We consider ourselves as much a customer service provider as a live answering service. With that said, we are always looking for ways to illustrate how fielding calls contributes to the customer service experience. We have come up with the perfect analogy: communication is the fuel on which customer service runs.
We might have a client relying on us for HVAC or plumbing answering service. Another client might be a property management company utilizing our answering service after hours. Regardless of the details, an answering service’s main priority is communicating with customers on behalf of their clients.
Similarly, both answering services and in-house customer service personnel may interact with customers via online chat or a ticketed support system. Just as with phone calls, chat and support systems have their foundation in communication. That communication is the fuel that drives the customer service experience.
Good Fuel Equals a Good Experience
If you are old enough to remember the transition from leaded gasoline to unleaded, you might also remember that poor quality fuel was a problem back then. If you put lousy fuel in the gas tank, your car wouldn’t run properly. Some people would pay extra to guarantee they were getting the best fuel.
Customer service works the same way. If your customer service personnel are poor communicators, the overall experience is going to be unpleasant for your customers. But if your staff communicates professionally and thoroughly, the customer service experience will be as good as it can be.
This is one of the most important points to consider if you are thinking about signing up with a live answering service. You need a service that prides itself on professionalism. You need a service that treats your customers the way you expect them to be treated.
Good Customer Service Is Timely
Good customer service is timely customer service. In other words, customers don’t want to make a phone call and be put on hold for 30 minutes. They do not want to send an email or support ticket and need to wait 24-36 hours for an answer. They expect customer service representatives to be available at all times.
Once again, communication is key. How quickly a company communicates with customers impacts the overall experience. When communication isn’t timely, customer service isn’t timely. Customers are turned off and the company’s brand suffers. On the other hand, customers enjoy a much better experience when their phone calls, emails, or support tickets are addressed promptly.
Don’t Follow the Bouncing Ball
Customer inquiries can be addressed promptly yet still lead to a bad customer experience. How? By continually passing customers off to someone else. This can happen when call-center personnel are not equipped to handle problems or answer questions.
Customers expect that their questions or problems will be addressed by knowledgeable representatives. They expect that a call center is staffed by people who know what they are doing. When that isn’t the case, they may feel like bouncing balls being passed from one department to another without ever getting satisfaction. That’s no way to take care of customers.
Whether a company utilizes in-house staff or outsources to a live call answering service, the people who answer the calls should possess the knowledge and authority to get things taken care of right then and there.
Answering phone calls and responding to digital communications is where customer service starts. Customer service is fueled by communication. Therefore, the customer service experience is better when communications are professional, timely, and productive. Communication is what drives customer service. Without it, customer service is dead in the water.