Tuesday, April 12, 2011

World of Customer Support Services

Customer support services involve a range of methods primarily set to assist customers in availing, using and maintaining products and services. It may include helping customers in planning, installation, troubleshooting, maintenance, upgrading, and disposal of a product or service.
There are two objectives of a customer support service; one is to assist customers in selection such as in availing products or services. Businesses guide customers in picking only the best and appropriate products and services based on needs or requirements.
The other objective is to ensure correct usage of the product and service. While using the product, a customer can call the business if he finds the product not working. The customer can seek assistance for repairs and demonstrations to gain knowledge in the proper handling of a product.
There are different ways of reaching out to customers to attain these two objectives. The basic service is FAQ, which stands for “Frequently Asked Questions”. A copy of the basic use and considerations about the product or service is provided to customers. This satisfies basic or general questions. FAQ service can be done online also in business websites since customers can access the internet at home. Included in the FAQ service are basic troubleshooting methods.
However, when customers cannot find the answer to their questions in the FAQ copy, they may utilize voice support, e-mail support, inbound call support and other existing support systems. Technical products and services such as mobile devices, televisions, laptops, computer software, electronic devices, and telephone services often use voice support. When a customer cannot troubleshoot a problem regarding a product, he can call a hotline number that directs them to an inbound call center. A live operator will assist the customer in troubleshooting and resolving any related technical problems.
Because it is expensive to set up a call center service in a business, some hire outsourcing companies to provide customer service to them. Call Center services which are offered in companies like New Media Services, also offer outbound support where the live operator calls the customer for announcements and reminders. Specifically, customer billing inquiries can be done performed here. Live operators can call a customer to remind the customer of his bill and deadline or answers calls on billing.
Other businesses have e-mail support as an option as well. E-mail support operators find answers to the questions and provide the needed information as fast as possible.
One of the special services that customer support offers is escalation management. Escalation management involves processes on what personnel should do in case there are uncontrollable incidents. Businesses anticipate that there will always be incidents that lead to customer dissatisfaction and even legal issues. To remedy these incidents or prevent undesirable situations, escalation management is set to resolve a problem in the quickest and fairest way. An escalation management team records the incident and the source of the problem. With proper management, the customer is informed of whom to approach during these incidents.
Another service under Customer Support is refund management. In stores, implementing policies on refunding is a tough job. A refund management team monitors the system on how customers return products for refund and recommends precautionary measures not to repeat these incidents. On a wider scale, Refund Management is an international fund-management service that assists you in monetary transfers for your business concerns including the handling multi-country transactions and transfers, providing assistance in taxation processing and helping in refund documentation.
Supporting customers makes sure that present customers will return to the business. When customers feel good about a business, they do not just avail again, they look for more customers.

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The Customer Service Satisfaction

A healthy business knows how to effectively cater to their customers in the general interest of business financial stability that is constantly intertwined with above average customer satisfaction.
A good customer service satisfaction goal starts with the knowledge of the customers’ needs, how these needs are satisfied and how both the giving and receiving end benefit from this knowledge. Customer Satisfaction is a cycle that gradually changes over time. And as needs change, the demands increase and the current delivery of the service is reassessed, each cycle creates strategies on how to increasingly satisfy customers.
Sales are the most common indicator of satisfaction. A high sales average means good customer satisfaction. Accurately stating, the highest overall indicator of true customer satisfaction is retention and exclusive patronage. The key here is to have a good business-to-customer relationship based on rapport and all-out support.
Through face to face interviews, the level of customer satisfaction may be measured. This can be done when a customer walks out of the store or office or has just had firsthand experience of a product or service.
A customer-oriented business has a detailed and easy to grasp FAQ service. “Frequently Asked Questions” generate the most traffic in Customer Support. FAQ lessens the work of customer service representatives by providing answers to possible queries beforehand. However if there are queries that a customer cannot find an answer to, they may use the technical support service of the business.
For immediate support to customer concerns, calls may be made to inbound call centers or a schedule may be set for an outbound call to the customer. For customers who don’t require a timely solution to their concerns, an e-mail support service is also an option. Various methods are made available to address customer needs to ensure that they are attended to in the manner that is most convenient to them.
Escalation management can be considered the hardest task in a customer support system. These are high risk calls with more often than not – irate customers. In escalation management, there is an appropriate authority to receive all complaints and interactions. First, there must be a detailed review of the incident. The complaint is then subjected to existing policies for resolution. The goal is to handle the problem quickly, effectively and in the least stressful way possible. A confirmation that the issue has been resolved is always a standard practice. All interactions must be well recorded/documented to minimize liability, provide detailed information and to formulate efficient solutions for prevention of such incidents.
In all businesses, customer satisfaction is a priority. Their patronage provides the life-blood to all business ventures. All customer-related issues are treated seriously no matter the frequency of the complaint because nothing is more important than to keep customers happy. A good business & customer relationship results in higher customer patience, a solid business image and business permanence. Customers FIRST! Everything else follows; happy customers lead to higher gains, happy customers improve credibility and happy customers keep the business thriving.

