A customer’s experience with a brand or company leaves a lasting impression. It doesn’t matter whether the interaction was with a customer service representative, technical support, or the CEO. A positive attitude, helpfulness and accuracy go a long way in making a customer feel valued – no matter where in the company the support is coming from.
You should keep this in mind when allocating responsibilities associated with customer service, and any time you make a new hire, as hiring personable people helps lead to more customer acquisition and retention, and ultimately improves your bottom line.
So, how does customer service fit into the roles and responsibilities associated with teams outside of the help desk? Everyone from the executive team to the marketing team can get involved with a few simple ideas to keep in mind.
The executive team for your organisation often represents the company to the public. Think of Steve Jobs’ role for Apple or Anna Wintour for Vogue magazine – their personal attitudes and work ethic are reflected throughout the brand. This includes their approach to customer service.
The executive team needs to be mindful in their daily interactions with staff and ensure that their outlook is the same as what they would like to see employees have with customers. Executives should set the standard that attitudes are positive in every situation and that employees go above-and-beyond to find solutions on behalf of customers.
We know that social media has become one of the most popular ways for customers to get in touch with brands and have their voices heard, but the marketing team also gets involved with customer service through other channels. When an email marketing campaign is distributed, there are many cases when customers respond with questions or comments. These notes cannot fall to the wayside, but rather the marketing team should seek out answers and work to get the customer a response.
Marketers have great insight on a brand’s customer as they’re doing research on demographics to deliver relevant campaigns. By utilising this insight, the marketing team can be a great resource for improving a company’s overall customer service. For example, the team member tasked with website analytics may note that the bounce rate (if a person enters a particular page and exits the website without further exploring) is extremely high, or time on the page is extremely low on the FAQ page. Insights such as these may indicate that customers are having trouble finding answers to their inquiries or that you’re not providing what they want. This data could spark further research on this issue and help make customer service more streamlined.
This team interacts with customers on a regular basis when discussing payments, or sending and following up on invoices. The language used in these interactions can set a negative or positive tone with customers. Instead of approaching the situation with a “pay us now” attitude, the company’s accountant should keep in mind that there are a myriad of reasons why the invoice hasn’t yet been paid (perhaps it was delivered to the wrong contact or in the wrong format). Customers will be appreciative of your company’s understanding and patience, and will likely continue to work with your team for this reason.
If your company has a physical location to maintain, the team handling maintenance is a customer-facing group. Items that may seem simple, like a properly running bathroom or clearing out trash bins, need to be organised and addressed by the maintenance team. If upkeep of the building is not up to par, customers may be concerned that the same lack of attention will be given to them, which is not the message you want to send.
Assigning the HR team with customer service tasks may seem out of place as they’re primarily working with internal staff, not customers. However, the HR team is responsible for hiring employees that will be interacting with customers, and they help to maintain a company’s overall culture.
As noted, employees should express a positive attitude, but when bringing on new team members – from customer service representatives and beyond – the HR department should be on the lookout for the following characteristics:
- Initiative and motivation.
- Patience and flexibility.
- Problem solving skills.
In addition, much like the executive team, the HR department helps set the standard for overall attitude and workplace behavior among employees. This often includes how the staff responds and interacts with customers. HR should offer various professional trainings or guidelines for employees to reference, and maintain consistent customer service among all departments of a company.
Even if there is a designated team, the responsibilities associated with supporting your clients cannot be contained in the customer service department. It’s up to everyone throughout an organization to step up and support customers, as they are your lifelines to success. Ensure key characteristics are consistent throughout all departments, but also take the time to determine how various team members can assist with customer service for the best results.