Here Is A Sample From Customer Service Basics!


Why Customer Service Is Important!


            Every day the business climate changes. Those who can adapt and keep pace survive. Those that don't, fail. This may seem like an over simplification, but it is true none the less.

             Today's marketplace is growing at a rate that is unprecedented. The emergence of the Internet as a business resource has changed the way business is being done. Changed it in a way that will affect each and every business in the world today! Let's take a look at why this is so important.

             It used to be that any business had a certain "territory" in which they did their business. This territory may have been shaped by the product or service the company provided, or by shipping and handling restrictions. The most common reason for limited territories was that it just was not possible to reach everyone in the world in a cost-effective manner.

             These limited territories meant that each company had a limited amount of competition. Similar businesses within the area were known to their competition and each of these businesses could be monitored for their actions, sales, and other issues. In short, if you were "on the ball", you would not be taken by surprise by a competitor and your business placed at risk.

             Because of this, a company may not be as aggressive when it comes to dealing with their customers. With limited competition, the options for their customers were also limited. If there are two companies selling a certain product or service in an area, that means there are only two options for customers to obtain that product. Customers can go to either company, but they must choose one or the other.

             When a customer has limited options, they may have to put up with a level of service that is less than they would like to see. In many areas, two businesses can survive quite nicely together with little competition between the two. When this is the case, there is little incentive to improve on the level of service they provide their customers. Since customer service costs money, there is little reason to spend money when their customer's options are so limited.


Enter A New Way of Doing Business!


            Technology has given businesses a whole new way of reaching potential customers. Small television stations have harnessed the power of satellites to put their signals into the homes of people all over the world. A once small station now has the power to reach a wide range of prospective customers!

             Fax machines enable people to communicate much easier over their regular phone lines. Cell phones allow people to contact each other 24 hours a day, whether they are at home or on the road.  Computers are available to manage inventory, create complex sales presentations, and reach people instantly through the use of e-mail! The options for businesses are growing by leaps and bounds! While this is certainly impressive, all this pales when compared to what is definitely the single most important business tool developed to date: The Internet!

             The Internet enables businesses of all shapes and sizes to compete on an equal level no matter where they are located. This is a very important concept. This concept will forever change the way business is being done all over the world! Let's explore the impact of the Internet on business today.


The Internet & its Impact on Customer Service and Business


            In the past, new and small businesses had to commit large sums of money and overhead in order to break through in their industry. Businesses had to start out in a small territory and gradually expand as their capital allowed. Big business had the resources to combat these small businesses and cause many of them to fail. Many a small business has failed because they couldn't compete with the "big boys"!

             With the Internet, businesses of all shapes and sizes and placed before the public in an equal manner. When a person logs on to a website, they have no idea of what kind of company they are dealing with. The new company operating from a small office in a garage somewhere can have the same appearance as the established giant with the huge office complex! The content of the web site is what you see and what you base your decisions on.

             Because of this, every business can compete in as large or small area as they desire! By placing their company products on the Internet, they can reach potential customers all over the world instead of just their "backyard"! Let's take a look at how that affects business in general.


A Whole New Set of Rules


          With the arrival of the Internet, customers have an entire new source of businesses and resources available to them. Now, instead of being limited to what is in their town or state, they can contact companies from around the world to buy their goods and services!

             Let's take a look at what has changed for the consumer. Let's say that you want to buy a certain kind of power tool. Maybe it's an electric drill, saw, or other tool. In the past, you would go to the local tool or hardware center and buy it there. They may not have exactly what you want, or carry all the different models, but you would buy something that closely fit your needs. In some cases, you would look into the Yellow Pages for other stores close to your town. In most cases, you would visit each store and examine their selection and then return to the store that had what you wanted.

             With the arrival of the Internet, you can contact manufacturers directly and buy over the Internet! You can use a search engine to find all kinds of sites that sell this particular product. There are even comparison sites that will give you a list of businesses that sell these tools and give you the prices! All without leaving your house! You can see everything available to you and buy something that fits your needs exactly, not something that just comes close!

             You may be thinking that this manual is an advertisement for the Internet. I assure you it is not. What we are trying to teach you is that with the advent of things like the Internet, the marketplace changes, and you must adapt your skills to meet these changes. Here is why technology has forced us to change the way we react and deal with people:

             We have discussed the whole new set of resources available to consumers today. Since our customers have more options available to them, they are going to seek out and do business with the company or companies that make them feel the most appreciated and needed! When consumer options are limited, customers feel like they have to accept less. As consumer options increase, they feel entitled to be treated better and more fairly. They become more rigid in what they want, how they expect to be treated, and what they will and will not accept.

             Because of these facts, and other facts you will discover later in this publication, Customer Service Skills will become the most valuable and most sought after skills in employees of virtually every industry and position today.


The Days of Ignorance Are Long Gone!


            Another impact that the Internet has had on all kinds of consumers, businesses, and our population on the whole, is that it is extremely easy to get any kind of information. Whenever a person wants to find out anything, they can search the Internet and come up with hundreds or thousands of potential sources of information.

            How does that effect Customer Service you may wonder? When a customer comes wants to purchase a product or service, they will no longer take your word for the quality or exclusivity of your product. They will search and search until they get the information they require. Because of this, you must be honest and straightforward when it comes to talking about your company and it's products. You cannot count on ignorance to get you through any more.  Treat each customer like they are experts on your company and products.

 Your customers are likely to become aware of your competition, too. Now that they are aware of additional resources available to them, you need to make sure you inform them of everything your company can offer that the competition can't. We'll get into this in detail a little later.

 It is important for you to understand that people today are much more informed than they ever were before. Because of this, you must be prepared to deal with people on a whole other level. Make sure the information you give them is accurate and appropriate. Your credibility is at stake here. Be careful.


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