As banks come under increasing pressure from fixed interest rates leading to reduced profits, declaration of redundancies and closure of branches, the quality of customer service will become vital for the performance of banks.
In business, customer service is the act of taking care of the customer's needs by providing and delivering professional, helpful, high quality service and assistance before, during, and after the customer's requirements are met.
Customer service concerns the priority an organization assigns to customer service in comparison to components such as product innovation and pricing. In this sense, an organization that values good customer service may spend more money in training employees than the average organization or may proactively interview customers for feedback.
From the point of view of an overall sales process engineering effort, customer service plays an important role in an organization's ability to generate income and revenue. From that perspective, customer service should be included as part of an overall approach to systematic improvement. One good customer service experience can change the entire perception a customer holds towards the organization.
In a past interview, Equity Bank CEO James Mwangi described how thye made customer service the centre of their expansion, a strategy that played a very important role in their phenomenal expansion from near obscurity to the summit of the banking sector.
Good customer service means helping customers efficiently, in a friendly manner. It's essential to be able to handle issues for customers and do your best to ensure they are satisfied. Providing good service is one of the most important things that can set your business apart from the others of its kind.
Good customer service qualities include the following;
- Patience - If you don't see this near the top of a customer service skills list, you should just stop reading.
- Attentiveness – a good customer service champion must be in a position to listen keenly without missing even a word from the client’s oncern so as to be able to provide an apt solution. Lack of attentiveness may end up providing a solution to the wrong root cause.
- Clear Communication Skills – it is of importance that a customer service staff must be able to communicate efficiently and effectively both in writing and orally.
- Knowledge of the Product – if an employee doesn’t have knowledge about the products, he or she cannot close a sales deal and neither can he or she solve a customer complaint.
- Ability to Use "Positive Language
- Time Management Skills.
Customer service is important to an organization because it is often the only contact a customer has with a company. Customers are vital to an organization. Consequently, when they have a question or product issue, they expect a company's customer service department to resolve their issues.
In this era of regularized banking industry, many banks may not achieve their profit targets and the ones which will survive are the innovative and those who offer state of the art customer service.
This means that poor customer service will drive a bank south with a lot of ease. Banks had forgotten their calling of giving their customers the best customer service and focused on profitability. Hardly had they forgotten that if the customer is not satisfied with the service, they won’t achieve their ambitious profit targets. Time has come for banks to re-evaluate themselves and start dealing with the things which matter. Good customer service is the opening to profitability and stability in the banking industry. Any serious bank Chief Executive Officer should delve on this matter with the seriousness it deserves.