Customer service is the engagement and support of customers before and after the purchase of your business’s products or services.
To understand customer service, it's good to first understand the customer’s journey. A customer journey describes the path a person takes from the initial adoption of your brand as a new customer to the ongoing engagement with your business afterward.
Customer service involves the guidance, engagement, and support of your customers throughout their customer journey. Customer service is more than just communication around the initial sale of a product or service, good customer service is a continuous process.
Why is customer service important to your business?
Customer service is important to your business because it establishes the relationship between your business and your customers, and ultimately determines the success of your business. Customer service is an opportunity for your business to uphold its values, mission, and claims around product or service quality.
Offering good customer service encourages customers to stay loyal to your business. In fact, businesses often form teams of customer success managers, to help keep customers coming back––this process is called customer retention. Since customer retention is typically less costly than acquiring new customers, it usually has a positive impact on your business costs. As your business properly nurtures customers, they feel more valued and are more likely to report good customer experiences and recommend your business to potential customers.
What are the different types of customer service?
Customer service can be categorized into styles of communication, and each communication style serves a distinct purpose. Your business can use these forms of customer service to acquire, engage, and maintain customer relationships.
Here are four types of customer service and communication:
1. Reactive customer service
With reactive customer service, your business provides service based on customer requests or prompts—in essence, your business offers products or services when a customer reaches out with a need.
2. Proactive customer service
Proactive customer service means that your business anticipates your customers' needs and engages them without being prompted by customers to do so. Your business can use proactive customer service to increase sales, avoid customer churn, and maintain good standing with customers. Offering discounts to your customers on future purchases, asking for feedback, or initiating check-ins with customer accounts, can all be considered proactive customer service.
3. Synchronous communication
With synchronous communication, your business engages customers in real time—like a phone conversation. Synchronous communication can be used in either proactive or reactive customer service.
4. Asynchronous communication
Communication that starts and stops is called asynchronous communication. Asynchronous communication between your business and customers occurs in phases, based on convenience. Good examples of this are support messages, emails, and chats. In asynchronous communication, you and your customers can pick up where you left off, with the full context of your communication intact. Asynchronous communication can also be used for proactive or reactive customer service.
Customer service is the support of customers engaging with your brand, so naturally, there’s more than one right way to do so. And for most successful businesses, multiple styles of customer support are needed. Therefore, neither proactive, reactive, synchronous, nor asynchronous customer service are necessarily better than one another. Determine how to use the various styles of communication and service by understanding your customer’s needs, your industry, and the capabilities of your business.
What is good customer service?
Good customer service is ongoing and prioritizes the customer, with the goal of solving their needs. Customer service impacts the perception of your business, beyond marketing and advertising alone. And great customer service involves skills and activities that can be organized into these eight core principles:
1. Empathetic customer service
Great customer service can’t exist without empathy. Your business can use empathetic customer service to engage customers with warmth, understanding, and a sense of familiarity regarding their feelings. Empathetic customer service demonstrates to customers that they are valued and not merely monetary transactions for your business. Increase empathy in your customer service by finding employees who possess empathetic qualities, like sensitivity and compassion.
Employee training that uses customer scenarios and standardized empathetic communication, are also effective ways to foster empathy in customer service––phrases like, “I understand,” “I’m here to help,” and “I hear you” are great empathetic phrases.
2. Active listening
Active listening involves paying close attention to your customers throughout their communication to best address their needs. Listening attentively for details such as dates, times, pain points, anecdotes, and customer preferences for example, ensures that your business can accurately assess, solve, or resolve the needs of your customers.
Offering multiple channels of communication to your customers is a smart way to improve your ability to actively listen to their needs. Using an omnichannel strategy, your business can develop communication guidelines for active listening, tailored to each channel.
3. Service and product knowledge
To provide the best service to your customers, your customer service managers must be knowledgeable about your business products and services. Educate your employees on your products and services and provide them with regular product insights and training. Being knowledgeable about product capabilities and service offerings communicates to customers that they are well cared for, and that your business can address and solve their needs.
