Customer Service Essay Sample
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Customer Service Essay Sample
To meet high quality service standards we will:
•be polite, friendly and welcoming when we communicate – in person, when writing, by phone, fax or email,
•respect differences in values, cultures, beliefs and ages, and include our awareness of diversity into our daily practice,
•respect the dignity of all and show empathy and consideration in our daily practice,
•listen and respond in an attentive way to client inquiries,
•protect the confidentiality of information,
•acknowledge clients by name,
•introduce ourselves by name, title or role,
•wear our ID badges so they can be easily seen and read,
•dress appropriately according to the organisation’s dress code, and
•maintain a clean and safe environment for co-workers and clients.
The RATER Model
Reliability – your ability to provide the service you have promised consistently, accurately, and on time. Assurance – the knowledge, skills, and credibility of staff; and their ability to use this expertise to inspire trust and confidence. Tangibles – the physical evidence of the service you provide. This could be offices, equipment, employees, and the communication and marketing materials that you use. Empathy – the relationship between employees and customers. Responsiveness – your ability to provide a quick, high quality service to your customers.
Customer Complaints Policy
Our company places customer satisfaction as a high priority. If a client/customer has a complaint against the organisation or a member of the organisation, there are a number of steps that need to be followed. Step 1
When the client complains, you need to take the matter seriously and deal with it appropriately. Listen carefully to the person making the complaint. If they are emotional at the time of the complaint, some of the facts may be difficult to ascertain correctly and objectively. You need to ensure that they give you all the correct information. Step 2
It may be better to take the matter to the supervisor, especially if the complaint is about a staff member. Details need to be accurate. All information about the complaint should be documented to ensure that the information remains consistent. Step 3
Depending on the type of complaint it may be sufficient that the supervisor listens and deals with the issue with the client. For quality assurance the documentation of the complaint will be noted and records kept of the action taken. Step 4
Where the issue is not able to be dealt with at the supervisor level the manager of the section may be involved in the issue. They may discuss the matter with the client and the staff member either separately or together, to try to resolve the issue. Again the meeting is documented and records kept on file for quality assurance records. Step 5
Where a number of complaints about the same issue are received, the quality assurance section may implement an action plan to investigate and improve an area. Step 6
Evaluation on the issue is undertaken at a predetermined date to ensure that improvement has occurred. Managing records and data
It is the employer’s responsibility to maintain accurate employee records. Both state and federal law apply to the maintenance of employment histories which include, but are not limited to employment related actions such as recruitment and selection, promotion, classification, compensation, performance, discipline, and training. Accuracy of employment data and dates maintained in these records determine an employee’s eligibility for university programs and services, Oregon University System (OUS) opportunities, as well as both the Public Employee Benefit Board (PEBB) and the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS). The official personnel record for all classified employees is located in Human Resources. This file is maintained under conditions which ensure the integrity and safe keeping of the file. Upon reasonable notice an employee may inspect their official personnel file. Ref: SEIU Article 16 – Personnel Records.
Procedure to satisfy customer with quality time and cost
1. Attracting new customers costs more than retaining existing customers A satisfied customer stays with a company longer, spends more and may deepen the relationship. For example a happy credit card customer may enlist the company’s financial services and later take travel insurance. This is an easy “sell”, compared with direct marketing campaigns, television advertisements and other sophisticated and expensive approaches to attract new customers.
2. Customer service costs real money
Real costs are associated with providing customer service and companies spend in line with a customer’s value. If you are a high value customer or have the potential of being high value, you will be serviced more carefully. Companies reduce the cost of customer service by using telephone voice response systems, outsourcing call centers to cheaper locations, and self-servicing on the internet. However, companies risk alienating customers through providing an impersonal service. Some internet banking companies are bucking the trend by charging customers to contact them. In exchange, customers receive better interest rates due to reduced overheads and are satisfied with that.
3. Understand your customers’ needs and meet them
How can you meet your customers’ needs, if you don’t know them? To understand your customer’s needs, just listen to the “voice of the customer” and take action accordingly. Customer listening can be done in many ways, for example feedback forms, mystery shopping, and satisfaction surveys. Some companies involve senior employees in customer listening to ensure decisions benefit the customer as much as the company.
4. Good process and product design is important
Good quality customer service is only one factor in meeting customer needs. Well designed products and processes will meet customers’ needs more often. Quality movements, such as Six Sigma, consider the “cost of quality” resulting from broken processes or products. Is it better to service the customer well than to eradicate the reason for them to contact you in the first instance?
5. Customer service must be consistent
Customers expect consistent quality of customer service; with a similar, familiar look and feel whenever and however they contact the company. Say you visit an expensive hairdressing salon and receive a friendly welcome, a drink and a great haircut. You are out of town and visit the same hairdressing chain and get no friendly welcome, no drink and a great hair-cut. Are you a satisfied customer who will use that chain again? Probably not, as you did not receive the same customer service – which is more than a good hair-cut.
