Customer service is a very dynamic industry and situations and the attitude of the customer changes on an everyday basis. Customer service is also considered one of the most thankless places to work in as the customer is almost never satisfied and people are always cribbing about how unskilled or badly trained the customer service representatives are. But this scenario is changing slowly as the customers realize that it is a two way street and they need to communicate clearly and be open to suggestions, if they want swift action on their queries.
Having said that, there are many wastes of customer service and we cannot run away from the fact that these do exist and they are a part and parcel of the game. Anyone and everyone who has a customer support solution in place will vouch for the wastes that are associated with the job but this part of the business cannot be done away with and is a very important part of the job, especially the hospitality industry, schools and colleges and call centers. The wastes need to be factored in and there is nothing much that one can do in order to do away from them.
Let us look at the various wastes of the customer service industry:-
- Miscommunication and poor documentation
Many a times there is a lack of proper communication both from the client’s side as well as the customer service representative’s side. Poor communication leads to ill-informed customer service representative and ultimately there is zero action taken to solve the client’s problem as the query is incomplete or wrong. Another problem which arises is poor documentation which occurs due to bad communication skills and this also leads to loss of action taken on a particular query. These problems are pretty wide spread as no one pays heed to the fact that communication is the biggest tool that a customer service representative has and if it is not worked upon it will pose huge problems. In order to do away with this waste one needs to employ and train client facing representatives on their communication skills and documentation skills. Double checking with the client on important pieces of information is equally important as wrong information is equally bad for the case and it will keep lingering if the information is not proper and adequate.
- Technical and process related delays
Another big waste which occurs in a customer service desk is process related delays. For example if there is a complaint is raised and it needs approval from an authority who is placed in a higher position, it might be delayed to some extent and sometimes for months. These are called process related delays and need to be addressed if the delay is to be avoided. Sometimes the customer service representative is severely reprimanded due to these process related delays and he or she is not in a position to explain as to why the delay has happened. Another delay which takes place is due to technical glitches and errors. These are completely unavoidable and nothing can be done if there is a power outage or when the hard disk fails. Sometimes the database is completely lost and the customer service representative has to face the brunt of clients who will fail to understand why the technical glitch has taken place. These delays and glitches are unavoidable and all that an enterprise or a customer service desk can do is make 2-3 copies of customer database and be patient with clients who refuse to be patient or understanding.
- Poor training, inventory and excess processing related problems
There can be multiple problems which can be a complete waste of time and money and poor training, excess of inventory and increases processing related problems augments the wastage caused. If you don’t train your resource and they are clueless about the processes and how they should move forward with the job, it is a huge problem. Your clients will be severely dissatisfied and they will keep complaining and ultimately they will stop subscribing to your services. Hence it is very important that you train your staff and be mindful of the consequences of an ill-trained staff. Similarly surplus of inventory has storage related problem it will clutter the office space and make the movement of the staff very difficult. It is important to keep the office space clutter free and keep the space clean and neat. Excess of processing is also a big waste and should be totally avoided because it will delay your entire work and make the client experience completely bitter. These are some of the problems which need to be taken care of and add to the waste which already exists in this industry.
In order to reduce these wastages it is important that you are mindful of what can be worked upon and what cannot be worked upon. If you make a conscious effort towards these wastages they can be worked upon and you can reduce them significantly and steer your enterprise towards success and less wastage.