Seven Keys to Award-Winning Customer Service
By: Michael Buechele, Elevation Business Coaching, Inc.
As you grow your business, keeping a good customer service policy will get harder. You will add more employees, more products lines, more departments, and more tiers of management. The problem of growth in relation to customer service is you get farther away from your customer. You may not have your finger on the pulse of your customerís needs anymore.
Here Are The Seven Keys to Keep Your Customer Service Fresh
- Have your customer service policy in writing.
It should be framed and in the customer service department, even if your department is a room of two people. Your employees should know what the policy is and be ready to live up to it. This doesn't have to be elaborate. Something as simple as "the customer is always right" can lay the necessary groundwork.
- Empower your customer service people.
You can avoid creating dissatisfied customers if you allow your employees to make decisions on the spot. Something like discounting 10% on the customerís bill will satisfy your customers and keep them coming back.
- Create support systems with clear instructions for your employees.
Sometimes, your customer service representative may not solve the issue on the first phone call. You need to have an escalation system with a process that solves the customerís issue while keeping the customer informed. This will allow you to anticipate problems before they arise and stay ahead of your competition.
- Develop a measurement of superb customer service.
Create an employee of the month program. When a customer complements an employee, make it know to everyone.
- Be passionate about outstanding customer service.
Make sure it is known throughout your company and by the public. Commit to providing better customer service than anyone in your industry.
- Be open to suggestions by your employees for improvement.
The employees that talk to your customers everyday know what your customers want.
- Ask your customers what you can do to improve.
This is the fastest way to build award winning customer service. Listen to your customers and give them what they want. Imagine getting a sales letter in the mail. You do not know the company this was sent from and it just goes on and on about how great they are. Do you care? Of course not. As the reader of your letter, you want to read about you. Can this company fulfill your needs? Write with the customer in mind.
About the Author: Michael Buechele founded Elevation Business Coaching, Inc in 2004. Michael has been involved with coaching since 1990 and has experience in multiple industries including retail, publishing, and technology among others.