We’re delighted to have Margerita de Miranda share her thoughts with us about the challenges of online customer service and the importance of training customer service teams. Margerita gained her experience in the field of service, process optimization and delivering training programs at international companies such as KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and KPN Telecom. This experience as a customer service trainer and as an entrepreneur highlight her passion for customer service and her desire to transfer that interest to other people.
What motivated you to work in the field of customer service?
My work as a trainer to expats while being a university student made me aware of the importance of flexibility and adaptation to the customers’ needs and requests at a very young age. Later, when I worked in project management this knowledge motivated me even more to provide the best product and an exceptional customer experience.
What was your best online customer service experience and what made it really good?
One of my best online customer experience moments was a response from Apple. I encountered a problem with my login an sent an email to the support desk. Within less than the response time given I received a very pleasant and friendly email with support and directions on how to solve the issue. After that, Apple even checked whether the problem was solved. The quick response made a good impression and I felt valued as a customer, because the support desk also did a follow up to check whether they met my expectations.
From your different encounters with customers and customer service professionals, what is the greatest difficulty people face when it comes to online customer service?
I believe that the response time could be a real challenge, both to the corporate world and the customers. A company has to be on top of the game to respond quickly and in a positive way when dealing with dissatisfied or even angry customers. The relationship between a company and its customers becomes more and more dynamic because of the significance of social media. Customers are now monitoring and comparing products and customer service online and expect to be serviced quickly and friendly. As a result of this, service departments are under pressure having to deliver excellent service within a very short time slot and response time.
Multichannel customer service is one of the biggest challenges companies face today. This often means that customer service agents have to adapt to new tools and software. With the aim of facilitating this process, what do you believe are the benefits of training?
Every company should invest in its employees. Without training, a service department will fall back. Moreover, employees feel engaged and valued when they get the opportunity to learn and study. You’re not only investing in your employees, but also ensuring your clients will have the best customer experience: a motivated and engaged employee will deliver excellent customer service.
What would your tip be for call centre agents who want to provide exceptional customer service?
Always smile when you are talking to customers. They may not see it, but they will hear and feel it. Make sure you actually listen to your clients and empathize.
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You have experienced customer service in various countries; what was your most significant experience of cultural differences in customer service norms?
The most significant experience in cultural difference took place in Kuala Lumpur. When I was shopping the sales person kept following me around the shop. She was walking right behind me to ensure that she could assist me at any time and even held my carryall when I was taking a closer look at some items I was interested in. That was an exceptional client experience to me which I will never forget.
Do you have a customer service motto? If so, what is it and why does it embody for you the essence of great customer service?
I do not have a particular motto, but listening is at the top of my list when working with clients: If you don’t take the time to listen properly and keep asking questions you will never know your customers’ needs and, as a result, cannot deliver excellent service.
You can follow Margerita de Miranda on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/MardeMir