What is a customer service model? (Steps and benefits)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 11 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A customer service model is a system that facilitates communication with customers and provides a platform to channel complaints, enquiries or general opinions. Building a proper model can ensure that a company provides adequate customer service. Learning what a customer service model is helps you focus on customer satisfaction, which enhances customer retention. In this article, we answer 'What is a customer service model?', explain how to build one, outline its benefits and define tips for effective implementation.

What is a customer service model?

The answer to 'What is a customer service model?' is it's a method a company applies to provide an efficient service to customers. It involves creating sustainable policies and strategies surrounding consumer engagement. Customer service typically begins during the first interaction with a company and usually continues from product sales to customer feedback. A client service model can help a company provide consumers with adequate service by forming a communication channel where they can air grievances, make enquiries and share opinions. A basic customer service model may entail strategies to achieve the following:

  • resolve customer complaints

  • receive feedback from customers

  • maintain employee satisfaction

  • increase customer satisfaction

Related: Q&A: what is customer service and why is it important?

How to build a customer service model

You can follow these 10 steps to build a customer service model for a company:

1. Establish customer service goals

The specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound (SMART) framework can provide you with an effective approach to setting goals. Goal setting allows you to define a clear vision of the company's customer service objective and explain it to the employees. This gives employees a good understanding of customer importance and their role in keeping the clients happy. It can also motivate them to be more diligent in their responsibilities since their role in achieving this goal is clear. Some of these goals include reducing customer waiting time, improving employee skills and increasing favourable feedback rates.

Related: How to write SMART goals in six steps (with tips and examples)

2. Collect feedback from the customer

Consider surveys and polls, customer feedback communities, emails and forms and internal feedback to obtain the opinions of customers. Collecting feedback from customers can help you understand the customer's challenges at the product or service environment level. You can collect feedback from customers by analysing the following areas:

  • common customer complaints

  • the channels customers use to provide feedback

  • the time interval between product or service acquisition and customer contact

  • the frequency of customer contact

  • the number of positive to negative reviews

Related: How to write customer service emails (with examples)

3. Develop solutions for customer challenges

You can discuss customer issues with a service management team to determine the most appropriate solutions. A systematic approach toward problem-solving can involve the following:

  • Identify the issue: You can collect feedback from customers to help identify issues.

  • Do extensive research into creative ways to resolve the issues: Consider using books, online resources or even experts to resolve the issues. Extensive research can help you understand the situation better.

  • Share, consolidate and evaluate gathered ideas: You can pool the various ideas you gathered to choose the most appropriate solution.

  • Form an action plan: Forming an action plan can clarify the steps necessary to implement the plan.

Related: 7 common problem-solving strategies (and how they work)

4. Hire the right employees

The customer service industry may require patience, empathy, adaptability, communication and dependability skills. These abilities enable you to handle customers calmly, providing a positive client experience. During recruitment, a company may consider candidates with these qualities to build a conducive customer service environment that benefits the organisation.

Related: Customer service skills: examples, definition and how to demonstrate

5. Provide in-service training to the employees

Creating a customer service model aims to give consumers an avenue to access help with the company's product or services. You can train employees regarding these products and services to help them handle questions from customers adequately. You can also help enhance employees' communication skills, enabling them to deal with customers politely and professionally to provide a positive customer experience.

6. Adopt accountability systems

Employees can play an important role in providing customer service, while customers are highly valuable for a company's performance. Monitoring the customer service team's behaviour in their respective roles in product service can be a suitable performance management method. Consider sharing positive customer reviews with the employees to motivate them in their various responsibilities.

7. Match the customer service tactics to the service offered

It's important to identify a suitable model for the company. Consider analysing the services provided by the company to determine the optimal service model. Consider adjusting these service models to suit the company because they seldom provide a universal fit. Some companies offer different products and services, while others deal with perishables or non-perishables. Some deal with tangible products while others deal with intangible ones.

Related: What is application performance monitoring in the workplace?

8. Establish a continuous feedback loop

A continuous feedback loop can enable constant customer engagement, even as the company grows. You can use the feedback to create a performance monitoring platform where you can gauge modifications made in the company and establish customer service setbacks. You can also use the continuous feedback loop to get insight into the most appropriate feedback channel consumers prefer. For instance, you may notice that customers prefer to communicate via online platforms, such as social media and web chats, rather than phone calls and emails.

Related: Customer feedback forms (with tips for designing one)

9. Establish a reward system for exemplary customer service

A company can appreciate and reward exemplary employee service as it may motivate others to improve their performance. Rewarding them may help attract and keep talent in the organisation. Consider recognising 'employees of the month' or providing gifts to employees who demonstrate exemplary service.

Related: What is an employee retention strategy and why is it important?

10. Create a reward programme for loyal customers

Besides offering gratifying customer service, you can also reward loyal customers. Rewards may incentivise them to keep coming back. Several reward programmes exist to appreciate loyal customers. For example, you can develop a point-based loyalty reward system where customers can accumulate points to redeem later or use to purchase other services from the company.

Related: How to improve customer retention rate (with benefits)

Benefits of implementing a customer service model

Implementing a useful customer service model can ensure that the company focuses on providing a satisfactory customer service experience. These benefits include the following:

  • Promotes customer retention: Good client service may motivate the consumer to return, which can provide a beneficial long-term relationship between the client and the company.

  • Builds a company's reputation: A reputable image for the company may attract more lucrative opportunities as people like to associate with such enterprises.

  • Boosts sales: Recommendations from loyal customers and a reputable image may attract clients to the company.

  • Improves company performance: A suitable model can allow you to monitor the company's performance and highlight areas you can work on to improve.

  • Improves the working environment for employees: These systems can help employees clearly understand their responsibilities, allowing them to be more productive.

  • Enhances resource management: A good client service model can provide insight into performance, allowing you to identify wasted resources and improve resource management for more significant profits.

Related: 10 ways to consistently offer good customer service

Tips for implementing a customer service model

Consider the following tips when implementing a customer service model:

  • Create an action plan. An action plan can help you highlight the steps for applying a customer service model in an organised manner, helping to ensure proper resource utilisation and a better chance of success.

  • Involve the customers. Consumers can review the company's performance after implementing this model. Maintaining a feedback flow allows you to monitor progress.

  • Use a model that aligns with the company's services and products. A company that provides mostly online services can benefit from applying an appropriate model. For example, the company can focus on implementing an online feedback channel system rather than a front desk feedback station.

  • Provide efficient product sales services. After-sales services, such as installation and maintenance, can improve the customer experience and boost the company's reputation.

  • Provide the consumer with various feedback channels. Consider adding contact information on receipts, the company's webpage or its social media platforms.

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