4. Technical expertise
Technical expertise involves the knowledge of more complex service and product features, relevant use cases, and business scenarios. Customers regularly have needs, questions, and challenges that can’t be addressed with basic product knowledge, that’s why technical expertise is so important––think of product developers, product managers, industry experts, and specialists.
To increase expertise within your business, hire or consult relevant technical experts. In addition, provide your technical experts with insights and workshops that help them learn, and stay current with industry innovations and advancements.
5. Good interpersonal skills
Interpersonal skills describe the ability to interact, engage and communicate well with customers, and they are a necessity for great customer service. Interpersonal skills bring a human element to your business interactions with people, and help determine if they’ll become your customers, and then remain your customers. Good interpersonal skills help differentiate your business from similar businesses in your industry, because they are difficult to duplicate.
The best ways to improve interpersonal communication are through training and feedback, understanding the goal of the customer interaction, maintaining a positive and controlled tone of voice, and the use of conversational guides. But when using conversational guides, employees should be sure to modify them a bit to fit their own speech patterns, tone of voice, and personality.
6. Clear communication
Communicate clearly to help your customers understand the parameters of your business, products, and services. Helping customers understand exactly how you can be of service benefits them and your business. Clear communication can help you save time spent on troubleshooting and has a positive impact on your customers’ experiences. Enhance your communication by offering more channels of communication for your customers to interact with your business. Whether through live chat, online video calls, text messages, social media, email, or other channels, providing multiple avenues for communication helps you provide better service to your customers.
Multitasking skills are needed to serve multiple clients and perform activities while addressing customer needs. Your customer service representatives should be comfortable with managing different tasks, and clients in sequence and often, simultaneously. However, multitasking should never hinder your employees from performing business tasks correctly. To better improve multitasking efforts, and avoid losses in productivity, your business and employees should be aware of workload capacities, and set thoughtful, attainable goals.
8. Follow up
Following up with your customers can be a proactive way to nurture customer relationships. Follow up is important because it allows your business to keep an accurate understanding of your customers’ interests, plans, and challenges.
A great way to improve follow up is to use personalized outreach. Personalized follow up entails using customized emails, promotions, and other communications tailored to your customer’s profile. Personalized outreach shows your customers that they are unique and valuable to your business.
Elevate your service with these five ingredients
Get this e-book and learn how you can enhance your service experience.
What are some methods of customer service?
Today, customer service is evolving, and changing the way your business interacts with people. Here are examples of traditional and emerging customer service methods:
Customer nurture entails regular engagement of your customers after they purchase your product or service. Reaching out to check for customer satisfaction, offering valuable services, and communicating any upcoming product changes, helps to foster a sense of community among your customers. With an effective customer nurture strategy, your customers will more likely recommend your business to other people and choose your services rather than flock to your competitors.
Personalized service has revolutionized how customers interact with businesses. Today, customers receive recommendations, guides, and marketing content based on their individual customer profiles and preferences, like their location, buying history, and interests.
Personalized service gives your business a competitive edge, by providing an experience to your customers that’s hard to re-create. Personalizing your customer experiences to fit their specific needs and tastes helps your business retain customers.
In your business, challenges are sure to arise. Using soft skills like good interpersonal communication to address customer needs and solve challenges in a timely fashion, builds confidence in the capabilities of your business among your customers. Resolving your customers’ issues quickly and accurately helps keep them loyal to your brand and is an opportunity to differentiate your business from competitors.
Multichannel service is a continuously expanding example of customer service. Today, your customers expect to communicate with your business via social media, email, text, phone, and in person. As the channels for communication and service increase, your business should consider offering services via multiple channels. Increasing channels of communications and service gives your business more opportunities to expand your brand and customer base.
How does technology enhance customer experience?
