(While I’m on vacation this week, please enjoy this, my fourth post, from September, 2004.)
“Exceed The Need!”?? is the slogan adopted by my organization´s call center to remind its staff that superlative customer service is THE most important objective. I love it! First, it´s brief, a mere three words. Second, it accurately describes what the call center wants to accomplish. Third, it rhymes, making it clever and memorable. But there´s plenty of steak to back up that sizzle. Simple metrics have been identified to easily track each interaction. Whether your business has one employee or 100, you too can come up with metrics that enable you or other managers to manage your customer relations. First, let´s “keep it simple, Shirley.”?? You don´t need any algorithms as you create the standards you want your employees to meet or exceed. Just divide them into three categories. They are:
1. Failed to meet the need,
2. Met the need,
3. Exceeded the need.
Let´s look at several examples. First, let´s take a retail environment. A customer walks into your store. Let´s say the standard is that each customer is to be greeted within a set period of seconds regardless of whether your floor staff is busy or not. Observing their behavior, using secret shoppers, and soliciting feed back from your customers can give you the data you need.
If my company has just installed network copiers and you tell me you´ll be out in two hours when one of them goes down, that standard is easy to measure and the result will fit into one of the three categories. Other standards will be more difficult, but the data can be compiled. Some standards can be “universal”?? in that everyone follows them. For example, how will your staff handle and report complaints?
Others may need to be tailored to each account. A supervisor should sit down with an account rep and work out standards or expectations for building a relationship with a particular major account. How many contacts will be made? How often? What´s the purpose of each contact? Using these three simple categories can help you analyze your employees´ efforts and provide them with effective training and coaching. Go ahead, exceed the need!
“Even if you´re on the right track, you´ll get run over if you just sit there.”