Customers are the lifeblood of your business.
However, once you have their money and provided them with the product or service, do not expect them to go away?
They will return with enquiries, questions, problems and, hopefully, other opportunities to develop revenue. It is therefore essential that you have systems in place to handle these queries and to be able to efficiently direct them to a resolution as soon as possible.
In many cases such queries can become a cost to your business so handling them with the minimum of call backs and involvement with other staff is essential to ensure costs are contained. Bear in mind however that these queries can often be opportunities to provide additional services or even gather research as to new products and services that your customers would like you to provide, so make sure you have call routing procedures in place.
Make these systems easy for the client to access. If necessary use LoCall or Freefone numbers for client convenience and also beware of those automated systems that require multiple entries before connecting to a real person.
Try calling your own company a few times at different times during the day and see what happens. Better still see how long it takes to get to speak to someone in sales. It can be illuminating.
Additionally, make sure people you are directing query calls to are well versed in both product knowledge and customer service techniques. A mishandled call when a client is already upset or concerned can escalate dramatically, and result in many more people becoming involved in the issue. If your customer service team is behind bullet proof glass – what does that say about your service!
You should also make sure you have systems and procedures in place that will provide insight as to why people are calling you. Is it issues with your products, after care service, a need for more information or failures within other systems that have triggered the contact from the client?
Whatever the reason, valuable information can be acquired that can assist in other areas of the business.
Remember, oil the squeaky wheel early to avoid potential major repair bills in the future!