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Effective Referral

Completion requirements

There are few better ways to lose potential customers and infuriate existing ones than to pass them from one person or extension to another, whether it’s because there is no reply or because the person cannot help. Employees are often able to answer a query relating to something outside their department. Give accurate information or offer to take a message.

A company may not have a customer service department; in fact, some writers have suggested that it should be banned. Customer service departments were originally set up to handle complaints or deal with queries. They were a gesture to customer care, and they did have the advantage of being highly visible. The problem is that it suggests customer care is limited to one department in the company and that conflicts with the view that everyone is involved in building customer loyalty. However, it provides a focal point for the customer when it is used as a ‘front desk’ for the company, allowing a single access point for all services and enquiries. So, if a customer has a query, but doesn’t know whom to contact, someone who knows can put him in touch with the right person. This is in sharp contrast to the experience of being passed from one extension to another or being left on the end of a line that nobody answers.

To do this “front desk” job properly the contact needs to be familiar with all the departments in the company and needs to have good customer handling techniques. The customer service department should not be a wall, which prevents customer’s complaints getting into the organisation.