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Delighting Customers - Three Solutions to Make the Difference

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Customer service is the holy grail of most service and product organizations. Yet there are three basics that are vital to go further - to delight your customers...

The radio show I was listening to was debating the reasons for rude and offhand customer service. I had to share with them the three simple reasons for poor customer service (interestingly, they let the phone ring out and cut me off after a while, so not so special customer service at their end!).

So here are just three simple reasons - none of which are the fault of the person giving the customer service!

So then, three simple reasons - and solutions...

First - the wrong people are recruited for customer service programs. Retail (my background) is tough - some customers are tough and it is not as attractive a proposition to some people as an easier number in an office. So recruiters panic and take what they can get - often the wrong people to face customers. Recruit 'people' people for your customer-facing work.

Second - management quality is frequently poor. Here, often again due to poor recruiting (because there is a big shortage of good managers in the UK), the wrong people get recruited into management - they are not 'people' people either. Managers need to deliver results, sure, but they also need to use their employees in the very best way - by coming alongside them and working together, utilizing their special skills and squeezing the very best from them. Yet, in a way in which the employee loves the work. It is fun, fulfilling and their environment is conducive to enjoyment. Recruit sharp managers, especially those who have the very best 'people' skills.

Finally - customer service is about focus. Your freshly recruited 'people' people, well supported from above, need to be freed up to look after the customers they want to give great service to. Organizations are much more demanding, to meet the requirements of shareholders profit needs, and use multi-tasking to drive productivity. Focusing on three tasks at once means they can't give their total focus to delighting customers by building great relationships with every one of them. There is a place for multitasking, but other jobs must very clearly come second to customers. Personally, I think multitasking is actually less productive, but that's me. Give your customer-facing people the complete freedom to focus on customers.

I never heard whether my comments got aired, though they did ring me back, the signal got lost. All that free advice, lost forever - except to reader here, of course! Focusing on my loyal 'customers' :-)

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