One of the challenges in improving customer service is putting new
ideas to work. Often they’re not even new ideas but reminders of what
we already know. Ideas are cheap. It’s using them effectively that
brings us the results we want.
Here’s a way to help you improve the quality of your customer service starting right now:
Recognize others for delivering great customer service.
If you want to improve your own customer service then watch people
around you and observe the customer service they deliver. Maybe these
people are co-workers. Maybe they are employees in businesses you
patronize. It doesn’t matter. Your first step is to watch them and note
how they do. Your second step is to reward them when they deliver great
Do they smile? Are they courteous and friendly? Are they prompt? Do
they know their products or services? Are they focused on their
Think about how you define good customer service. Make a list. (If
you need a starting point look here.) Or if your organization already
has customer service standards in place, use them. Then apply them to
other people. Use them to judge how they are delivering customer
Important: Don’t be negative!
The purpose here is to catch people in the act of delivering good
(or great) customer service. You be the judge. You decide whether it
looks or feels like great service. If it does, let them know. Tell them
they did a great job.
This positive feedback is critical to helping others notice when
they have done something right. And it helps motivate them to keep
continue. It also helps you. Because you are focused on noticing and
remembering what makes for great service, you’re thinking about it.
It’s top of mind.
How can you reward others?
A simple thank you works. Or you can be more specific: “Sue, I want
to compliment you on your great service. I really appreciate how
knowledgeable you are about your store’s products.”
Be creative. Think of how you’d like someone to recognize you for
delivering great customer service. What would make you feel good?
Finally, your last step is to do it yourself. Since you’re already
focusing on great service, incorporate it into your work. As you watch
others do it, you’ll find it easier to remember and do yourself.
If you manage people and you want to help them improve their
customer service, this technique can help you too. Find ways to get
your team members to recognize each other for delivering great service.
Make it a contest. Show your team it’s important. Give them incentive
to catch others in the act.
As a team leader, manager or owner, you need to do this too. Make
sure you are regularly recognizing and rewarding your employees for
providing great service. This shows them you really do care about
service. It aligns your values with your actions. They see you’re
walking your talk.
Discuss this in your team meetings. Have employee present to the
group the examples of great service they saw from their co-workers.
Then talk about why they’re important and how everyone can do them.
Help your employees remove obstacles to providing great service.
If you do this long enough and often enough, it will become the
norm. You will be building a team of people who work together and help
each other. You’ll be creating a culture of service that will naturally
deliver amazing service to your customers.