Quality Customer Care Management
Customer care management is part of every successful business. Occasionally, an enterprise must deal with customer’s complaints. In such situations, the skills of the company’s management will be called into action when calming the aggrieved customer and finding an amicable solution. Customer care service is crucial for an enterprise survival since how a business responds to a customer’s complaints greatly determines whether they will return or shift to a new seller. Noteworthy, an aggrieved buyer can influence other customer’s attitude towards the enterprise. In light of this, a company’s management must develop innovative procedures on how to handle aggrieved customers.
First Role: Handling Customer Complaint
Every business is bound to have complaints occasionally. In such instances, the customer care department is vested with the mandate of calming down the aggrieved customers and solving the underlying issue. In order to do this, this department uses the following steps:
- Listening to the customer’s complaint
- Calming the buyer
- Taking responsibility
- Conducting a follow-up on the issue
To begin with, the customer care department must carefully listen to a customer’s complaint. The main aim of listening to the buyer is to identify the cause of the misunderstanding. In general, there may be various causes such as misinterpretation of the company’s policies or contract on the side of the customer (Brink & Berndt 2008). Alternatively, the problem may be due to the business misunderstanding the buyer’s directives and guidelines. During this step, the customer care officer must be attentive and he/she should carefully note the specific complaints that the customer has raised. Having listened to the customer, the officer must calm down the buyer.
Calming the Customer
Calming down the customer is an important part of handling a customer’s complaint since it shows that the business empathizes with him or her. In practice, the officer should acknowledge and apologize for the mistake on behalf of the company. Moreover, he/she must reassure the buyer that the complaint will be addressed as soon as possible (Brink & Berndt 2008). Importantly, when it is outright that the business wronged the customer, a solution for compensation should be sort for immediately in order to alleviate his/her pain and loss. Ideally, this is part of the organization taking responsibility for its mistakes.
Taking responsibility for errors on the part of the business is paramount when it has failed to meet its part of the contract with the customer. In case it is proved that the company was the one that wronged the customer, it must acknowledge its error and commit to repaying the customer for the loss. Importantly, the enterprise must also reassure the buyer that it will not commit the same mistake again (Cook, 2008). On the same breath, it must communicate with the customer on its proposed cause of action in order to eliminate this error in future. Some of the possible solutions may include training employees, improving the quality of the company’s goods and services, or formulating new guidelines and policies on its operations. Where the problem is due to a misunderstanding of requirements on the part of the customer, the organization may develop a training facility that may guide customers on their contracts.
Conducting a Follow-up
Finally, the enterprise must conduct a follow-up of all the solutions that they agreed with the customer. In practice, proper customer care is as good as the implementation of the agreed procedures. In light of this, the department must ensure there is full implementation of the agreed solutions in order to avoid a recurrence (Jha, 2008). Effectively, this will ensure that it is able to rebuild its reputation and trust among shoppers on its commitment to provide high-quality goods and services.
Second Role: Improving Mary’s Performance on the Customer Care Service
The leader of the customer care department always has a duty of ensuring that his/her team is knowledgeable, motivated, and focused on its role in providing high-quality services. In order to accomplish this goal, he/she must create a conducive environment where his/her junior employees are able to learn and practice their customer care activities. Therefore, a competent leader must conduct the following activities:
- Provide strong leadership
- Supervise employees’ work
- Mentor all workers
As a leader in the customer care department, I will strive at improving the performance of my juniors, including Mary, by providing them with a focused and strong leadership. Basically, I will act as a role model by conducting my work, in and out of office, perfectly. Ideally, this will involve promptly responding to customers’ messages and calls, making a follow up on agreed services, and seeking amicable ways to solve any controversial issue. Effectively, my leadership will show positive characteristics that Mary will imitate. Notably, once she embraces my positive work ethics, there will be an overall improvement in the quality of customer care in the enterprise (Cook, 2008). In practice, my leadership will show Mary the vision of where the company intends to be in future. In effect, this vision will enable her to assess the impact of her rude responses to customers on the overall performance of the business. As a result, she will change her behavior and attitude. Therefore, my provision of proper leadership will result in high-quality customer service.
