If you want to become famous for great customer service experiences day in and day out, what are the key elements on which you need to focus?
Let’s define “customer service experience” as how the (prospective) customer perceives your business, the interactions between you and that customer, and any actions or interactions that take place after the sale. For many businesses this would include relationship building and whether that customer’s perception of you has changed as a result of this experience.
I´m going to list some of them in no particular order (because it will vary depending upon your profession) and I challenge you to add to the list by commenting on this post or by linking to it from your blog. (Scroll allllll the way down for the trackback.)"Form follows function." First you must create a vision, then share that vision with your employees. From that evolves a strategy centering on the customer or on the relationships with the customer.
Hire "service naturals" as T. Scott Gross calls them. These are people with the competencies needed to put them on the leading edge of the bell curve representing your employees.
Treat your employees as if they were your most important customers. "Happy employees = happy customers=greater net income. Research the qualities shared by the Fortune 100 Best Companies To Work For.
Build in an ongoing feedback mechanism using multiple channels so that your employees, your customers, and even your vendors can provide feedback. Act on that feedback.
Be sure your policies and practices enhance rather than impede the customer service experience.
Reward and recognize employees who enhance the customer service experience. Especially those who consistently enhance the customer service experience. Senior managers and owners must practice what they preach. Employees must be held accountable. See my earlier post about using metrics to measure your actions.
Empower your employees to respond immediately to customers´ needs and complaints.
Recognize that, like a great recipe, the successful customer service experience relies on a variety of ingredients such as marketing, location, advertising, internal and external appearance, hiring, training, and more. These ingredients vary in proportion depending on your business and your business model.
Now, your turn, what did I miss?
Creating Customer Evangelists by Ben McDonnell and Jackie Huba
First Break All The Rules by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman
Positively Outrageous Customer Service, by T. Scott Gross
When Customers Talk"?¦ by T. Scott Gross
A Complaint Is A Gift by Janelle Barlow and Claus Moller
""?¦the four "E´´s of GE (General Electric) leadership: "very high energy levels, the ability to energize others around common goals, the edge to make tough yes-and-no decisions, and finally the ability to consistently execute and deliver on their promises."
—From an article in the December 2001 Harvard Management Update
Happy 50th Post To Me:-) This is cool!