Here’s a little known fact. Most universities, colleges and management programs don’t teach enough about customer service management. Is it any wonder customers are so dissatisfied?
Recommended topics for a course on customer service.
1. What is the mission of customer service?
2. Where should customer service report in an organization (eg marketing, public relations, operations, administration, sales) and the pros and cons of each organization type.
3. Different models of customer service (entitled with a contract only, or anyone entitled)
4. The role of on line Self Service versus call in for support.
5. The impact of Social Media on customer service and different methods of servicing customers in a mixed mode of call center and social media.
6. Managing the customer service organization: type of positions, salary levels, reward, recognition, hiring criteria.
7 Typical measurements in a customer service environment: Number of calls, call duration times, wait times, abandonment rates. calls per person, how many people do you need.
8. Skills Inventory. How to create and maintain a skills inventory. Who has what skill and at what level. How many of each skill level is needed?
9. Procedures for getting the right skilled person to address the customer’s issue.
10. Procedures and best practices to ensure that the rest of the organization learn about repetitive problems customer service is addressing that could be fixed at the management level. How to create a learning organization to minimize customer dissatisfaction by fixing the source of the problems.
11. Training customer service personnel to support customers.
12. Customer Satisfaction processes. How to set up and run a customer satisfaction survey process. How to listen to social media. Aggregating the data and disseminating it to the rest of the organization.
13. Best practices on handling difficult customers and escalations.
14. Preparing for a crisis.
15. Managing a crisis.
16. Tools needed in a customer service organization such as telephone front ends, switching calls to appropriate call takers, problem management systems to track problems, data bases with known problems and their resolutions.
17. Best practices in encoding problem causes and problem resolutions to help with management reporting.
18. Best practices in Management reporting.
The orientation of the college course would be ‘management’ oriented rather than call taker oriented. I believe call taker orientation should be done at the organizational level.
I am sure there are other topics that could be added here to ensure that we train our future managers about customer service. Feel free to comment below.
Our future executives need to understand that the policies they set the executive level, get executed at the customer service level and failure to understand how customers are impacted by executive decisions will increase call volumes and customer dissatisfaction.
It is very sad that there appears to be so few courses available on this important topic. If you know of any, please share in the comments section below.
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