6. Employees are customers too
The quality management movement brought the concept of internal and external customers. Traditionally the focus was on external customers with little thought given to how internal departments interacted. Improving relationships with internal customers and suppliers assists delivery of better customer service to external customers, through reduced lead-times, increased quality and better communication. The “Service-Profit Chain” model developed by Harvard University emphasizes the circular relationship between employees, customers and shareholders. Under-staffed, under-trained employees will not deliver good quality customer service, driving customers away. Equal effort must be made in attracting, motivating and retaining employees as is made for customers, ultimately delivering improved shareholder returns. Better shareholder returns mean more money is available to invest in employees and so the circle continues.
7. Open all communications channels
The customer wants to contact you in many ways – face to face, by mail, phone, fax, and email – and will expect all of these communication channels to be open and easily inter-mingled. This presents a technical challenge, as it requires an integrated, streamlined solution providing the employee with the information they need to effectively service the customer.
8. Every customer contact is a chance to shine
If a customer contact concerns a broken process, then empowered employees will be able to resolve the complaint swiftly, possibly enhancing the customer’s perception of the company. Feeding back this information allows corrective action to be made, stopping further occurrences of the error. If you inform customers about new products or services when they contact you, you may make a valuable sale, turning your cost centre into a profit centre. This is only possible when you have a good relationship with your customer, where you understand their specific needs. A targeted sales pitch will have a good chance of success, as the customer is pre-sold on the company’s reputation
9. People expect good customer service everywhere.
Think about an average day – you travel on a train, you buy coffee, you work. You expect your train to be on time, clean and be a reasonable cost. You expect your coffee to be hot and delivered quickly. You expect your work mates to work with you, enabling you to get the job done. People become frustrated when their expectations are not met, and increasingly demand higher service quality in more areas of their lives. Providing outstanding customer service at the right price is the holy grail of most companies. It is worth remembering that we all experience customer service every day. We can learn from these and apply them in our own line of work, whatever it may be. The quality of customer service will make you stand out from your competitors – make sure it’s for the right reasons Legislation
Anti-discrimination law refers to the law on the right of people to be treated equally. Some countries mandate that in employment, in consumer transactions and in political participation people must be dealt with on an equal basis regardless of sex, age, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity and sometimes religious and political opinions. 2.Occupational health and safety legislation
OSH legislation aims to ensure the health and safety of workers and workplace through requiring employers to identify, assess and reduce or eliminate OHS risks. Employers are required to consult with employees on OHS issues and respond to OHS issues raised by employees. Occupational health and safety legislation is enacted and enforced by each individual state and territory. The main aim of this legislation is to harmonise OHS legislation and to create nationally consistent OHS legal standards and obligations.
The purpose of a mandatory standard is to make particular safety or information features on consumer products compulsory for legal supply of the product into the Australian market. Mandatory safety standards
Mandatory safety standards are made for products that are likely to be especially hazardous. In making mandatory safety standards, the government protects consumers by specifying minimum requirements that products must meet before they are supplied. Safety standards require goods to comply with particular performance, composition, contents, methods of manufacture or processing, design, construction, finish or packaging rules. From 1 January 2011, a prescribed consumer product safety standard made under the Trade Practices Act 1974 which is still in force on 1 January 2011 continues in force as if it were a safety standard made under the ACL. Mandatory information standards
Mandatory information standards are introduced to ensure that consumers are provided with important details of a product to enable them to make appropriate personal choices. Information standards require suppliers to give consumers prescribed information when they purchase specified goods for example, ingredient labelling for cosmetics, labelling for tobacco products and care labelling for clothing and textile products. Information standards may or may not relate to safety. From 1 January 2011, a prescribed consumer product information standard made under the Trade Practices Act 1974 which is still in force on 1 January 2011 continues in force as if it were an information standard made under the ACL. voluntary standards
There are many voluntary standards in place in Australia. Standards are published documents setting out specifications and procedures designed to ensure products, services and systems are safe, reliable and consistently perform as intended. Voluntary standards establish a common language which defines quality and safety criteria. When a government decides to develop a mandatory standard, a voluntary standard often exists where experts have already identified ways to address the safety problem. If this has occurred, the Australian Government may make all or part of the voluntary standard mandatory.