In addition to the provision of leadership, I will supervise Mary’s work and assess her performance. Generally, my role as a supervisor will entail checking how she is doing her activities and correcting various mistakes. Simply put, supervision is overseeing how an individual conducts his/her activities and providing feedback. Importantly, my ability to supervise and clearly point out the areas that Mary should focus on will enable her to set strategic personal goals that will lead to the overall improvement in her skills. In turn, this will lead to better service provision at the customer care desk (Woodside, 2010). Notably, I will expect to see a change in the manner she responds to customers. I will also give her warnings of possible retrenchment, transfer, or demotion if she does not change her behavior. Overly, this activity will make her more competent and responsible of her actions on the overall performance of the company.
Finally, I will provide a mentorship program for Mary. In the mentorship program, I will train her on essential skills such as the importance of listening to customers, calming them down, taking responsibility, and conducting a follow-up of various controversial issues. Moreover, I will create an evaluation mechanism that I will use to measure her ability to implement the lessons taught in the mentorship program. Ideally, this process will aim at transferring the skills that I have in customer care to Mary. In the end, the mentorship program will ensure that she is more skillful. Consequently, she will offer high-quality services.
Coaching of Customer Care Employees
Notably, a good manager should coach his/her employees so that they can achieve their full potential. Coaching is the provision of guidance to employees to enable them achieve some specified goals and objectives. In the coaching process, the coach purposes at maximizing his/her trainee’s specific skills. This process entails the coach and the student jointly agreeing on the objectives that they want to achieve during the coaching process. In addition, they also set realistic goals that they want to accomplish after the training (Goodman, 2009). Accordingly, they must check the various options presented to them and chose the most practical and feasible method. Finally, they must commit to doing all the necessary actions to enable them to achieve their targets.
When coaching Mary, I will develop key performance indicators that I will use to measure her progress in the training process. In this case, I will set an expected threshold for the number of times that customers should complain about their dissatisfaction with her customer care service. Basically, the number of complaints will be the key performance indicators. Further, the purpose of the coaching process will be to reduce the number of complaints to the acceptable threshold. I will also liaise with Mary and agree on the desired outcome of the coaching process. Generally, this may include reducing the number of complaints to one per month. In turn, I will evaluate the most appropriate training technique needed to improve her skills. Importantly, I will train her on the need to always listen to customers and make clear explanations for any questions that they may ask. Moreover, I will encourage her to always write down agreements that she has made with the customer.
On the same note, I will coach her on the need to always inform customers on the meaning of various contracts that they make with the company. Evidently, this will reduce the instances of confrontations that are due to misinterpretations of these agreements. Similarly, I will train her on the need to follow-up on any agreement she has made with customers. Evidently, the information that she writes on the issues that she discusses with customers will enable her to make a thorough follow-up. In turn, the follow-up of agreed issues will reduce the number of disagreements that she has with customers. Accordingly, I will also train her on how to raise and address issues that are due to the failure on the part of other departments other than the customer care with the management. Finally, I will train her on her duty to take responsibility when she fails. After we finish the coaching process, I will expect to see an improvement in her skills.
To sum up, the provision of high-quality customer care is paramount for the success of a business. Actually, the main purpose of any company is to make profits by providing high-quality services to its customers. If a business does not provide high-quality customer care, it may never realize its objectives. Therefore, proper handling of customers’ complaints as well as training and coaching of customer care employees is paramount. In turn, this ensures that a business is able to retain its current customers while attracting new ones. In light of this, the provision of high-quality customer care is a key area that all organizations should focus on for the realization of their short-term and long-term goals.
Brink, A., & Berndt, A. (2008). Relationship marketing and customer relationship management. Lansdowne, SA: Juta and Co. Ltd
Cook, S. (2008). Customer care excellence: How to create effective customer focus (5th Ed.). London, UK: Kogan Page.
Goodman, J. (2009). Strategic customer service: Managing the customer experience to increase positive word of mouth, build loyalty, and maximize profits. New York, NY: Amacom Publishers.
Jha, L., (2008). Customer relationship: A strategic approach. New Delhi: Global India Publications Pvt. Ltd.
Woodside, A. (2010). Organizational culture, business-to-business relationships, and interfirm networks. Bringley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.