Customer service is an essential element of your company’s success. A decade of excellent business can quickly be tarnished with one dissatisfied customer complaint that goes viral on Facebook. Suddenly, your company’s spotless reputation goes down the drain with all the other wash-outs of the business world. You don’t want this to happen, so what do you do to stay afloat and ensure that your company doesn’t become yesterday’s news?
In order to maintain the shining reputation of your company, your number one goal should be to ensure that each and every customer walks away with an incredible customer service experience. You want your customers to rave about you to anyone who will listen. You want them to brag on your business and tell everyone about the exquisite service they received. Now, let’s look at a couple of ways to achieve that.
Create a Customer Service Culture
You know that your customer service skills need to go from good to grand, but do you know how to do that? Sadly, many companies don’t really know where to start in their efforts to improve customer service. A great customer service plan isn’t always easy to implement. It depends on each and every employee, leader, and vendor, regardless of the amount of interaction they have with customers. If your current service plan seems to only be producing mediocre results, you may need to just scrap your current plan and start all over. In fact, scrap the whole idea of a plan. What you need to achieve the level of service success you desire is a customer service culture. Every member of your company should eat, sleep, and breathe customer service. Now, where do you start?
- Make your customers’ happiness of utmost importance
- Empower your team with the knowledge and ability to deliver that service
- Provide your employees with everyday examples of dynamic internal service that they can’t resist passing on to customers
Step 1: Polish Customer Service Skills from the Inside Out
Did you know your business is comprised of internal customers? You might know them better as Sarah from Sales, Aaron from Accounting, or Fred, the guy you call every time the copier is on the blink. Each and every person who works in or with your company is a customer. This is what’s known in the business world as internal customer service. The idea may seem a little silly at first, but treating every individual you work with as a customer is an essential element of quality customer service and interaction.
This fundamental concept is the key to open the door of incredible customer service in any business. When you and everyone you work with start to view each other as internal customers worthy of awesome customer service, you start an incredible chain reaction that permeates through every aspect of your business.
A company’s customer service is only as good as its weakest link. Make sure that weakest link is receiving the same kind of treatment they are expected to provide. You’ll be amazed how this simple strategy can overhaul your customer service and take it from average to awesome.
Step 2: Grow a Customer Service Tree
As mentioned earlier, each and every person within the company plays an essential role in customer service. A customer service tree is a document that is drawn up to show how each team, position, department, and person relates to the other members. The tree shows who is responsible for what and how their actions affect the rest of the members. When you draw up this document, be specific about each member’s responsibilities. Don’t simply state that Bob reports to Tom, but explain what Bob is responsible to report to Tom.
Step 3: Lend an Ear
Learn what your employees need to properly, and happily, carry out their jobs and provide the customer service your company needs. Many companies send surveys out to consumers in order to find out how they can best serve them. If you intend to implement a customer service culture, then you need to get input from your internal customers as well. Get feedback from the people on your Service Tree. Find out how they feel about their jobs, if they think the demands placed on them are realistic, and what they require from their tree-mates to get the job done successfully. Leave the lines of communication open, and you will soon see your tree blossom and bloom.
Step 4: Set the Bar
Make sure each person on your tree knows exactly what they are responsible for and how long it should take them to complete that. Be realistic when setting the bar. Don’t push your employees to complete a task in a rushed time constraint. Be transparent and make sure each person has a clear picture of what is expected of them.
Step 5: Break Down Barriers
Comradery and close friendships in the work environment help increase employee satisfaction and create a sense of trust between employees. This makes providing stellar customer service a lot easier. Provide opportunities for your employees to be social with one another. Plan company picnics, team-building events, and other mixers. You should also add a social element to the company in the form of bulletin boards, company newsletters, and social media groups.
The Bottom Line
Creating a customer service culture within the workplace means your employees will feel more involved and appreciated. This results in happy employees. Happy employees means higher productivity, lower turnover rates, and excellent customer service. All of this ultimately results in customer loyalty and appreciation. Your customers will brag about the great customer service they received at your company. In turn, this will result in more customers and increased business. It’s a win-win situation. Your employees are happy, your customers are happy, and you can smile at the fruits of your labor. Now, isn’t it time to start creating your customer service culture today?