This is a guest post by fellow customer service advocate, NBRI. Via their tweets and blog posts, I know they share the same passion as I do to help businesses deliver an exceptional customer experience. You can find out more about them at the end of this post.
You don’t have to be a professional to distinguish between great and poor customer service. It’s the difference between a smile and a sigh from the employee handing you your coffee. It’s vital to your survival as a company to deliver amazing customer service from top to bottom.
Delivering amazing customer service requires continuous focus. It’s a journey not a destination. As a leader, you are continually setting an example that encourages others to follow your lead. Here are three things that you can do to set an example within your own organization that will lead to increased customer satisfaction:
When Asked, It’s Not Someone Else’s Job
Whether you’re in a retail store or a corporate office, you’re asked to do a lot, both from customers and fellow employees. If you’re approached by either, it’s off-putting to continually redirect them to someone else. Especially when it comes to customers, complete the task for them if at all possible. Show them to the right aisle or answer their question. If the customer has a need, personally fulfill it when you can. The customer does not know that what they need is someone else’s responsibility, nor should they care. If other employees continually see you ‘passing the buck’, they will follow your course.
This is the easiest, yet most overlooked part of customer service. Even over the phone, you can tell if someone is smiling when they speak. Smiles are contagious, and there’s no easier way to put a smile on your customer’s face than to put one on yours. Set the example! You’ll be happy with the results. Check for an employee engagement issue if your employees are struggling with this simple, yet very effective part of customer service.
It’s commonplace to use words such as ‘sure’ and ‘no problem’ when you’re approached with requests. And while there are worse words to use, there are options that are more effective. Your front line and customer service employees should use words such as ‘absolutely’ and ‘definitely’. These words are more powerful and active, while the former are more passive. It’s a subtle difference, but your customers will notice and respond accordingly.
If you’re ready to start providing amazing customer service, you’re in the right place. These tips are a great start, but it takes an organizational commitment to customer service to stay competitive. Our research shows that 70% of the companies with exceptional customer service records have used customer feedback to get where they are. Bill is a world-renowned customer service training expert, and NBRI can track your customer feedback over time to make sure that improvements you’ve implemented are having the desired effect. Most markets are highly competitive. Don’t let customers slip through your fingers because of a customer service problem that could have been fixed if you had only known it existed.
ABOUT NBRI: Since 1982, NBRI has been a leader in measuring Customer and Employee Satisfaction and Engagement and designing Action Plans to maximize financial performance. NBRI employs industry leading experts, with over 30 Ph.D holders on staff. You can read their blog and follow them on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter.