5 Additional Answers
You need to look at your customers as a whole. Each customer is an individual that needs and deserves respect, but you will anger customers if you keep them waiting. Give each person the service he or she needs, but you hurt yourself and your overall product/service if you ignore or upset more people than you help.
In other words, get your CSRs to be compassionate AND efficient.
I like the last two responses, but I want to add that customer service is a two-way process. The vendor will mess up some of the time, and the customer will mess up some of the time. Vendors need to willingly accept feedback about their products, and they also need to tell their customers when their customers are in the wrong.
Listen to the customer, and you will solve the problem quickly and you will satisfy the customer. Customer support staff often don’t listen to me when I call with problems. I hang up angry and even more confused.
It’s more important that quantity. Get more people so you can support all the calls you are getting, or fix your product so there aren’t so many problems with it.
As a provider, I focus on two things: Quality. Provide good quality and you won’t have such a need for customer service. Service. Problems do happen, even with quality products, and that’s where service comes in. Customers have the money you want, and you have the product they want. Don’t make the customer take their money elsewhere by taking too long. Think about how you would want to be treated as a customer.
Other notes: Apologies go a long way. The customer will appreciate if you are actually trying to help, even if you can’t bring them answers as quickly as you or they would like.
(Process/workflow consultant, Steve Davidson Consulting)
I'd agree with Meri. A clear instruction or better-designed product at one end can save ten thousand questions at the other. Beta-test new designs and interfaces before heading to mass-market.