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Offering great customer service is hard. The definition of what it is exactly changes from customer to customer and from situation to situation. This makes it especially difficult for employees who try to apply their company training to a particular situation. In a connected world, customer service has become the new marketing. A dissatisfied customer used to be able to tell seven people. With social media, they now can tell 7 million people!
In focusing on customer service, leaders need to answer these questions first.
- What does the customer mean to their company mission?
- What is their personal attitude toward customers?
- What do their employees and customers think they do right and wrong?
- How do they personally stay in touch with customers?
- What characteristics do they look for in front-line sales and service people?
- Have they empowered their employees?
- How much process is in place to identify issues and solutions immediately?
Next, to provide great customer service consistently, every leader needs to achieve two things within their organizations.
- Establish a customer service manifesto on what customers can expect each time they do business with their company.
- Train their employees on this manifesto and how to respond to customers in 99% of the situations, since the biggest complaint people have is being forced to explain their problem over and over again to different employees inside the company.
Here is a sample of what needs to be in that manifesto.
- We will deliver on what we promised.
- We will listen attentively to all your concerns.
- We will be easy to reach especially when things go wrong.
- We will resolve your issues in a reasonable time frame.
- We will admit when we made a mistake.
- We will empower our employees to solve your issue at the point it occurs.
- We will not charge separate nuisance fees or surcharges.
- We will treat you with respect and dignity at all times.
- When we decide to change something, we will tell you in advance.
- We will never sell any information about you without your permission.
- We will offer you several convenient ways to provide us feedback.
- In every situation, we will ask you what it would take to make you feel satisfied.
Studies show that when employees know what is expected of them, are trained well and have control over their work, they are more satisfied in their jobs. Happy employees always treat their customers better. Happy customers always come back and refer their colleagues.
How have you specifically focused on improving customer service in your organization?