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Are one-to-one relationships between agents and customers a good idea?

Expert Martha Rogers discusses the relationship customer service representatives (CSRs) should have with customers.

Should customer service representatives (CSRs) be assigned to specific customers, allowing them to establish a relationship and provide more personalized service? How might this strategy impact customer profitability?
This is an excellent question, but what's really important is to have a strong philosophy and culture that puts customers and their needs first. Make it clear that the goal is to do what's right for the customer, to be trustworthy with the customer and to treat customers the way we'd want to be treated if we were customers. Then it's okay to have somebody different answer the phone each time. If I'm a customer and I don't have to go through my whole story again just because I got a different person, it may feel as though I'm being handled by the same person. The only exception to this might be if I have a particular problem and it seems serious to me, then I might like to talk to the same person for the next couple of days while we are resolving the issue. But in general, if the information is being handled correctly, I wouldn't need to speak to the same person each time I call.

It's important to understand the difference between the relationship with the human being who is the CSR and the relationship with the company that makes it possible for the customer to reach a person who can help, even if that particular CSR might be on vacation or away from the phone or no longer with the company.

 


Hear more in  Creating Customer Value, a SearchCRM.com monthly podcast series with Peppers and Rogers.

 

This was last published in June 2008

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