In the world, when customers are demanding more and more freebies. The Service which does not cost the vendor is most effective. Let us understand the reason and logic of customer service.
Most of the Sales people believe that in order to gain customer patronage, we have to give lots of things for free. However, this seems like an unscrupulous shortcut, which is seldom effective.
What is Customer Service?
Any kind of help or assistance that the vendor or seller provides to the buyer when the seller sells some product or service.
Customer Service does not start or end when there is a customer complaint. It is not just receiving customer complaint and getting the problem solved. But it starts much before it. It’s not just helpdesk which is involved in Customer Service, But the entire organisation must be engaged in Excellent Customer Service.
How to provide Best Customer Service without Cost?
Just as money cannot buy happiness, freebies alone cannot buy good Customer Experience. If we want to have loyal customers, we need to do something more.
Here is a list of few things Money can’t buy and was to incorporate them into our Customer Service.
- Quick Response
- Whether the customer has some queries before buying the product or some complaint after buying the product, Please respond quickly. Quick response to customer calls is half of the total Customer Satisfaction. This is more relevant now, in the times of Social Media.
- Manners & Class
- Make sure that you and your customer support team talk to Customer in a most polite way possible. It might solve the customer’s problem but makes them feel that you are understanding it.
- Trust, Morals & Characters & Integrity
- Don’t cheat (or even try to) cheat on the customer. People always like to work with people who have high moral values.
- Showing respect to Customer and care for their problem does not cost us anything. But it makes a world of difference for the customers.
- Common Sense
- Innovation is common-sense in many ways. Cultivate a culture where everybody not only follows the rules but also knows when to break them. This does not apply to only customer service representatives, but the entire organisation.
- When the Customer is in problem, the best thing one can do is to be patient and listen to them, understand their problem. Make them understand that you have understood the problem. Patience is one of the most important pillars of a good customer service experience.
- Showing some empathy towards customers and their problem goes a long way in providing a great Customer Experience.
Three examples of how Enjay got an edge with Customer Service that did not Cost anything.
We at Enjay always believe in Innovation. Innovation does not only come into technology products that we develop but also the way we provide service. A lot of thinking goes in the way we create value for our customers. Of course, there is also a lot of innovation done for cost-cutting also.
Free Excel tips with AMC Customers (1997 – 2000)
Like many other IT Companies, Enjay also started its journey as a computer Service company. We also provided Computer-related Services and also Hardware and networking AMC (Annual Maintenance Contract). Instead of just focusing on hardware, we focused on the applications that they were using and the challenges that they were facing.
In those days, the only department that used computers was Accounts. So Accountants were first to get PCs. Accounts team always had to struggle with a lot of number crunching.
We started to learn Spreadsheet (then Lotus 1-2-3 and MS Excel) and started to share tips with Accounts team. We would also share some productivity hacks with them.
Remember those were the days when there was no Internet, forget Google. We used to get books on Spreadsheets and learn it so that we can help our Clients.
The benefit we got that we could command at least 2-3 times more AMC rate than our competitors. While others would charge 1000 Rs for a PC, we used to cost 2,500 to 3,500 per PC. Plus we had a great rapport with the Accounts team. Who never wanted to replace us with anyone else, because no one would give them Free Excel Tips. For a small business, providing some free consultancy or free tips is one of the best Customer Customer Service.
Free Server Support with Thin Clients (2000 – 2015)
From 2000 onwards, we started to provide Thin Client Solutions (A Lan Card based Solution). At that time, it was primarily a server-based computing Solution, which required good server knowledge for configuration of Server. Since Server technology was relatively new at that time, most of the IT Vendors and System Integrators were not comfortable with Server configurations.
5% of the cases were related to Thin Clients, and 95% of the cases were associated with Server configuration and management. We happily provided support for the Servers, even our Thin Client management software made server configuration Easy.
The benefit is that while others struggle to sell Thin Clients at 500 Rs, we were able to sell it for 2,500 Rs. with hefty margins for our partners too. Our Customers and Partners always prefered to buy from Enjay, since we were the only provider to help with Servers. Of course, we used proper helpdesk software so that we can provide effective customer service.
Free Continuous Audit Process with CRM Application (2010 till date)
Enjay has one of the Best Mobile CRM apps. However, we figured out from our Customer Experience that CRM software alone is not enough. Even providing timely support to Customer Support Queries does not ensure CRM success.
Indian Small businesses face a very different type of challenges. So we developed a unique CRM Audit Service. Where we analyse for free how our Clients and their users are using the CRM platform and how they can improve. This has been very popular amongst our Clients.
The benefit is that we have an extremely delighted Customer base. Such that a significant proportion of our new customers come from referrals. It is a well-known fact that it is much easier to sell through a reference.
Instead of looking towards customer service as a cost centre, we need to look at it as an attitude. Remember, Customer Experience and Customer service is the best kind of branding and marketing anyone can do. Customer service need not be costly, always. In fact, things that you can do for free are more valuable.
The idea of this article was inspired while discussing random topics with Janak Soni of Takshashila School. A big Thank you for him.