“The customer is always right.” Perhaps you have heard this workplace mantra. The meaning? You should always be willing to provide outstanding customer service.
Below, we’ll examine a few of the reasons why customer service is so important to your business (if you are a business owner) and your career (if you are an employee).
We’ll also talk about how you can bolster your resume with customer service skills. Did you know? Customer service is a highly transferable skill. It is valuable in almost every industry.
What Is Customer Service?
The Oxford Dictionary defines customer service as “the assistance and advice provided by a company to those people who buy or use its products or services.” But good customer service goes far beyond that.
A good customer service strategy “looks at what guests want and delivers high-quality service in response.”
Consider an example that contrasts good and bad customer service. Walt Disney World Resort is famous for its customer service. “Cast members” (employees) always refer to customers as “guests.” When something goes wrong, they may provide perks called “magical moments” to turn a potentially bad experience into a good one. That’s what keeps guests coming back time and again, spending hundreds of dollars per day on park tickets, accommodations, dining, and souvenirs.
By contrast, consider what happened at a resort just outside of Walt Disney World in Orlando. Two joggers – guests at the hotel – unwittingly diverged onto a golf cart-only path. A resort employee yelled at the guests repeatedly. One onlooker stated, “This would have never happened at a Disney resort. Any cast member who treated guests like that would have been fired on the spot.”
The lesson? Good customer service and substandard customer service can be determined by the way the customer feels following the interaction. Positive interactions will result in customer loyalty, while negative interactions will drive customers to seek goods and services elsewhere.
Why Good Customer Service Is Vital
Good customer service benefits businesses in the following ways.
It Adds Value
Value goes beyond the monetary sum of goods received. When customers feel that they are valued and treated with respect, this adds an intangible value to the experience of purchasing from the company.
It Retains Customers
Says one resource, “Keeping loyal customers is less expensive than getting new ones.” In fact, research estimates that it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than it does to keep an existing customer coming back for more. Again, when customers feel safe, respected, and appreciated, they will be comfortable walking through your doors again and again.
It Produces Positive Reviews
Statistics show that reviews are seldom indicative of the “average” experience. Usually, people are motivated to write reviews following an especially good or remarkably bad experience.
In addition to online reviews, happy customers will recommend your business word-of-mouth to family and friends. According to one survey, more than 50 percent of people would be willing to try a new company in hopes of getting better customer service.
It Reduces Employee Turnover
Negative interactions with customers are stressful for employees, too. With adequate training, a customer-focused culture, access to the resources needed to solve customer complaints, employees can feel confident and successful in their interactions. Management can set a good example by treating their employees in the positive ways that they expect those same employees to treat the customers.
It Helps Businesses Thrive
According to one source, “About 96% of American businesses close their doors within 10 years.” having a loyal customer base can avert this tragedy. If you provide good customer service, customers will return, recommend, and perhaps even pay higher prices for the privilege of shopping with you. If even small matters go unresolved, they will take their business elsewhere.
Customer Service on Your Resume
Whether or not you are seeking a position as a Customer Service Representative, it is beneficial to include customer service skills on your resume. Many positions require customer or client interactions at some point. And if you can get along well with angry customers, you’ll likely be a welcome addition to any team.
Common customer service skills include:
- Active Listening Skills
- Attention to Detail
- Bilingual Customer Support
- Building Customer Loyalty
- Complaint Resolution
- Critical Thinking Skills
- Decision Making
- Interpersonal Skills
- Computer skills, such as point of sale systems and Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, and Word
- Organizational Skills
- Positive Attitude
- Problem Solving Skills
- Product Knowledge
- Telesales/Phone Skills
- Time Management Skills
Where possible, demonstrate your skills in action. You might cite an example of resolving a customer issue or getting a great review.
Customer service involves assisting customers in ways that leave them with positive feelings about the interaction. This benefits the business by retaining and attracting new customers. It can also be a transferable skill to add to your resume.