Today, your business can improve customer experiences with new and emerging technology. Technology can help your business accommodate customers and increase sales and revenue. Enhance your customer experience with the following technologies:
AI is used to enhance customer relationships by improving communication between your business and customers, and by offering useful customer insights. Using AI technology, your business can benefit from language and sentiment analysis tools, chatbots, and voice analysis.
Things like written and spoken tone, informativeness, friendliness, or seriousness can be detected with AI. Your business can provide enhanced support to customers by providing AI-assisted guides, messaging, and collecting valuable customer information.
Technologies using automation can drastically improve your customer service availability by providing your customers with automated self-services. Using automation to manage routine and redundant activities, your employees can focus on higher priority customer cases, and this can help reduce employee turnover––your employees won’t be bored and underutilized performing mundane tasks. Automation technology, such as help desk software, can offer quick replies to customers and guide them through payment portals. Automation can be used to process and schedule payments, provide account information, and schedule appointments.
Customer relationship management (CRM) technology can help your business manage and organize customer accounts, goals, and sales opportunities. CRM technology allows your business to track your customers’ interactions with your business, define and predict opportunities for marketing, outreach, and upselling opportunities, as well as identify accounts that may be at risk for churn.
CRM software gives your business an environment to create sales scripts and track the success of scripts and other messages across accounts and customer segments. CRM technology can work with other technologies and systems, like email, video chat, and bookkeeping platforms. Using AI and automation technology, a CRM can send triggered notifications to sales and customer success representatives, based on specific customer account behavior.
Personalization technology tailors individual customer experiences based on their preferences, and enriches your business’s understanding of your customers. Your business can observe buying patterns, like the purchase of complimentary products, purchase schedules, and product preferences.
Personalization also allows you to identify upselling opportunities more easily, and avoid product cannibalization—when two or more of your business’s products that serve the same need compete. Using personalization, you can align your customer experiences to what they enjoy about your business the most.
Using data analytics, your business can anticipate customer needs, prevent customer service issues, and measure the success of your business sales and marketing efforts. Data analytics gives your business insights and data points on virtually any interaction your customers have with your business. Data analytics can report page views, clicks, sales, or help predict seasonal spikes in demand.
With analytics your business can develop stories and make inferences around the data and information on analytics reports and dashboards. Data analytics can inform your business strategies and tactics such as when to discount items, promote services or discontinue production of underperforming products.
How software can enhance your customer service
Customer service software enhances your business’s ability to meet your customers’ needs, through increasing productivity, communication capabilities, and knowledge of your customers. When choosing customer service software, keep in mind your specific business goals and customer needs. Understand which channels your clients use most, and pay attention to the distinct capabilities of different customer service technologies. Lastly, choose customer service software that works well with systems you’re currently using.
There are many software options, including Dynamics 365 Customer Service, that help your business optimize service operations, personalize customer experiences, and increase productivity. Discover new ways to enhance your business with customer service software.
Learn more about Dynamics 365
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service is a module for customer service automation that streamlines case and knowledge management, enables personalized service with a 360-degree customer view, and provides visibility into service agents' performance with dashboards and reports.What's the definition of customer service? ›
Customer service is the support you offer your customers — both before and after they buy and use your products or services — that helps them have an easy and enjoyable experience with you. Offering amazing customer service is important if you want to retain customers and grow your business.What is Dynamics 365 in simple words? ›
Dynamics 365 is a portfolio of intelligent business applications that delivers superior operational efficiency and breakthrough customer experiences enabling businesses to become more agile and reduce complexity without increasing costs.What is the 3 key of customer service? ›
Essentially, the 3 important qualities of customer service center around three “p”s: professionalism, patience, and a “people-first” attitude. Although customer service varies from customer to customer, as long as you're following these guidelines, you're on the right track.What is the role of customer service office? ›
A Customer Service Representative is the first person most customers communicate with when they have a problem. The Customer Service Representative must handle complaints, provide appropriate solutions for customers, and follow up to resolve any issues their customers experience.Is Microsoft Dynamics 365 difficult? ›
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a highly complex application and needs expert guidance for successful implementation. Relying on your in-house IT support is not a bad option but expecting them to execute it without error is not realistic as they have to figure out the nuances involved in the implementation.Is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Easy? ›
Easy to Use
Microsoft Dynamics 365 has an intuitive user interface that is incredibly clear. Users can create personalized workspaces that are activity-based. This enables them to manage assets and processes. It is similar enough to Office 365 where users will quickly feel like they know how to use the program.