There are two key differences between voluntary and mandatory standards: 1.It is legal to supply products in Australia that do not meet voluntary Australian standards, while mandatory standards are law and there are penalties and consequences for supplying products that do not comply with them. 2.While Australian voluntary standards may address a range of issues that are not safety related, mandatory safety standards should only address essential safety features. Australian E-commerce Best Practice Model
The Model sets standards for consumer protection in e-commerce. It provides industry groups and individual businesses with a voluntary model code of conduct for dealing with consumers online, which is underpinned in several areas by legislative requirements. Mandatory industry codes of practice
Mandatory industry codes of practice provide practical guidance and advice on how to achieve the standard required by legislation. Codes of practice are developed through consultation with representatives from industry, workers and employers, special interest groups and government agencies. The Australian e Marketing Code of Practice
The Australian eMarketing Code of Practice was developed by representatives of peak industry associations, consumer groups, message service providers, government regulatory agencies and corporate business. The code aims to Voluntary industry codes of practice
A voluntary code of conduct aims to help industry members improve business practices and meet their regulatory obligations. It sets out specific standards of conduct – voluntarily agreed to by signatories – about how industry members deal with each other and their customers. An effective industry code can provide greater protection for consumers and reduce the regulatory burden for business. Customer service charter for innovative widgets should focus on below steps for improving relationships and providing outstanding service. 7 Steps to Creating a Customer Service Strategy
1. Customer Service Vision
The first step is communicating the service vision to employees and volunteers. This is done by articulating the expectations for ensuring a positive experience. This step helps this critical group of people understand their role in achieving that vision. Ministries that share a customer service vision, and teach customer service skills, will have employees and volunteers who are better prepared to deal with customer issues. For example, a volunteer in children’s ministry who is confronted with a demanding parent should be taught how to respond and what to say to resolve the issue. 2. Assessment Of Customer Needs
Organizations can’t meet the needs of their customers without a good understanding of what the customer needs and expectations are. An assessment is done by soliciting customer feedback through customerfocus groups, satisfaction surveys, or customer comment cards, and developing a comprehensive plan to meet and exceed the customer needs that fall within the scope of the mission and vision of the church. For example, a young couple with small children may have an expectation for the church to offer a great children’s program for their kids which would line up with most church visions. But another congregant may have an interest in setting up a table in the lobby to sell Girl Scout cookies which may not line up with the vision. Being able to support those needs that line up with the vision is important – while meeting unreasonable demands is not.
The first step in any customer improvement initiative is to talk to the customers to find out their perception of the services and programs being provided and determine what their needs and expectations are. Organizations often fail because they put together services and programs that theythought the customer would value, only to find out it was not what the customer wanted. This results in time and money being wasted on developing programs and services that do not meet customer expectations. The trick is to find out what it is the customer wants and put together plans to meet those needs. Keep in mind that customer needs and expectations are a moving target. What a customer wants today will be very different from what the customer wants a year or five years down the road. As things change, expectations and needs change also. 3. Hire The Right Employees
Hiring with the customer in mind is another step in an overall strategy for strong customer service. Screening employees and ensuring that they possess the disposition and skill set to support a strongservice environment is important. Skills can be taught, but attitude and personality cannot. It’s a fact-of-life that not everyone should interact with customers. Take the time to match volunteers who are great with people in those critical front-line roles and be intentional with who to keep behind the scenes. 4. Customer Service Goals
Once customer needs and expectations are identified, and customer satisfaction is measured, it is time to create goals for achieving customer satisfaction. Employees need to understand what the target is so they can help the organization reach their strategic objectives. For example, an employee may have a goal to develop a volunteer training program for church greeters that teaches service skills. This goal should be specific and should be incorporated into the performance appraisal process to ensure accountability for completion. 5. Training
Customer service skills are innate in some people, but everyone can benefit from practical teaching on the organization’s approach to customer service. Much of the training should be focused on how the organization would like the employee to behave in every situation. Things like: how to respond to customer complaints
how to be interact with customers
how to deal with an angry customer
how to meet customer needs
being empowered to perform service recovery
how to answer the phone
adhering to customer service standards
These can all be part of a customer service training curriculum. 6. Accountability
Employees need to be held accountable for achieving customer satisfaction goals. This is part of a comprehensive performance management system and should be a cultural expectation. Employees should have a good understanding of how their service to the customer affects the organization’s overall performance. For example, the person over the information technology function should understand that addressing the issues of the secretary’s computer is important because it impacts her ability to do her job. 7. Reward And Recognition
Create a system for acknowledging and rewarding employees for demonstrating good customer service skills. Employees need positive reinforcement when they demonstrate the desired behaviors and should be rewarded for doing so. For example, develop an annual award recognizing employees and volunteers for exemplary service. Sharing a compelling vision and strategy for customer service is a critical component to the success of any organization. Organizations need to identify who their customers are, what they want and develop strategies to achieve those customer requirements. Creating a customer service strategy, and focusing on the needs of key customer groups, is one of those things that separates the successful organizations from the rest. Does your church have a customer service strategy?