Customer service has always been at the forefront of everything I do. When most people think about it, their first thoughts are of the service they recently received in a store or restaurant, or perhaps the often bad service they get on the phone to their bank or utility provider- if they can get through all those multiple options! But it goes much deeper than this. Think of customer service as good manners. How would you like to be treated?
This needn’t just be in person, but on the phone, online or even by post. Do you get thanked for your custom or receive an apology when things go wrong? After all, in many transactions there are multiple elements that can’t always be controlled and so may not go right every single time. Did the organisation own up to its mistakes?
Value your customer
Every part of your experience colours the way you feel about a company or organisation. If you get bad service you feel let down, feel they don’t respect or value you as a customer, but if they admit to the mistake and apologise, you feel that your grievances have been recognised and often this will not then affect your relationship.
As you may already know, it is cheaper and easier to retain a client or customer than to constantly keep finding new ones. And the best sales tool is recommendation, word of mouth. You may have heard that twice as many tell a person about a bad experience than a good one, so you need to work hard to ensure you spread a positive message. And now it’s easier to get a bad reputation as poor service is communicated at the click of a button on the many website forums that can be found easily by your next potential customer.
Are your staff delivering good service?
You may now be thinking that you don’t speak to all the customers yourself. How can you control this? Some of your staff earn commission on sales, so you’re fairly sure they will be giving good service because their sales numbers are excellent. How do you incentivise other employees who only use the phone or post or are not on commission? These staff may be hard to retain as well, especially if they are on the end of complaints. How can you incentive them to work efficiently, give good customer service and feel valued by your business when their actions can’t be directly measured in terms of sales?
The key is to take a holistic view of your businesses operations, identifying places where improvements can be made first. Then put together a scheme so that staff feel their performance is noticed and believe there is a benefit in providing good service – this does not need to be monetary. I have implemented these and one resulted in lowering a very poor monthly turnaround of a service to a same day, ensuring that numerous folders of complaints letters were replaced by very complimentary ones. The benefits were that turnover went up as there was more confidence in selling the product and customers were keener to buy, and as staff were no longer moaned at by disgruntled customers, staff retention increased and training costs lowered. The company’s enhanced reputation also bought many other cost benefits and in addition the workforce felt pride in working for the business.
If you feel your customer service may be one of the areas that is hindering your businesses growth, take the first step to greater success by calling me on 07510 692969