Customer service plays a vital role in the sales process; from the moment a customer considers to buy a specific product until after he purchases it. While it may appear that customer service training in the Philippines only teaches communication skills, the job extends beyond answering clients with a pleasant accent and perfect grammar or maintaining a smile all throughout a conversation.
Where there is a market, there is customer service—and in the same way that business has evolved from the basic exchange of gold for goods from merchants traveling the world on foot, so has customer service. It is no longer just phone calls for inquiries—it has extended to service centers, authorized partners, and the online transactions the Internet has made possible.
Customer service sure has come a long way—and what’s even more amazing is that even after centuries of development, it still is growing and adapting to the times and the technologies.
History of Customer Service
Before there were customer service trainings in the Philippines, customer service wasn’t anything more than a thought. The earliest mentions of customer service date back into the second half of the 18th century, and it still wasn’t until decades later that its most basic forms became a reality.
The Industrial Revolution and the Telephone
The idea of customer service was born as early as the 1760s, during the first years of the Industrial Revolution. The rapid increase in the number of products opened the door for many businesses, and in 1776, Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations, which established the basic ideas of competition in the market and is considered a fundamental piece of work in economics today. Almost a decade later, Watkins Liniment became the first company to offer a money-back guarantee, which was essentially the very first recorded form of customer service.
The Year 1876 saw the customer service industry take a huge leap, for it was the year when Alexander Graham-Bell invented the telephone. A major problem during the time was that in the event that customers wanted some products repaired, they would have to take it to the store—and even then, there wasn’t any guarantee that the products could be repaired, or if they could have saved themselves time by repairing it themselves. The innovation that is the telephone alleviated this problem.
Rapid growths in numerous businesses required that the business process be more efficient, which includes being able to all inquiries from both current and potential clients. This lead to the assignment of people into rooms where their sole purpose was to answer customer inquiries through the phone—effectively, “call centers”. This laid down the foundations of the call center companies we know today, and largely contributed to the development of customer service.
In 1989, various businesses have evolved even further, and companies were too quick to realize that they had to come up with even more cost-effective strategies. This led to the outsourcing of customer service functions to countries like India.
The Internet Era
The Internet was introduced to the world in the 90s, which took customer service a step further. Customers now had the option of sending emails or instant messages to contact companies, which was a far more effective and convenient method than telephones. The use of customer service software rose to prominence in the early 2000s, which are being utilized by many companies today.
Customer service grew even further in the year 2008 when social media took the world by storm. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter provided companies a new means with which they could connect with their customers. Customer service is still continuing to grow today and is starting to make use of more advanced technologies such as chatbots and artificial intelligence.
How Customer Service Affects a Business
The best-performing businesses are composed of divisions and departments that function well individually and as a whole. This applies from the board of directors to the smallest teams–and customer service is part of it.
The customer service that any company should provide must be competent, as there are numerous ways how customer service may affect the company, whether the effect may be positive or negative. This is also why customer service training seminars in the Philippines and in other countries.
How Customers View the Company
A company is made up of hundreds or thousands of people working together to keep the business running, but it can take as little as one employee to inflict significant damage to it. It could be anything from an accidental deletion of important database entries or an unintentional information leakage to competitors. However, customer service agents are directly interacting with customers every day, which poses both opportunities and risks.
A customer who has had a bad experience with a customer service representative will cause the customer to view the company as a whole in a negative way. Similarly (and thankfully), a good experience will result in the customer seeing the company as a well-oiled machine that functions well from top to bottom.
It is a Key to Successful Sales
The marketing and advertising departments are the ones responsible for thinking of new ways to sell a company’s products–but the overall task of giving the customers the confidence and certainty to purchase falls upon the customer service representatives.
It is, for this reason, that customer service agents must know the products of the company they work for from the inside out. Customers will keep asking questions until they’re satisfied with what they know about the product they are considering to purchase. Successfully giving the customer all the assurance they need and answering all their concerns results in a successful purchase.
It Can Win the Loyalty of Customers
If a customer service representative blows off a customer, there’s over a 100% chance that that particular customer will never call again. On the other hand, if the customer had all his inquiries answered properly and was provided complete information, then the company has just potentially won a loyal customer.
The more customers that keep purchasing from the company, the better. It provides a sense of assurance to the company, and a motivation to keep coming up with new products.
