Diploma in Customer Service
Providing Excellent Customer Service
What is Excellent Service?
What is Excellent Service?
In the first module we learned the basics of customer service. This module will introduce the practices needed to provide excellent customer service in an organisation.
The good news is this: excellent service is not magic. It is something every organization can and should do. And when you deliver superior service to your customers, they will notice. Because you’ll be giving them what they want. And you’ll be doing it consistently.
Customers remember this and they like it. So they’ll come back and they’ll tell others to do business with you.
Here’s even better news: Most companies do not deliver exceptional service. They never will. So if you choose to deliver excellent service then your company will stand out.
Customer Service Role Models
It makes sense that if you improve customer service, you will increase customer loyalty. But improving customer service is not easy. It takes effort and time to make a sustainable improvement in the level of service you deliver your customers.
Dr Alan Weiss of Summit Consulting Group recommends that “if you want to improve customer service in your company, get a role model”. Almost every business has someone who stands out in how they care for customers. They listen well and they are focused on helping customers get what they want. They follow through and they follow up.
They are the people your customers ask for when they come back. And they're the employees your customers write letters about, telling you how wonderful they are.
They are your customer service champions. They are your role models.
Identifying the Role Model
First, define the personality traits and behaviors that you want in your customer service role model. Then prioritize them (because you'll never get them all). Paint a picture of your ideal employee, from your customer's perspective. These are your customer service standards.
You should include employees and customers in this process. Get their input. Ask them to share their views on what they should expect from your company. They will give you an incredible amount of valuable information.
Next, watch, listen and learn. Pay attention to your employees as they take care of your customers. Watch what they do and how they do it. As you do this, remember the ideal employee profile you created in step one. Make notes of how various employees measure against your customer service standards. Then list these employees and rank them.
If you have one employee who is a perfect (or almost perfect) fit this is your first role model. If not, pick a couple who offer the best match.
Make sure the people you select cover all the customer service standards you created earlier. This way you will be able to articulate your customer service standards to the rest of your employees.
If you don't have any employees who come close to meeting your standards, then you need to think about adding or replacing staff.
Creating a Culture of Excellent Service
Introduction: Creating a Culture of Excellent Service
Once you have one or more role models, you need to find ways to transfer their customer service behaviors to the rest of your employees.
Click through the steps below to view the 6 actions needed to create a culture of excellent service in your organization.
Step 1: Publish Your Customer Service Standards
Print, distribute and post your new customer service standards. Make sure all your employees know what they are and what they mean. Let your customers know what your customer service standards are too.
Use them to make a statement about what they can expect from your company. Use posters, emails, flyers. Make laminated cards to give to every employee.
Put them on customer receipts, signs, menus, brochures, websites - anywhere your customers and employees will see them.
Step 2: Record Your Role Models in Action
Use audio or video to record your excellent service role models working with customers.
Show these in staff meetings on a regular and consistent basis. Highlight when and how the employee is doing things that meet or exceed your customer service standards.
Note: avoid focusing on what they do wrong in these sessions. No one likes to get criticized by a group of their peers. It will make the process less effective
Step 3: Have Regular Coaching and Role Playing Sessions
Schedule regular meetings with your staff and coach them on your customer service standards. Pick one standard each meeting
Use role playing as a coaching tool in these sessions. Prepare several staff before the meeting to play the parts. Let them know you're serious about using it as a tool for improvement. Make it fun but useful.
Step 4: Reward Employees Who Deliver Excellent Service
Set up a program to reward and recognize employees who are “caught” delivering Amazing Service.
Create ways to acknowledge their efforts publicly.
Give prizes, plaques or other incentives to employees who demonstrate the service standards you are looking for.
Step 5: Reward Employees For Noticing Other Employees
This is key. As an owner or manager, you can't be everywhere, so you need to engage all your employees to help.
Develop ways to reward employees for observing and “turning in” other employees who deliver great service. If employees are looking for excellent service, it means they're thinking about it.
Plus, it means they're engaged in the process. To observe a fellow employee delivering customer service, they need to know what it is. They need to understand your excellent service standards.
Step 6: Get Your Customers Involved
Engaging employees to observe and report excellent service is good. Getting customers to do it is great. Find ways to get them involved in the process. Let them know what your standards are. Encourage them to nominate employees for recognition and rewards. Make it easy for them to do this.
The more engaged your customers are in this, the more loyal they will be.
When we think of improving customer service, we usually think of training. But that will only take us so far. To have a measurable and sustainable improvement, you need to focus on it constantly. Finding and using role models is an effective way to do this.
END OF UNIT:
What is Excellent Service?
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