“Good morning. This is your Customer Service. Please select what you would like to talk to Customer Service about from 10 options that we will give you in a minute. Then hold for 10 minutes listening to Bach and then find out that your customer service host will be available in 10 minutes. We are just going to ask you a few questions so that we can transfer you to the right department…” …and pray they will have the answer… This would be the Customer Service from hell, that everyone has been through at least once when looking for help from Customer Service.
Today we asked Justyna Bąkowska, responsible for building Customer Support at Webinterpret, what her priorities were while setting up the Customer Support that customers love.
Define the challenges
Before creating the Customer Service of your customers’ dreams, you have to find out what is considered to be the Customer Service from hell. This will take you to the list of the challenges that each Customer Service deals with every day. You cannot really eliminate those challenges. What you can do, however, is to find good ways to beat them and turn them into your strengths. Justyna says that the main challenges that each Customer Service has to face are:
- Timely resolution as promised
- Satisfying solutions
- Multilingual service
- Multiple time zones
- Adequate business processes
Your customers have to know how long they will need to wait for your resolution. You cannot leave them feeling uncertain whether they will receive the answer immediately, or after the weekend, or whenever you find out how to deal with their requests. What is more: a promise, once given, has to be kept. Especially when it was given to your customers. At Webinterpret, there is a one day response rule. It states that the customer’s problem has to be dealt with within the first day of being reported. This means that it actually has to be handled straight after receiving it. It is hard to promise any deadline if there are no processes in place to offer solutions to your customers’ problems. And this causes another challenge – how to create business processes at your company’s Customer Service which meet your customers’ requirements.
While planning business processes that address your customers’ needs, you have to ask yourself what the main reasons are that make customers contact you. When you have defined these, you can create processes and teams dedicated to solving certain problems. Customer-centric organization is a structure that helps to focus on customer goals and leads to a point at which your company objectives are exactly the same as those of your customers. At Webinterpret it works like this. Webinterpret has created two teams. One is dedicated to solving the customers’ problems, and the second works directly with customers on growing their business. Each customer who requests assistance has only one case manager who is dealing with a particular problem. When considering business processes, it is also important to know during which time frame exactly those processes have to work. It may be only from 8 am to 5 pm or it could be 24/7. This is another challenge caused by time zones.
Time zones and language differences
You cannot do anything about time zones except to learn how to apply your Customer Service to customers from all over the world. Your service also has to be available in your customers’ language. If you sell to people all over the world, your service also has to be provided in languages that your customers will feel comfortable with. Fortunately there is a platform such as Webinterpret dedicated to this particular situation. Sellers who sell on eBay and Amazon can find customers from foreign countries and communicate with them without knowing even one single word of the customer’s language.
As Justyna says, the most important question you have to ask yourself before planning Customer Service work is: Why do customers contact us? Finding the answer to this will give you the clues as to what you should take care of while providing solutions that will satisfy your customers. Remember that the “product” you sell contains a particular item AND the service. Even if the product is great, it will be experienced as poor if your customer service does not help your customers. The other fact to consider is that 24% of your customers will share their opinion about your product and more than 39% will share with the world just how dissatisfied they are with you.
Webinterpret has built its Customer Service based on the customer’s needs and feedback. Justyna says that Webinterpret Customer Service has reason to be proud when considering satisfaction rates as it has grown by about 10% in one year and now has over 90% satisfied Customer Service customers. “Focusing on our customers’ goals has shown us the path that we should take when setting up successful Customer Service. The saying “the customer is always right” turns out to be very realistic because believing in it enables us to create unique solutions and processes”.