Not delivering an outstanding customer experience can lead to unfavorable opinions about a brand, and even an entire industry. Many small businesses don't prepare for a crisis, leaving them susceptible to public criticism and the potential loss of customers and revenue.
Some companies track a monthly “complaints and compliments ratio” for each branch, store, department, country or station. This approach has a fundamental flaw when it comes to customer service training.
Avaya this week announced the results of a Customer Effort Impact Survey that highlights how the amount of work a customer exerts to obtain service affects business priorities of revenue and market growth, brand loyalty, and operational margins.
Customer service would be easy if absolutes such as these were indeed true. In today's highly interactive world of customized customer service, nothing could be LESS needed than training in such fallible absolutes.
Excellence comes out of respect, which is at the heart of customer service. It starts with internal service; treating the employees with the same respect and attitude as you would want the customer treated. You can't expect the customer to experience excellence if you don't first create excellence internally.
When you invest in customer service training, you naturally want results. The sad truth is that many times there are no lasting results from business training programs. Sometimes this can be the fault of a poor instructor or materials, but more often it is a result of how training fits into a bigger business picture.
The line between customer service and marketing is becoming blurred, and some companies are even counting customer service as a marketing expense. Although in the past there were definitive marketing and customer service "departments," it makes sense to acknowledge their relationship and interaction for the overall good of the company.
Do you find yourself reluctant to touch base with customers because of fear of what you might find? Do you think that no news is good news? When you think about reaching out, do you ask yourself, "What if something is broken?" or, "What if they ask a question I can't answer?"
We all know the difference between good and bad service, but in order to compete, you have to move beyond this and focus on the overall experience you create for your customers. Successful companies must shift their focus from providing satisfactory customer service to creating a memorable customer experience that builds loyalty.
Are you bold enough to BE THE BOSS of your customer service efforts? Although it may seem politically incorrect these days to assert your position as a manager, sometimes it is the only course of action that brings about the kind of customer service that you want to offer your staff and that will build your brand as a customer service leader.