It Enhances the Company’s Reputation
With a large number of competitors in the market, staying at the top is every company’s aim. Different strategies and tactics are devised to achieve this, but ultimately, the customers are the ones who decide where a company ranks. Aside from customer loyalty, there is one more thing that customer service representatives can achieve for the company, and that is improving its reputation.
The popularity of a company starts with how its customers view it. Successfully attending to all the customers’ concerns boosts their image, and the customers will be satisfied enough to tell other acquaintances about the company—and so on.
The Importance of Customer Service Training
There’s a reason why so much importance is given to customer service training in the Philippines, referred to by many as the call center capital of the world, and that is because customer service doesn’t just refer to the people in the company who are in charge of interacting with customers.
It’s also a philosophy that every single person in the company should embrace, regardless of the position. This allows the company to be more connected with its customers and improve its overall business process.
Improved Customer Service Skills
Customer service training brings about better… well, customer service skills. Customer service representatives specialize in problem solving and communication, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that these skills are exclusive to them. They are important and should be learned by everyone in the company.
Customer service training provides employees with a standard procedure for dealing with customers. Additionally, it also improves their overall communication skills, which can result in better understanding with their teammates, increased productivity, and higher quality of work output.
In most cases, many employees work with nothing else but client specifications or instructions from their superiors. There is nothing particularly wrong with this, but it isn’t complete. There is more to coming up with the right product than just concepts and specifications.
Customer service training gives employees a better understanding of what they are creating, and the people they are creating it for. Customers are the ones who make product improvements possible in the first place, and all businesses aim to create the best products possible.
Healthier Producer-Customer Relationships
Aside from aiding in the creation of better products, having had customer service training also allows the company to understand its customers in ways they might have overlooked before. Customers will respect the company even more if they feel that the company respects them.
Maintaining a healthy relationship with customers is key to any company’s success. Any customer could potentially be a big client and having a respectable level of understanding with the customer yields positive outcomes for both parties.
A Better Overall Company
Customer service training teaches employees to work together to satisfy the customer. Satisfaction leads to a higher customer retention rate and a better reputation, which leads to the acquisition of new customers. This is followed by increased sales, lower employee turnover rates, and higher employee morale and motivation.
The skills taught in customer service training aren’t complicated and are completely learnable but investing time in them and learning them is very highly rewarding. Customer service training is an investment that guarantees not only customer satisfaction but a more optimized and efficient business process as well.
The Training Process
Customer service training requires no specific degrees or specializations—it can be learned by anyone like any other skill and isn’t hard to understand. It isn’t easy to master, however, and takes time and dedication to fully learn. Customer service training focuses to improve three areas: personality; communication; and problem-solving; and it aims to make people better employees, both character and performance-wise.
- Personality Not all customers are the same. Some are able to understand concepts in just one explanation, while others require it to be repeated one or two times. There are a lot of different kinds of customers out there, and customer service training prepares employees to be able to manage all of them.Customer service training teaches employees to be patient, emotionally intelligent, and accommodating. It makes sure that employees are able to handle any kind of customer whether pleasant or hostile and are always level-headed even if the conversation takes longer than it should or turns into a heated one.
- Communication The main purpose of customer service is to establish an understanding between the company and the customer. Hence, the ability to communicate with customers properly is essential. Employees are taught how to explain the knowledge about the product that they have in a way that the customers can fully understand, and the right ways to answer to specific customer demands. Customer service training in the Philippines and India put significant emphasis on communication, which contributes to their being top call center countries.
- Problem Solving There are always bound to be customers calling the company to express concerns or raise problems with the product. Instructions that come with the product aren’t always enough, and the customer will have to be guided to solving the problems through the phone or via email.Customer service training prepares employees to be able to solve problems based on what they know about the product and the information provided by the customer in the quickest and most effective way. This skill has greatly contributed in the area of customer service and has saved customers a lot of time in going to company branches just to have their problems with the product looked up.
Learning from Inspire, a Top Leadership Consultancy Company
Any business, whether big or small, requires a skilled and competent leader that can raise the morale of the employees and drive the company to success. Inspire Leadership Consultancy, a recognized leadership training company in the Philippines, can provide just that, and more. Inspire has a large and complete selection of training lessons; ranging from Philippine corporate training and Personality Development—all of which will help you improve yourself not only as a leader but as an employee and as a person as well!
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