Let’s face it - good customer service just can’t be faked. Talking about it and actually doing it are two very different things. Many companies claim to provide the kind of service we all want to experience, but a much smaller amount of them actually do it.
Owners and Managers undoubtedly realize the importance of great customer service, after all - you can see it displayed all over their websites, marketing, and promotional materials. But there seems be a disconnect between upper management and those who are coming face to face with customers. We’ve all had bad experiences where we’ve walked into a store or business and were not acknowledged, or helped in the way we should have been. So what’s the problem? There are multiple answers to this question.
- Be sure to know what you really want, and communicate it clearly. Now more than ever, companies expect fewer numbers of staff to do more work, faster and better than before. But you need to decide which is more important: quantity or quality? Expecting your staff to perform more than they can handle; faster than they can do it; while also asking them to treat customers as a priority only creates uncertainty. You can’t have more than one thing that is the most important. If employees are rushed and overwhelmed they may cut corners when it comes to other areas such as service. One example of this would be if you told your customer service representatives to reduce the time they spend on each call while also expecting them to satisfactorily solve the issues presented by the customer. They can’t rush through calls while also giving good service. Be sure that you know what it is you expect before communicating it to your staff in order to prevent sending mixed signals.
- If employees aren’t trained properly – they can’t do what you expect. There’s nothing more frustrating as a customer than asking an employee a question and having them come back with, ‘I don’t know…’ (accompanied by a blank stare); or ‘I don’t think we have that…’. Empower your staff to provide the service you expect by training them accordingly. If they know how to do their job, they’ll be able to do it.
- Employees tend do what’s expected when it is measured and rewarded. Unfortunately many lack the personal drive to go above and beyond – just because they want to do the best they can. People are inherently self-centered and will generally only make an extra effort if there’s something in it for them. Setting up a system of metrics and incentives will give your staff the motivation they need to consistently provide the kind of service you ask them to.
Clearly defining your goals, providing exceptional training and celebrating those that do a great job are all ways you can create the kind of environment you desire for your company. When your staff is empowered and rewarded they will not only respect you and your organization, but will desire to do their best when it comes to your customers.