In all businesses, there is a common belief that others even ask their employees to memorize. This is “customers are always right”. When this is forgotten in the process of fixing problems with customers, level of customer satisfaction is affected negatively.

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Spread the Words Through Viral Marketing

Viral marketing involves a wide range of promotional activities that motivate people to pass along a marketing message to other individuals through any means of communication. Viral marketing can spread to millions in just seconds with the use of internet, hence the term “Viral”.
There are two common components of a viral marketing campaign. The first is digital video production. Viral videos are quite often short to ensure high viewership and immediately entertaining for the purpose of distribution. It can be based on existing videos in television, short clips from a mixture of sources or an intended or unintended video files with high entertainment value. Most use short video clips that are posted in social networking sites and business sites. Viral videos are short, novel, humorous and informative. It can run for just 30 seconds (even less in fact!) and can attract viewers not just to the video itself but to the services or products the video might market.
The second most common component of viral marketing is e-mail campaign. An e-mail is distributed to recipients containing some information, it may be of a marketing content or not, but generally it is aimed at encouraging the recipient to pass the information to a friend. In the e-mail, a viral video, link or a picture may be attached.
Businesses use an e-mail campaign when they like to invite people to attend product launchings or promotional events. A viral e-mail contains texts that aim to encourage the recipient to forward the e-mail to his contacts.
Other components include Short Message Service, blogging, social media interactivity, television, radio, polling services, and outbound and inbound call center services.
Effective viral marketing campaigns are based on three principles: social profile gathering, proximity market analysis and real-time key word density analysis. Companies that offer viral marketing service, just like New Media Services, use these three in advertising models to math a business with their target customers.
Viral marketing such as New Media Services’ “Forward Marketing” work by producing a viral video, e-mail or a blog depending on the best way to catch customers’ attention. Producers of viral videos think of how to present the product in the most novel way. Viral videos consist of simple information that reflects the services offered by the business, the prominent element is usually just the logo.
If the business does not have a website to post the videos, there are alternative options available such as influential websites like Youtube and Facebook. In e-mail campaigning, a list of recipients is prepared ahead of time. Live operators publish the video or send the e-mail to recipients, or manually call customers to deliver the message. Live operators may use blogging and other tools to increase the visibility of the marketing message.
When a viewer watches the video, he may also consider downloading it and storing it in his mobile device. Because viral videos are totally entertaining and easily gain publicity, viewers will surely forward the video to others. Viral e-mails, SMS messages and blogs are usually forwarded to peers.
The key target in the viral marketing process is “the buzz” wherein people talk about the video to their network of family, friends, acquaintances and often, random people. The initial production cost of the video is more often than not, the only expense; as advertising the product or service is done by the very same target market. Essentially, the entire job of business networking is done by people who find the viral campaign entertaining.
Viral videos and e-mails set the topic of conversations among groups. Most often, influential people recommend a product according to what they see in videos sent to them. They unconsciously utter the business’ name. Some result in the advantage of “perceptual value” wherein the viral marketing campaign creates good perceptions about the business that in turn, help build a solid business image.
The bottom-line of viral marketing is “word of mouth” promotion. Undoubtedly, “word of mouth” is the most powerful marketing tool.

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