Effective Customer Service Program
Seven Guaranteed Ways To Get Your Employees to Care About Your Customers and Company
1) The Ability to Associate - The term empowered is intangible, so simply telling employees that they are empowered to make their own decisions on how to best deal with your customers is not enough. Intangible meanings provide your employees with no means of associating that term.
Let's put great customer service that everyone can relate to and get away from this word empowered! Let us use real life situations to help them better understand. When you teach your employees to think like doctors, whom I have used for many years with great success, the concept comes to life. After all, everyone has had experiences with doctors, and has seen firsthand what it means to have someone completely focused on solving personal issues. That is what great customer service is all about! You may use whatever analogy or hypothetical situation you would like, but explain the concept in a way that makes it a relatable situation to the employees.
2) We Are All in The Customer Service Business - It's important to remember, first and foremost, that every business or position in this world, no matter what field it might be, is ultimately in the business of customer service. It doesn't matter whether you're working for McDonald's or John Hopkins Hospital, or whether you are a mail handler, secretary, or CEO of a company that is among the Fortune 500. The key to your company's success, and your own, can be summed up in just three simple words: great customer service.
3) The 90% Rule - You might not be able to satisfy every customer, but you need to be able to solve ninety percent of your client's issues if you are to continue to expand your company's horizon, even if it only means giving expert advice. Your customers come to you seeking answers to things they want or can't comprehend. Teach your employees that when customers walk through your door, they're seeking solutions, just like patients to a doctor. If you are able to satisfactorily solve problems for your customers ninety percent of the time, your company will be well above average, accordingly, you will be well on your way to success. It's an achievable goal.
4) There's always a Resolution - If a customer asks a question about a product that you or your employees cannot answer, it's not the time to panic or tell the customer you don't know, or even worse, send them to a competitor. Rather, when confronted with this often uncomfortable situation, it's the time to shine, get resourceful and prove to your customers that you are truly committed to providing superior customer service! Get your employees to start thinking like a doctor and understanding the needs of the customers. Once you exhaust all your resources then search outside your organization for answers. Remember, the customer doesn't care what resources you tap into to solve their issues--they just want them solved.
5) Catch It Before It Happens - To be an effective employer, you must be an excellent listener and completely honest with yourself and workers. Talk with your employees about their job and feelings toward their fellow employees, customers and personal goals.
This can be done one-on-one or during weekly or biweekly meetings, which I strongly encourage. If there are any red flags, and you are truly listening and allowing the employees to speak freely what is on their mind, these red flags will appear which allows you the opportunity to take preventative measures. These proactive steps will help build trust within your company and help avoid many confrontations, embarrassing situations, or lost of customers.
6) Finding Accomplishment With-in Your Day - Teach your employees how to find success in each day, even when their days are off to a bad start. Though it might sound counterintuitive, helping your customers can actually be cathartic, offering you a chance to forget, at least for awhile, about negative issues at hand. In fact, concentrating solely on your customers can be a great way to cruise through a day, no matter which rung of the corporate ladder you occupy.
You'll be so caught up in giving your clients excellent customer service that before you know it, your work day will be over and you'll find that it was actually a pretty good one at that! With all of your customers satisfied, you'll feel a sense of accomplishment that will improve your confidence in your ability to deal with your own difficulties. However, don't get too caught up in your feelings, because feelings are just that--feelings! Feelings are not facts. So whatever feelings you are having on any given day, always remember that they will eventually pass, good or bad, so find a customer and make their day!
7) Mining Your Gold - Your employees are just like a rough piece of gold. You have to go through the process of transforming that piece of gold into a beautiful work of art. You have to burn it, melt it down, shape it and then finally bring out the shine. The same principle applies to your employees. So look out for that rough employee with great potential or even that shining employee and bring out the best in them and it will pay off ten times over. Let them know that you notice all of their good work and remind them to never look down on themselves or the job they currently hold. Every position in every company is important to the ultimate success of a business--and that includes your job!
So let them know that they owe it to their self, their family, and the company to perform their best. Encourage your employees to gain more knowledge about the products and services the business has to offer, interact with customers, and focus on the needs of the customer. This approach will pay off for both the employee and company.
These are seven basic rules and guidelines in which all companies should follow if they are to achieve any type of success with their company and its customer service program. As with anything that requires more than one person to operate, it will take a team effort, so start building your team today.