I worked in the customer service field for over 25 years. Started in telemarketing (calling for a charity), then on to fabric & other retailers, lastly as a CSR for a major knock-down furniture manufacturer.
1. Every call you get as a customer service person (unless you are in sales department) is a complaint call...someone is not getting the service they think they deserve (and they are usually correct).
2. As a CSR, you are usually the first "real" body in the company that the customer deals with (they probably got their product/service at a retail outlet).
3. By the time they get to you, they are already frustrated, as they couldn`t fix the problem themselves.
5. If you aren`t the first person they spoke to in your company...then they are REALLY frustrated!
The job of a customer service person is one of the most stressfull out there. You must put yourself in the place of the customer. Once I let the owner of the RTA furniture company know this, he immediately let everyone know that if I decided to overnight a missing/damaged part, no matter the reason (even if the consumer lost/broke it in assembly)...our main objective was to set it right. Costly? Yes...worth it, YES!!!
JCPenny, Lowe`s, and other major retail outlets knew that if they had a customer with a need, we would fill it quickly, no questions asked...the result? Much larger orders from the retail giants.
I left the company due to 911 (they bought most of the personell out). That left one employee who had NO knowledge of the products (nor wanted to know) to answer calls & send orders out... They decided to have all calls go to voicemail, and instructions stated to fax, email or leave a voicemail... and parts were sent regular ground mail..rarely any ups or faster shipping.
Result? The company never recovered. JCP, Sam`s Club, Lowes, and Home Depot (among many other smaller companies) dropped them, bad customer service was touted as the reason.
This is a company that was in business for over 108 years doing wood products. They are now defunct, other than making low end cabinets out of pressed wood (instead of the 100% white pine we had used).
If you are looking for ways to improve sales...have excellent customer service available...it will increase your sales, even if your pricing is a bit higher than other companies...people will pay a bit more for exceptional service.
Marge Campbell Littlefield Texas