Explain customer service in a financial services environment.

Learning Outcomes:

  • The concept of good customer service is explained with reference to a business sector and an organisation’s competitive edge.
  • Different types of customer are identified within a specific organisation.
  • The consequences of poor service are identified with reference to the customer, the employee and the organisation.
  • The procedure for escalating queries is explained with reference to own limit of authority.

Good Customer Service

What is customer service?

A customer is the most important person ever in the business. A customer is not dependent on us.

A customer is not someone we should argue with.

A customer makes use of our products or services by paying us for it. Customer care is tied up with people skills. If you develop better skills at dealing with customers you will provide better service to your customers.

Importance of the customer

The Customer as a source of revenue

  • The better the customer care given to customers, the more business they will do with your company
  • The more business the company generates, the more profit it stands to make
  • This enables the company to pay competitive
  • Customers are NOT dependent on you – you are dependent on them as they pay the salaries
  • and without them, businesses have to close down and
  • as a result people would lose their jobs.

It makes GOOD business sense to look after customers as a disciplined practice!!!

  • When customers make purchases or use services and are parting with hard-earned money, they like to be treated properly, irrespective of their gender, age, race, colour or creed, and will otherwise take their business elsewhere if not.
  • Keep in mind that you are the link between the outside world and your business and as first impressions are lasting, it is up to you to make your first impression
  • If it were not for your customers, there would be no need for your company

The Impact on the Business

The business that delivers superior customer service will achieve major benefits in competitive advantage and profitability.

  • Customers are your business’s most important assets.
  • The relationship you have with them will be the benchmark by which your business is judged in terms of customer focus and quality of service.
  • Their attitudes towards your business will depend on the way in which you treat them.
  • The lack of caring for your customers could result in the business not reaching its true potential.
  • Caring about your customers can create a competitive and harmonious business as people like dealing with people who care.
  • This results in the customers returning generating repeat business and increased profits.

For every bad service a customer experiences, he/she will tell at least 5 others . . . . . . .. 10 people and more having a bad impression of the business, which is 10 potential customers lost –  a loss of income/turnover for the business and decreased profits.

  • Employees contribute in specific ways to create an overall positive experience for customers.
  • As an employee you represent the company’s image. If your image is professional and personal, then customers will have this image of the company.
  • The key to growth in a business lies in having a caring attitude towards all customers, even the difficult ones.
  • Good customer service must, therefore, be a part of a business’ very reason for being, and not seen simply as a tool to prevent customers from going elsewhere.

The 5 types of customers

  • Loyal Customers: They represent no more than 20 percent of our customer base, but make up more than 50 percent of our sales.
  • Discount Customers: They shop our stores frequently, but make their decisions based on the size of our markdowns.
  • Impulse Customers: They do not have buying a particular item at the top of their “To Do” list, but come into the store on a whim. They will purchase what seems good at the time.
  • Need-Based Customers: They have a specific intention to buy a particular type of item.
  • Wandering Customers: They have no specific need or desire in mind when they come into the store. Rather, they want a sense of experience and/or community.

What is poor customer service?

Poor customer service is the failure to respond to customer queries and complains in regards to your product. This conditions may be caused by unmotivated employees and lack of proper organisational structures.

Poor customer service may be caused principally by one or more of the following:

  1. Poor product or service
  2. Bad after sales service
  3. Unhelpful and impolite staff
  4. “A can’t be bothered attitude of staff”
  5. Waiting in a line of people to be served because of insufficient or shoddy staff
  6. Poorly trained staff lacking knowledge and skill
  7. Having your call lost or transferred unnecessarily and
  8. Being placed on hold by an automated voice.

Escalation Procedure

The Escalation Procedure covers all the processes involved with the rectification of unexpected behaviour, including: –

  • The initial identification
  • reporting of system details
  • Resolution of the identified behaviour
  • Technical support reports.

The responsible party of the installation should at all times manage the processes to ensure the installation is finished by the required deadline. For this reason, parties must maintain realistic views regarding progress of design, installation, programming and debugging (if required).

An installer or programmer is expected to contact Technical Support promptly, once it is evident that a problem exists with an installation. This may affect the handover date. The elapsed time period is the responsibility of the installer, keeping in mind critical milestones in the project.

Adequate time must be allocated for all stages of a project, and all parties should maintain a mature and realistic attitude in recognising any constraints that may apply to an installation.

Note: On occasions, not all steps in this procedure will need to be followed as the behaviour may be rectified in earlier steps.