Without customers, you don’t have a business. So your employees must provide the best possible customer service. You can’t afford not to if profit is your goal. Here are some more ideas for you and your employees to develop to provide high-quality customer service and a sustainable competitive advantage…
1. Ensure your team is honest and open.
The foundation of strong customer relationships is trust. Truthfulness and integrity are essential qualities for exceptional customer service, because when you hide the truth, invariably the customer will find out (or at least suspect it). Nor should there be any variations of the truth-white lies, half-truths, distortions, or excuses. In customer service, it’s surprising what heights you will attain by simply being on the level.
2. Provide customer-service training for your staff.
In the long run, it is more expensive not to train than to train employees. You can’t afford not to provide essential training that will lead to a more responsive organization in terms of customer service. Identify those factors that affect customer service in your organization and focus on improving those. Dealing with difficult customers, effective listening, problem-solving, courtesy, and using the telephone, are just some examples of the training required by all staff-even backroom employees. If your training is not making your organization more responsive, don’t scrap the training, change the program.
3. Remember the key word – RESPONSIVENESS.
Whatever your business, responsiveness is the umbrella covering all organizational activities. Responsiveness is giving customers what they want, courteously, when they want it, at a price that matches their expectations. Customers are prepared to pay more for a product or service delivered when they want it-not when it suits you. Responsiveness is an individual as well as a group quality.
4. Empower employees.
You must give employees the decision-making powers that will allow them to always act in the customers’ best interests and help them to solve their problems. Empowering employees does not mean that you are abrogating responsibilities, but making sure that customers receive a response in the minimum amount of time. Research tells us that most complaining customers will buy from you again if their problem is resolved on the spot.
5. Set the example.
Employees will not treat their customers any better than they themselves are treated. So make sure that you look after your employees. In addition, the way employees hear you talking about customers and the way they see you interacting with them will go a long way to determining the service culture at your workplace. In many ways, you and your actions set the standard for employees to aim for. Telus webmail down
6. Establish benchmarks.
Emulating, even exceeding, leaders in the field of customer service is an established method of improving customer service. You will find that some of the approaches used by your competitors can be applied to your operations. Walmart staff, for example, adhere to this principle: ‘Every time a customer comes within ten feet of me I will smile, look them in the eye, and greet them, so help me Sam.’
7. Be accessible.
You need to remain informed about all aspects of the relationship between your organization and its customers. Let employees and customers know that you value their feedback and encourage them to make regular contact with you. And when a customer takes you up on your offer and makes a complaint to you, don’t go on the defense; accept the information as a way to further improve your service.
8. Add value, add profits.
A customer service focus will be one important way that you and your organization can add value to the way you do things. Adding value goes beyond customer satisfaction to customer confidence. It will also improve the profitability and prosperity of your organization.
9. Hold regular meetings on customer service.
Schedule regular discussions with your staff on service issues. Make ‘The customer’ an agenda item at all your staff and management meetings. Become aware of anti-customer policies and practices, and act to eliminate such things. Speak regularly about the importance of exceptional service. Create a company award which recognizes excellent examples of customer service. Check that all in-house talk shows respect for the customer-ban those negative stories, customer nicknames, and amusing but damaging jokes which are capable of eroding a positive customer culture. Your aim must be to have every employee live the service commitment culture.