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What Is a Customer Service Plan?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 01 December 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Customer service plans are the policies and procedures put in place to establish, maintain, and enhance the relationship between a business and its customers. There are several key components associated with any type of customer service plan. However, the actual strategies used to implement these components will vary, based on factors such as the mode of communication with customers, the nature of the good or service provided, and the corporate culture of the business itself.

In order to create a functional customer service plan, there are several key steps that both small and large businesses must address. The first has to do with properly understanding the nature of the customers who will be attracted to what the business has to offer. This means developing a basic customer profile that helps to define essential characteristics that all customers will share. A basic model may include details on location, educational level, gender or age, or any other factors that are considered part of the company’s average customer.

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After producing this basic customer model, the business can proceed with identifying what average customers need in terms of performance of products, interaction with support personnel within the business, and even factors such as price and durability. Understanding data of this type can help create a plan that ensures the client can get help when he or she needs it. The data also makes it possible to devise ways for the customer to have access to coverage in the event a unit does not perform properly, and that the good or service is affordable enough to keep the customer coming back regularly.

With all the data related to the needs and desires of the customer in place, it is then possible to begin drafting internal policies and procedures that will govern the plan. This includes training client care personnel, determining what times of the day and night that customers can contact these personnel, and the forms of contact that are available for both real-time and off-peak assistance. For example, a company’s customer service plan may call for the implementation of a customer service team that is available during normal business hours Monday through Friday, and is accessible via online chat or email for the remainder of the time.

Along with establishing the form and function of the team, an effective customer service plan also seeks to train both support personnel and the customers themselves. Educating customer service representatives in how to handle different types of customer concerns and situations is essential if you want to maintain a relationship with each customer. At the same time, proactively taking the time to educate customers in what to expect from the products, how to manage basic troubleshooting on their own, and how to get help when they need it, is extremely important to building a solid connection with your clients.

Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a perfect customer service plan. What works very well today may be inappropriate several years later. This means your customer service polices and procedures must be reviewed regularly to make sure they are meeting and possibly exceeding customer expectations. Failure to do so will make it much easier for your clients to turn to other vendors or suppliers who are exhibit more interest in earning and maintaining their business.

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surfNturf
Post 4

SauteePan-If the service is really bad then it is grounds for termination. Usually the supervisor will review the entire script and rate the employee on how it was followed it as well as their demeanor during the call.

They are also graded on the initial and closing greeting as well as the way they handled the customer’s request and answered their questions.

Some companies require employees to suggest additional items or offer credit solicitations.

This may also be another aspect of the script. For example, my friend had to suggest additional items as the computer offered them. They were up sells and cross sells that some employees did not like to offer because they felt that they were bothering the customers.

However, this company was very sales oriented and mentioning these up sells and cross sells were a requirement and they even had a sales goal pertaining to these categories. This made the job a bit stressful at times.

SauteePan
Post 3

Suntan12-I know what you mean. I hate it when I call to place an order and the employee is not very friendly.

I had a friend that used to work in a call center as a customer service representative and they had their calls monitored.

You will hear it in the recording when they state, “This call may be recorded for quality assurance”. They do not use every call only a random sample of the calls.

Sometimes they have the employee listen to the call to see if they can judge how they did. My friend said that it was kind of weird to listen to themselves, but the call monitoring is used as a tool to improve service.

suntan12
Post 2

Latte31-The appropriate greeting should always include thanking the caller and mentioning the name of the business along with the name of the employee that has answered the call.

It is important that the greeting provide the appropriate tone for the exchange. The employee should provide a friendly greeting with the proper inflection and cadence in the voice.

If the employee answers the phone with a monotone voice that lacks inflection then this will discourage dialogue with the customer and the business will not be able to truly help the customer or find out what he or she really needs.

It might also make it more likely that the customer will not use this business again and look

elsewhere for the same product.

Unhappy customers tell about 8 to 20 people about their negative experience which is why many businesses invest in a strong customer support plan that includes monitoring of its call center employees.

It takes years to build a great reputation, but only minutes to lose it, so it is important that a customer service business plan be a top priority.

latte31
Post 1

Developing the appropriate customer service support is important for any business. Having a customer service 800 number is essential in case the customer has a question about your product or service or even a compliant.

Customers like to be heard especially if they had a difficult experience. Often customers like to speak to someone when ordering a product even though they could also order online.

This is why it is important to have a customer support plan to handle any inquires or orders. It is also important to provide a customer service training plan that includes providing a script and working the computer system so that employees can enter the appropriate data when placing orders.

In addition, there should be considerable time spent with the coaching of customer service good skills. This includes providing the appropriate greeting in order to set the right tone.

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