Written by Director, Colin Wilson
Customers are vital to the success of every business. It is up to you to educate your staff on the value of delivering excellent customer service. As a business owner and leader, you must drive this important message throughout the whole of your company. Everyone should work together as a team and be 100% committed to achieving customer satisfaction, building your brand and profits.
Today, it’s more competitive than ever, living with the Internet and social media. One bad experience, simple mistake or some bad attitude from a staff member could damage your company’s reputation and brand, especially if a customer posts their poor experience of your company out into the world. You need to be upfront with your staff on the significant costs and resources your business invests to attract and keep customers. This may be your website, social media, print and other forms of media. Let them know if they fail, your business fails, which may cause a downturn in your business and job losses.
You must set high expectations with your team on keeping customers for life. Educate your staff on just how hard it is to win a new customer in your business and how easy it is to lose a customer to the competition, especially if the team doesn’t focus on delivering good customer experiences. If your staff/departments are not working together on delivering the possible outcome for the customer, you have a problem and you must resolve this immediately. Winning business at the front end and losing them out the back does not grow a business. The goal is to keep and grow clientele while introducing new customers to your business. We all live for good referrals, good experiences and good outcomes; so your team needs to deliver.
Considering the cost of wages and developing human resources – recruiting, training and ongoing development – one thing you must get right is instilling your expectations for the way your staff serve customers. Below are 10 simple tips you can do to manage and motivate staff for better customer service delivery and outcomes:
- Develop and implement your company’s core values and focus on being a customer service driven business
- Stronger Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in employee Position Descriptions, e.g. writing clear Customer Service Expectations
- Staff training and workshops on how to improve on better customer service
- More regular performance discussions on improvement
- Staff or team incentives for delivering on excellent customer service – Use customer feedback as a measurement tool
- Customer Experience Case Studies – Workshop good or poor experiences to keep improving i.e. continuous improvement to get it right the first time!
- Conduct a customer survey (eg SurveyMonkey) and ask your customers for honest feedback on your Customer Service. Use their feedback to build your brand and reputation
- Invest in professional Customer Service Training in all departments to set a clear benchmark
- Engage your key staff in a Sales Training Program to learn every step of the sales process, including objection handling and how to build a high referral business
- Develop a client strategy to keep customers for life!
Let’s face it; the only avenue for a return on your advertising, marketing and staff investment comes from customers who continue to pay for your products or services. It’s your staff who represents your brand and loyalty. Most staff may not realise that making customers want to come back doesn’t happen in a single transaction – it is an ongoing process. Providing excellent customer service involves solid planning to meet and exceed customers’ needs and expectations.
Loyal staff often means Loyal Customers. Both customers and staff regularly evaluate why they want to be with your business. Customers can often “outlive” your salespeople in a business sense and may interact with three or more staff members over the length of their time of doing business with you.
Ensure you always set expectations on how you want your staff to perform. This could be how well they know their products, services, systems and processes in your business. Remember: never allow staff to cut corners when it comes to delivering excellent customer service.
If your business needs help in delivering better customer service and outcomes then do not hesitate to contact Key Business Advisors on 1300 4 ADVICE or firstname.lastname@example.org
To help your staff improve on their customer service, download our free: 10 Steps to providing excellent customer service.
Don’t miss out on our next webinar on the 3rd May 2016, where Colin Wilson will share the value of building a high customer service referral business. Click here to register.