There is plenty of room for improvement in how many organizations
serve their customers. And there are substantial benefits for those
that do. The good news is you don’t need to spend a lot of money to
start making improvements in your customer service.
Here are some specific suggestions to get you started.
1. Improve People Skills
To deliver Amazing Service, people skills count. So a fast and high
return way to improve customer service is to find ways to improve your
team’s people skills.
This might include bringing in a speaker or trainer. It could mean
focusing on people skills topics at staff meetings. It could involved
providing useful training content to employees in a variety of formats
like audio CDs, online material, videos, books, blogs, articles and
even newsletters and ezines that cover people skills topics.
2. Make Service a Priority
The biggest reason employees tell us they sometimes fail to deliver
great service is they feel they don’t have the time. They feel they are
faced with competing priorities and they lean toward those perceived to
be most important to management.
If you want your people to make service a priority, you have to show
them you consider it a priority. You need to back up your words with
actions and do it consistently. Ask your employees if your actions
support your words when you tell them customers service is a priority.
Then listen to what they tell you.
3. Talk to Your Customers
The only way you can consistently give your customers what they want
is if you know what they want. Many companies do not know what their
customers want. So find ways to engage your customers in direct and
open conversations. Make this a regular part of your business, not an
annual survey. Make it personal and real. You’ll find your customers
will tell you all you need to know to make them happy and loyal.
4. Get Everyone Involved
The most successful companies use every resource they have to find
solutions and address opportunities. Your employees and customers are
your best resources. And they know best what customers want and what
you can do for them. So get them involved in every aspect of planning
and operating your company. The more engaged they are the more loyal
they will be. Do this on an ongoing basis, not just once in awhile.
5. Make it Easy & Convenient for Customers and Employees to Offer Feedback
The best management information comes from the point of experience,
where your customers and employees do their thing. This is where your
company lives yet it’s something too many managers never see or hear or
feel. Capture this priceless information by creating easy and quick
ways for your staff and customers to give you feedback. Then
acknowledge the feedback you receive, appreciate it and do something
with it or they’ll stop sending it your way. Feedback is priceless!
Pick one of these tips and implement it. Then another, then another.
With each one, make sure you’re happy with the results before starting
the next one. But don’t strive for perfection. Remember, improving
customer service is a process, not an event. It’s about making ongoing
change. Perfection can be the enemy of change. You’ll improve as you go
so you don’t need to be perfect to keep moving forward.