Customer care begins at the first 'hello'
They say that first impressions count. It isn't merely a common saying - most psychologists think so too. Psychology Professor James Uleman of New York University says: "You don't get a second chance to make a first impression, in spite of the congeniality of many professional gatherings, judgments are being made, and impressions formed all the time."
In many cases, first impressions between consumers and businesses are not made in person but over the phone or email. According to industry analyst Contact Babel's The State of the Industry & Technology Penetration Report, there are over 6,200 contact centres in the United Kingdom handling calls and emails from consumers every day. Businesses make countless first impressions through these centres, which means it is vital they get it right at the first ‘hello’.
The Customer Service Excellence Standard, a government-backed quality mark, was introduced to improve the state of customer service in the United Kingdom. Identifying, consulting with and listening to customers alongside accurately measuring service outcomes is a vital part of obtaining the standard. It also calls for fostering a customer-centric work culture.
Andy Allen, Service Director at the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), said: "Contact centres play a fundamental role in facilitating all kinds of business today. The quality of support that consumers receive plays a profound role in the perception of any company. Companies which fail to perform adequate customer support risk their reputation, profitability and worse.
"As someone running a contact centre aligned to the Customer Service Excellence Standard, I understand the improvements it brings to our service, and most importantly, the difference it makes for consumers. We have used this model to improve other contact centres and the outcomes of service provision as a contract facilitator for the UK Government and the European Union."
Guest blog the Chartered Trading Standards Institute