If there is one thing that all successful companies have in common, it’s an outstanding customer service policy. Not only does a customer service policy give customers the level of support that will make them repeat customers, but it also gives employees a clear outline of how they’re supposed to operate.
A. What Exactly Is a Customer Service Policy?
A customer service policy is a set of rules and guidelines that gives employees a standard operating procedure when it comes to dealing with customer issues. It also provides customers with a framework they can turn to when they require support. An example of one such rule is a return policy. Almost all companies that sell a physical product have a return policy of some sort.
B. Why Are Customer Service Policies Needed
In simple terms, a customer service document ensures that all customers receive uniform treatment. Furthermore, a customer service policy also provides a form of structure for employees when dealing with customer problems. “A quality customer service policy isn’t just for the customer, but also for the business. If there is no set of operating procedures an employee can turn to when dealing with an issue, such as a refund, it can make their job much more difficult. Beyond this, it also ensures all customers are treated the same,” writes Freddy Malack, a tech writer at Paper Fellows and State of writing.
C. What To Include In A Customer Service Policy
To create a top-notch customer service policy make sure to:
1. Define Exchange Policy
One of the most important aspects of a quality customer service policy are the rules dictating returns and exchanges. Sometimes, a customer simply isn't happy with a product and decides they want to return or exchange it. In some cases, a business will not allow a refund 30 days or more after the purchase date and won’t grant a refund or exchange if the product has been used.
This part of a customer service policy is more complicated when a business sells a service and not a product. In these cases, the service is almost always completed by the time the customer requests a refund. Businesses that fall into this category need to take special care when crafting their refund policy.
2. Develop A Streamlined System For Dealing With Customer Complaints
As most business owners will tell you, customer complaints need to be dealt with in a timely manner. If not, it can cause a bad reputation as customers who feel they have been treated poorly are often quite vocal about their poor experience. “When a customer has a complaint or issue they wish to be resolved, there should be a clear and formal process they can follow. By doing so, both the business and the customer can be sure there is a route to a solution,” writes Jim Harris, a business writer at OX Essays and Lia Help.
This process is very important, as most experts agree it costs, on average, 20% more to bring on new customers than it does to retain existing customers. While there are many ways to lose customers, not addressing their concerns and complaints is undoubtedly one of them.
3. Gather Feedback
Most customers are more than willing to provide feedback about their experiences, and such feedback is a valuable source of information. This being said, most won’t go out of their way to provide feedback unless they have had a bad experience.
By providing a comfortable, low effort way customers can share how they felt about their shopping experience, there is a lot of valuable information to be gained regarding what is done right and what needs improving.
4. Create A Customer Experience In Line With The Company’s Values
A customer service policy ultimately dictates how customers are to be treated. When drawing up such a document, it is essential to consider how it will promote a positive customer experience and one in line with its values and mission.
5. Review Constantly
There is always room for improvement, and nowhere is this more true than in the world of customer service. Just because a customer service policy seems to work at a certain moment in time, it doesn’t mean that it always will or that improvements can’t be made.
Most agree the best ways to stay on top of a dynamically changing customer base is by having quarterly review periods where customer policy can be discussed, and changes can be made if need be.
About the Author:
Elizabeth Hines is a digital marketer and content writer at UK Writings and Academized. Elizabeth writes mostly about marketing strategies and new/emerging technologies. On top of this, she also creates blog posts for Boom Essays.