3 Questions Featured

7:00pm EDT February 23, 2009

Pamela Pond serves as vice president of customer service, SafeAuto Insurance Co., for four SafeAuto call centers. Pond has been licensed in property and casualty insurance for 20 years and has 14 years of management experience.

Where should customer service sit in importance for any company?

Customer service should be a top priority for every business. Customer service means every person that touches a customer no matter what department they’re in. That entails internal services, as well. If you make customer service a priority, you’ll always see excellent results. Excellent customer service gives you an opportunity to stand above the competition.

How does a company achieve good customer service?

To have good customer service, you have to understand why it’s important to the business. Excellent service and company profit goes hand in hand. Establish an effective customer service philosophy, effectively train on that service philosophy and have leaders in place that live by that philosophy. Leaders at all levels must be on board in order for customer service to be effective across the board. Through time and technology, customers have lowered their expectations for customer service; this is why the door is wide open to be a stand out in customer service.

Does an employee’s treatment and salary reflect on the way he or she treats customers?

I believe so. This is why it’s so important to have a customer service policy that includes internal customers, which are your employees. Having a policy that includes employees makes them have pride in the success and profitability of a company. Taking ownership of a company means they’re a little more invested in what they say and do for customers. That’s why it’s important to have a sound philosophy that is respectful of their needs as well as those of your external customers. A happy employee will be more apt to assist customers. If a company isn’t focused on customer service representatives and they want to retain them long term, they’ll quickly come to realize that profitability and service are one in the same.