A lot of users find it easy to use Microsoft Dynamics 365, especially if they have used any other Microsoft apps before.What is customer service in one word? ›
If customer service be defined in one word, that would be SATISFACTION!!Why is customer service important short answer? ›
Why Is Customer Service So Important? Customer service is important because it inspires customer loyalty and makes employees' jobs easier. This, in turn, helps businesses grow. By providing great customer service, organizations can recover customer acquisition costs, retain talent, and foster brand loyalty.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a cloud-based business applications platform that combines components of customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP), along with productivity applications and artificial intelligence tools.How does Dynamic 365 work? ›
Dynamics 365 brings all sales and customer data together into one system, offering users a single source of truth. This gives users a complete picture of their customers' journey, helping them track customer journeys, generate and assess leads, and seize opportunities.What is the role of Dynamics 365? ›
Dynamics 365 security roles are the best way to define who gets to access what. You can control access to data by creating new security roles and modifying the existing ones. You can also assign different security roles to a single user. Security roles let you exercise full control over your data.What are the 4 C's of customer service? ›
To set yourself apart, you need to incorporate the 4C's, which stand for customer experience, conversation, content, and collaboration. Look at them as pillars that hold your client service together. Working on these components in unison and actively managing them will transform your business.What are the 4 pillars of customer service? ›
Gartner, the world's leading research and advisory company, breaks customer service down into four pillars: Getting Connected, Process Orchestration, Knowledge & Insight, and Resource Management.What is the most important role of customer service? ›
The primary job of a customer service representative—also referred to as a customer service agent—is to address customer issues and resolve them in a timely and efficient manner.What is a good customer service interview question? ›
General and Common Customer Service Interview Questions
What does good customer service mean to you? What's the best customer service you've ever received? What do you consider to be the most important skills when providing customer service? How do you ensure you maintain good communication with every customer?
With each program in Office 365 taking two to three days of professional training to master, an individual could learn the whole of Office 365 in less than one month.Which CRM is easy to learn? ›
The easiest CRM software to use is Freshsales. It provides a detailed tutorial and walkthrough for when you're setting up, so you know what almost all the features do before you've even started to use the system. On top of this, as CRM interfaces go, it's one of the most intuitive around.What are the 3 main areas in Dynamics CRM? ›
Microsoft Dynamics CRM has three comprehensive functional modules: Sales, Marketing, and Service (or Customer Care).
It depends on the areas that are interested in working in. For instance, learning the operational side of Dynamics 365 typically takes 4 to 5 weeks, however, becoming a manufacturing engineer for Dynamics 365 may take 4 to 5 months.Which language is used in Dynamics 365? ›
The X++ language remains the vehicle for a developing application code for Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Enterprise edition.
