We all know, deep down, that customer relationships should never be left to chance.
Improving customer service is usually something managers imagine they’ll get around to – in time. Sadly, that point rarely comes. The day-to-day running of a corporation takes over, and customer service is relegated to the rear of the queue.
So now’s the time to seize that moment! Here are ten simple improvements that you just can start on today.
- Check Your Customer’s Pulse – when you interact with a customer, nose to nose or over the phone, initiate a fast discussion to measure how they’re feeling. And as you start to create a relationship with a customer, consider doing a fast survey or comment card. This may easily demonstrate to customers, employees and competitors alike, that you just shall continually improve on your service.
- Check Your Employee’s Pulse – Your employees are an untapped source of customer information. Take the time to concentrate and understand. It may be a true eye-opener. They see the obstacles your customers should overcome so as to use your products and services. they may even see business opportunities. Years ago, when working for an oversized telecommunications company, I discovered customers using our products and services in ways the merchandise development people and marketing folks had never dreamed of. Your staff are those closest to your customers. Use their wisdom.
- Define Your Customer Service Belief System – Ask any number of your staff for the definition of customer service and see what you get. Most organizations assume that everybody is on the identical page, that somehow everyone knows the importance of customer service and what it means to customers and therefore the organization. it’s rarely the case. Everybody has their own “take” on standards of service. you would like to conform to a definitive version instantly.
- Understand Your Customer’s Obstacles – Many managers forget (or don’t know) what it’s like to be a customer of their own business. Watch your customers’ movements and behavior once they are in your organization. Are they visibly annoyed? Do they exchange lines, watching their watch? Are you able to tell by their visual communication that they might well be somewhere else? Do your frontline staff seem conscious of their needs? Gather this information as you set about your daily tasks.
- Data Drive Your Business – If you don’t currently collect valuable customer data, then now could be the time to start. It doesn’t have to be in any great detail. Utilizing this information is paramount to keeping customers connected to your organization. The concept here isn’t to inundate the customer with content – there’s a time for marketing. it’s more to try and do with adding value to their relationship with you. After all, this is often a relationship supported by trust. they need already shared their “private” information with you; now you’ve got the chance to provide something back. How? Send them a periodic e-mail that provides tips and hints on a way to change their lives for the higher.
- Change Your Employment Policy – I often see ads for frontline customer staff saying: “5 years’ experience required.” It’s understandable that companies would want new people to hit the bottom running. But this could not be the most effective approach when it involves customer service. We’ve all heard the old saying, familiarity breeds contempt. This is often the case with veteran customer-facing staff. they’ll be battle-worn, preferring to consider acquired technical skills rather than specializing in the customer. Unless high levels of technical skill are required for the post, it’d be better to rent largely for a positive, upbeat and enthusiastic outlook and train for the remainder. It won’t suit every situation in fact, but hiring cheerful, and training for skill, has its strengths.
- Lay Down The Law Of Customer Service – Unless you’re blessed with the gift of telepathy, sooner or later you’re visiting must create a customer service “law” for your business. It simply must assign the customer the much loved priority, during a clear and understandable way, and it has to be obeyed. ensure that everybody who interacts with a customer, lives and breathes the “law” of your customer service on every occasion.
- Turn Customer Service Into A Sales Driver – What better time to introduce a customer to the greater benefits of your product or service than at the purpose of sale. Educate your customer service people to totally understand the various benefits you’re offering, and train them to elucidate these benefits to the customer in a very comfortable, conversational way. Many employees freeze at the mention of “sales”. But a helpful conversation with a customer isn’t the same as a sales discussion. Encourage your customer service folks to speak to customers like an adviser, not a salesman.
Improving customer service will never be a fast fix
- Establish Visible Measures Of Success – Every business is different. But the one thing all of them have in common is that they have to keep customers happy and to keep them returning. Determine core customer service measures of success. As an example, if you wish your regular customers to return or increase the number they buy, then measure that as a goal of your customer service team. If you’ve got a longtime survey method, use the results to drive understanding of where you’ll be able to and must improve. A note of caution – avoid measuring something simply because you have got the tools. Your measurements must be meaningful. they have to improve your customer service.
- Communicate – whether or not managers do find the time to launch a customer service improvement campaign, many struggle to keep up the trouble and so never see lasting results. Often the matter is rooted within the management desire to try and do it once and done. Unfortunately, customer service isn’t like that. it’s to be reinforced, learned and practiced continually, with regular management input. Try an easy management communication technique that you just can start today. Hold daily 1-minute “huddles”! Gather frontline or backroom employees during a hallway or lobby, once a day, only for a second, to substantiate their customer service understanding. Many retail organisations try this. It allows you to chart the day’s goals and it reminds employees of the foremost grownup within the organisation. The customer.
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Improving customer service will never be a fast fix. It’s an endless journey, but a vital and rewarding one. Make this your decisive moment and commence the journey today.