Adolfo Perez is the vice president of worldwide reservations for Carnival Cruise Lines and is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the reservations department. His responsibilities include departmental policies and procedures, personal management and training, financial planning agency automation, computer upgrades and special projects that best assist the customer.
Where should customer service sit in importance for any company?
In most cases, you can argue that customer service is just as important as sales. In fact, great customer service increases the chance of closing a sale and improves a company’s chance of creating brand advocacy. Treating the customer right during the sales process, product delivery and when a customer has an issue are all interrelated and are all equally important in acquiring new customers and retaining current customers.
Should companies be investing in customer service in a poor economy?
Companies should always be investing in customer service; however, many times investing in customer service is free. One way you could invest in improving your customer service without spending any hard dollars is looking at your policies and procedures. Identify the ones that cause your customers friction and look for ways of completely eliminating them or modifying them to be more customer-friendly. Creating a group of your front-line employees to help you identify these customer friction points is a great way to involve your staff and get feedback from those people talking directly to your customer. Over the years, many companies implement rules and procedures that may have been needed at the time they were created but have since become irrelevant or unnecessary. Cleaning up these rules can help improve your customer service and, in some cases, even make you more efficient by eliminating the need for handling unnecessary escalated calls from irate customers.
What does good customer service entail?
Consider every customer contact as if it were as valuable as a sales opportunity. Some companies choose to offer higher service levels for sales calls and allow customers to wait longer when they’re calling to get service. All interactions with your customer are valuable. It’s much less expensive to keep an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one. Always put yourself in the customer’s shoes.