Is Customer Service Important In Manufacturing?
Customer service is one of the most quintessential elements of running a successful business. It is the one constant that can be found in any business regardless of the industry or market. Failing to provide effective customer service will result in a reduction in revenue and a collapse in customer satisfaction and trust.
Therefore, investing in customer service is as important as any other element of operating a business. This includes innovation, hiring top talent, high-quality manufacturing processes, digital touchpoints, and all others.
What’s the Big Deal?
You may ask why customer service is such a big deal and how it can equal product quality and innovation. The answer to that is simple: If your customers don’t like doing business with you, it won’t matter how great your product is, plain and simple.
Customer satisfaction is a metric that gauges how happy customers are with you as a company, as well as with your products and services. It requires both sides of that equation to be high in order for success and growth to continue.
If customers are over the moon about your products but frustrated with how long it takes to get help, or if they feel that they never receive adequate help when it’s needed, they will take their business elsewhere out of sheer frustration. Frustration is the nemesis of satisfaction and should be avoided and prevented at all costs.
Likewise, if customers are over the moon about the service they receive when it's needed but frustrated with the quality of products or services you provide, they will still take their business elsewhere.
You can see plainly that it requires excellent products and services and high-quality customer service to ensure the customer's full satisfaction is realized.
How Does This Translate Into Manufacturing?
Manufacturing products is as essential to business and marketing as customer service. To say that customer service is an essential element of successful business growth is not to say that manufacturing products efficiently is not equally important.
As we just demonstrated, poor manufacturing will lead to poor customer satisfaction, just as poor customer service will. Therefore, manufacturing plays an intricate role in ensuring the customer satisfaction equation remains complete.
Additionally, manufacturing products usually involves partnerships with multiple companies who contract you to manufacture their various products. It is not uncommon for a manufacturing company to produce the products of several companies at once.
These companies depend on your manufacturing processes to produce the high-quality products they’ve promised their customers. If you fail at that task, you will negatively impact your partners’ customers’ satisfaction.
Customer service is also crucial for your manufacturing company as well. If one of your partners has an issue, concern, or question, they need the ability to gain resolution. Your partners are, after all, your customers.
If they become dissatisfied with the level of service, communication, or problem resolution they’re receiving from your customer service team, they are likely to look elsewhere for their manufacturing needs, regardless of how well you manufacture the products.
Customer service, customer satisfaction, and high-quality manufacturing are all interconnected and dependent upon one another. Success and growth are the summations of these factors working together harmoniously.
Common Customer Complaints Regarding Customer Service
There are many common customer complaints that result in customer dissatisfaction. Understanding these will aid you in becoming better at providing the service at a high caliber.
Common Complaints Snapshot
- Long Wait Times
- Lack of Resolution
- Untrained Customer Service Representatives
Long Wait Times
Long wait times are the number one complaint customers have about inadequate customer service. When customers wait on hold for long periods of time, their frustrations amplify to the tenth degree.
Ensuring wait times are reduced will significantly aid in increasing customer satisfaction with customer service. There are many ways this can be accomplished, including adequately staffed call centers, highly trained customer service representatives, and alternative contact options, to name a few.
Neglect may be a word that you’ve never thought of associating with customer service, but it is an issue that can gravely impact customer satisfaction. When it comes to customer service, neglect relates to leaving customers without a path to reprieve, ignoring customer complaints altogether, or failing to follow through on offered solutions.
In other words, if you tell the customer that you’re going to do something to bring their problem to resolution, make sure you do it. Ensure customers have access to service and appropriate problem resolution services, and always acknowledge customer complaints, even if you believe they are unfounded.
Lack of Resolution
If you want to ensure your customers are dissatisfied, one easy way to do so is to do nothing to help them resolve their problems or issues. When a customer contacts your company to have an issue their experiencing rectified, they expect some type of resolution. Failing to provide it will exacerbate their frustration.
Lack of resolution does not always associate with simply ignoring the problem; it can also be the product of inadequate service due to a lack of education, training, or staffing.
Untrained Customer Service Representatives
This leads us to our final common customer complaint — untrained customer service representatives. If your customer service representatives do not receive adequate training and education in your products and services, they cannot offer solutions for customers who call in frustrated.
They are, in a sense, as ignorant of the solution as the customer and can therefore offer no assistance. Customers will become increasingly frustrated when they discover the people meant to help them know no more about the product or problem than they do.
Tips To Provide High-Quality Customer Service
Now that we’ve discussed and come to understand the important role that customer service plays in overall customer satisfaction and the cycle of successful business practices, let’s look at some tips you can implement to ensure you provide the customer service your customers deserve.
Customer Service Tips Snapshot
- Adequately Staff Call Centers
- Establish Protocols & Procedures Designed To Ensure Resolution
- Implement Proactive Customer Service
- Invest In Training & Education
- Offer Alternative Contact Mediums
Adequately Staff Call Centers
As we mentioned previously, long wait times are the number one complaint from dissatisfied customers. Staffing call centers to handle demand is one way to reduce wait times, in addition to all of the other tips listed here.
When customers know they can call and get a resolution quickly, they will be highly satisfied. Then, they’ll be more than happy to keep doing business with you.
Establish Protocols & Procedures Designed To Ensure Resolution
Establishing protocols and procedures that are designed to ensure resolution means instituting managerial practices that ensure customer service representatives are following through with their promises to customers.
These protocols and procedures will ensure that customers do not become neglected. For instance, they’ll ensure customer service representatives follow through with solutions and resolutions offered to customers.
Implement Proactive Customer Service
Proactive customer service seeks to identify customer issues before they occur and prevent them from ever happening. Additionally, they follow up with customers after purchases are made or after issues have been addressed to ensure they are satisfied.
Being proactive is the exact opposite of being reactive. Customers are not accustomed to proactive customer service, and it is a guaranteed way of standing out amongst the crowd and your competitors.
Invest In Training & Education
Suppose your customer service representatives aren’t properly trained on your products and services, how to resolve issues that arise with them, and how to communicate effectively with customers. In that case, they cannot provide adequate customer service.
Customers are already frustrated to some degree about their issues. Therefore, when they call in seeking assistance or problem resolution, they need to receive adequate assistance, or their frustration will amplify exponentially.
Offer Alternative Contact Mediums
Offering alternative contact mediums can provide many benefits to your business. These benefits include reduced wait times at call centers, quicker access to help for your customers, and preferred communication access.
Some customers prefer not to call your company and would much rather text or chat online. Offering SMS business texting, social media chatting, and chatbots online can give customers quick access to customer service representatives and problem resolution.
Wrapping It All Up
We’ve spent a lot of time discussing the importance of high-quality and adequate customer service. We’ve learned that neglecting the customer can lead to devastating customer dissatisfaction, and providing satisfactory customer service entails more than merely picking up the phone and saying hello.
There is no one perfect way to ensure your customers stay satisfied; instead, it requires a multifaceted and dynamic approach. With all of the different tips discussed today and things to avoid, one common theme shines through – customer satisfaction is paramount.
Building up your customer service department and functions from the foundation of putting the customer first will lead to the construction of a dynamic customer service platform destined to achieve success.
This is something that we’re pretty awesome at over here at Awesome CX. As an outsourcing partner for customer service, we have helped countless companies like yours achieve high-quality customer service satisfaction at a fraction of the cost of in-house development.
Contact us today to learn how we can help propel your customer service to the next level!