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Sunday, November 10, 2013

How A Knowledge Base Can Improve Customer Service Techniques

When you are involved in customer service you can reduce your overhead costs with a knowledge base. Utilizing a central repository for your company information and client information can greatly help to cut costs in the form of time that would otherwise be spent by customer service representatives searching for information and by reducing lost clients who would turn a competing company rather than wait for your customer service reps to locate information.

As a customer service representative you can improve the speed with which you view a calling customer’s profile while you also improve the speed at which you answer any questions they may have by using a knowledge base in the office.

Three P’s of Customer Service:

Customer service representatives who use top of the line customer service techniques from a centralized knowledge base are also an essential part of most every business. Nobody likes to put up with disgruntled customers or angry neighbors, but the successful customer service representative tries to cultivate what have been called the three Ps: patience, professionalism, and positivity. Maintaining patience with a difficult customer is very, very hard, but offering a professional response to what is most often a very unprofessional complaint can go a long, long way to repairing a wrong, real or perceived. Perhaps most importantly, cultivating a positive attitude minimizes the incidence of mistakes and helps the general morale of the team to grow.

Multi faceted customer service:

The actual work which customer service representatives do can vary pretty tremendously depending upon the type of company which they work for: processing orders, handling complaints, sending out refunds, mediation, remuneration, and occasionally even security. Education requirements for work in the customer service industry vary, mostly based upon the type of products involved and the kind of clientele which a company cultivates, but certainly if one anticipates moving on in a career and striving towards management or product development, both places where the skills learned in firsthand customers service can be put to very good use, then the more professional development one can acquire the better off they will be.

Retail business, for instance:

When working in retail there are many customer service techniques which can improve business. Working from a centralized company knowledge base such as a company website which stores pertinent information or a centralized computer system that holds data for client profiles and inventory can great improve the manner in which customers are treated. Retail sales associates are a different kind of professional. They offer a variety of services, from product location and appropriation to payment, remuneration, and further customer service and support. The best retail sales associates are courteous, kind, clean, and professional.

An outgoing personality is a strong asset here because it makes the person more approachable and generally solicits excitement within the potential customer about the product in question. A good retail sales associate knows their business, whether that’s mattress pads or used cars or toy soldiers or aluminum cans, and they aren’t afraid to be honest about pricing, guarantees and warranties, and to offer their own personal perspective on a particular item.

Why knowledge base?

Long hours and nights are essential in most sales positions, and continuing education, especially if one is ultimately interested in becoming a manger, is an absolute must. Retail sales associates are everywhere: inside and outside, at the grocery, the hardware store, the bookshop, and even the mechanic’s garage which is why having a knowledge base of customer service techniques is imperative. Many times the best salesperson is the one who manages to sell a good or service without the customer even realizing they are dealing with a sales associate and not simply another interested customer.

Sameer Bhatia is founder & CEO of ProProfs.com which is a leading provider of online learning tools for building, testing, and applying knowledge. Sameer has a background in technology with a Masters in Computer Science from USC (University Of Southern California) and is an ed-tech industry veteran. You can find Sameer on Google+ .

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