Coding standards sometimes referred to as programming styles or coding conventions. It is an important asset to developers and also contributes to the quality of overall project delivery. These standards cover what is important when writing code in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.What is Dynamics best for? ›
Microsoft Dynamics is an excellent choice for organizations who've outgrown their current CRM. With a wealth of real-time analytics, performance metric tracking, multi-channel relationship management tools, and AI-based recommendations, Microsoft Dynamics provides the advanced tools that other CRM software cannot.Is Microsoft Dynamics 365 in demand? ›
With so many organizations turning to the Dynamics cloud to update their business processes, the demand for Dynamics 365 professionals will continue to skyrocket, paving the way for enormous opportunities for administrators, developers, and consultants alike.How do you best describe customer service? ›
Customer service is the act of providing support to both prospective and existing customers. Customer service professionals commonly answer customer questions through in-person, phone, email, chat, and social media interactions and may also be responsible for creating documentation for self-service support.How can I describe my customer service? ›
Customer service involves being a kind, courteous, and professional face for the company. It also involves listening carefully to customer wants and concerns. Beyond listening, customer service is doing everything in one's power to efficiently and accurately serve each customer.What is the difference between Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365? ›
In addition, Microsoft 365 is a service bundle that includes Office 365 and several additional services, such as Windows 10 Enterprise. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Service is an all-in-one solution for businesses for small and midsize companies that connects people and processes as never before.Is Microsoft Dynamics 365 a tool? ›
Microsoft Dynamics, a cloud-based CRM tool, caters to most requirements quite well. With Dynamics 365, Microsoft revamped its business cloud applications by bringing a variety of functions including marketing, sales, and customer support under one roof.What is Dynamics 365 customer engagement? ›
Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (on-premises) is a customer relationship management business solution that helps you improve marketing capabilities for your business, drive your sales higher, and provide excellent customer service to your users.
Dynamics 365 CRM - SQL server is the database used for Dynamics 365 system and it is one of the pre-requisites to install Dynamics 365.Is Dynamics 365 a CRM or ERP? ›
Dynamics 365 gives you a unified view of your business
Streamline your everyday financials and operations with Dynamics 365—an ERP software solution that helps you collaborate effectively, optimize business tasks, and drive growth.
Dynamics 365 gives you the ability to create three different types of fields depending on the need and type of data you want to accumulate or demonstrate. Here is a list of these fields with a brief description of their potential. One line of text: This field can include up to 4 000 characters of text.What is the new name for Dynamics 365? ›
MB-320: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Manufacturing will become MB-320: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, Manufacturing.What does Dynamics 365 customer engagement include? ›
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (CE) (formerly known as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Relationship Management – CRM) is designed to help you manage your client relationships by streamlining your processes, centralizing client information, providing analysis, and enabling responsive customer service.What does CRM stand for in Dynamics 365? ›
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a set of integrated, data-driven software solutions that help manage, track, and store information related to your company's current and potential customers.What are the 4 pillars of CRM? ›
A successful implementation of CRM is majorly built on four pillars such as workforce, strategy, processes and technology. To design any CRM process we need to consider each of these elements which if ignored, may result in failure of CRM implementation.What is customer data type in Dynamics 365? ›
A new Data Type called as “Customer“is introduced in Dynamics 365 to have a lookup to either Account or Contact entity. In order to add a Customer type field, modify an existing form or create a new one, and add a new field. In the data type select from the drop-down Customer, as seen below. Remember.What are the three pillars of customer engagement? ›
These companies rely on three main strategies to develop and maintain a customer-centric business approach, namely customer development, customer retention, and customer acquisition.How many types of Microsoft Dynamics are there? ›
It comes in two major versions, Sales Enterprise and the smaller Sales Professional. Dynamics 365 Customer Service – A CRM for customer profiles, service cases, and other relationship management functions.
There are three main types of CRM systems: collaborative, analytical, and operational. Here's how to choose the best one for creating better conversational customer experiences for your customers.What is CRM in simple words? ›
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a technology for managing all your company's relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. The goal is simple: Improve business relationships. A CRM system helps companies stay connected to customers, streamline processes, and improve profitability.What is the difference between CRM and Dynamics 365? ›
Dynamics 365 is a combined CRM and ERP product that includes full Dynamics AX suite for ERP and the Business Edition includes the financial suite built from Dynamics NAV. Unlike its predecessor, Dynamics 365 eliminates the traditional silos that exist between external (CRM) and internal (ERP) information.