an important client.
Remember, this is not about a single person, but we are talking about people as a whole. Several single drops are necessary to fill a glass similarly to several customers together becomes a group, and they will have a direct impact on the profits of a company.