In my last post I listed a series of customer service fundamentals that should be customized to fit your organization’s needs.
If we liken creating a customer-focused culture to building a home, those fundamentals are your foundation. Next you’ll need to add the vertical supports that will support your walls and ceilings. Those are your customer service standards which are descriptions of the desired behaviors. To be sure everyone is on the same page, the standard first defines the behavior, provides examples, and then adds a rationale laying out its importance.
For example, when our inbound call center was created, this was the standard for active listening.
Active Listening Standard
Definition: The Active Listening Standard is acknowledging information provided by the constituent and using that information as needed throughout the interaction. It also incorporates attentiveness, empathy, and objectivity to establish an appropriate rapport with the constituent.
? Be polite and considerate
? Use words and phrasing appropriate for the constituent
? Do not interrupt the constituent
? Refocus the constituent when appropriate
? Recall and reference essential information provided by the constituent as required throughout the conversation
? Answer or acknowledge direct questions
? Express understanding if the constituent mentions a personal situation
? Remain objective when making suggestions
? Apologize if the constituent is asked to repeat information
? Maintain a professional demeanor while expressing empathy and compassion. A good example would be reflective statements such as:
o “That must be a difficult situation…”
o “It sounds like you may be having trouble with…”
Rationale: Active Listening is key to the delivery of outstanding customer service and demonstrates that we are focused on the constituent. It is the first step in building a relationship with the constituent.
Other examples of standards could include:
– Accuracy of Information – Diffusing Anger
– Active Listening – Hold
– Branding – Information Fulfillment
– Call Connection/Transfer – Leveraging Opportunities
– Communication Skills – Ownership
– Customer Name – Privacy/Confidentiality
– Contact Preference – Service Delivery
– Data Entry
What standards will you need?