There are substantial benefits for companies that improve their customer service. The good news is you don’t need to spend a lot of money to start making improvements in your customer service. You can make customer service improvements starting today.
Here are some specific suggestions to get you started.
1. Improve People Skills
To deliver Amazing Service, people skills count. So a fast and high return way to improve customer service is to find ways to improve your team’s people skills.
This might include bringing in a speaker or trainer. It could mean focusing on people skills topics at staff meetings. It could involved providing useful training content to employees in a variety of formats like audio CDs, online material, videos, books, blogs, articles and even newsletters and ezines that cover people skills topics.
2. Make Service a Priority
The biggest reason employees tell us they sometimes fail to deliver great service is they feel they don’t have the time. They feel they are faced with competing priorities and they lean toward those perceived to be most important to management.
If you want your people to make service a priority, you have to show them you consider it a priority. You need to back up your words with actions and do it consistently. An example of this would be to conduct frequent and regular customer service training. Ask your employees if your actions support your words when you tell them customers service is a priority. Then listen to what they tell you.
3. Talk to Your Customers
The only way you can consistently give your customers what they want is if you know what they want. Many companies do not know what their customers want. So find ways to engage your customers in direct and open conversations. Make this a regular part of your business, not an annual survey. Make it personal and real. You’ll find your customers will tell you all you need to know to make them happy and loyal.
4. Get Everyone Involved
The most successful companies use every resource they have to find solutions and address opportunities. Your employees and customers are your best resources. And they know best what customers want and what you can do for them. So get them involved in every aspect of planning and operating your company. The more engaged they are the more loyal they will be. Do this on an ongoing basis, not just once in awhile.
5. Make it Easy & Convenient for Customers and Employees to Offer Feedback
The best management information comes from the point of experience, where your customers and employees do their thing. This is where your company lives yet it’s something too many managers never see or hear or feel. Capture this priceless information by creating easy and quick ways for your staff and customers to give you feedback. Then acknowledge the feedback you receive, appreciate it and do something with it or they’ll stop sending it your way. Feedback is priceless!
Pick one of these tips and implement it. Then another, then another. With each one, make sure you’re happy with the results before starting the next one. But don’t strive for perfection. Remember, improving customer service is a process, not an event. It’s about making ongoing change. Perfection can be the enemy of change. You’ll improve as you go so you don’t need to be perfect to keep moving forward.