Customer Service: Part Two
Last week’s segment was all about customer service policies and setting expectations. Now that you’ve prepared your company for success by pledging exceptional customer service, it’s time to deliver on those promises.
Policies, processes and procedures become meaningful when there is concrete evidence at the foundation. This is especially true when it comes to customer service – saying you will go to great lengths to please your customers will only go so far. As the age-old adage states: actions speak louder than words.
So how do you ensure that all members of your team band together in a collaborative effort to deliver the best to your clientele? It begins and ends with YOU. Set the bar high, live by your promises and always, always, always lead by example. Need more pointers? Here are a few other tips that will help you deliver when it really counts:
Tips for Delivering Great Customer Service
1. Develop Concrete Strategies
What does excellent customer service really translate into for your company? Ensure that you have a system in place to assist your customers at the highest level. If you’ve claimed that your customer service is the best of the best, then get ready to fulfill your promise. Whether it’s live chat software on your website, a 24/7 customer service line, or white glove service, you’ll need to implement concrete measures that will allow you to make good on your word.
2. Define the Extra Mile
Your customer service policy states that you will always go above and beyond the call of duty to satisfy your customers. Implement a strategy that spells out what, exactly, this means for your team members. Brainstorm various ideas that will help your employees go that extra mile if given the opportunity. For example, in addition to their regular job duties and customer interaction, Weed Man technicians always look for extra ways to help homeowners before, during and after a lawn care treatment. This might involve moving empty garbage bins from the curb and bringing them up to the home. While a small step, it is something that our customers appreciate and remember.
3. Make it Standard
Good customer service should not be a simple add on (e.g. “remember to be nice!”), but rather part and parcel of your complete approach to fulfilling a customer’s needs. Standardize the notion of excellence by training your employees from day one. Role play using a variety of scenarios to see how your staff members think on their feet and how they may react to sometimes unfavorable circumstances. Discuss strategies for improvement on a regular basis.
4. Interact with Customers
Remember the idea of setting the bar high? Find a way to interact with customers and show your employees what good customer service is all about. If you treat customers with kindness and respect,
your team will follow suit.
5. Communicate (!)
While your customer service policies and radio advertisements are all squeaky clean, you will not be able to hide behind them at the end of the day. Don’t shy away from the opportunity to speak with customers when they really need you. Answer your phones, respond to e-mails and have a physical presence when required. Nothing showcases the strength of your brand more than firsthand, courteous communication with your customers.
6. Think in the Future
There is no denying that customer service involves the now. However, it is also a good indicator of the potential for repeat business down the road. Think about various strategies you can employ to ensure that your service extends far beyond an initial interaction. A thank you note or e-mail can go a long way in procuring a future transaction.
In today’s competitive marketplace, the majority of businesses now have customer service policies in place. Policies on their own are meaningless without a consistent dedication to the customer’s satisfaction. How the public views your company is entirely dependent on how hard you work to live by your word. Fulfilling your promises and going above and beyond on a regular basis will help you stand out from the crowd and attract new business.