Even if your company includes a Customer Service department, the responsibility for delivering exceptional customer service should be included in every employee’s job description.
For Customer Service Week, I’m exploring the role of each department.
The best place to start is at the top. Management plays a critical role in establishing a customer service ethos within a company. If the Senior Leaders fully value their customers, then it will be reflected in the business plan, daily operations, in their approach and the attitude of their employees.
How does your company ensure that the customer’s voice is considered during planning meetings? Do you seek opinions and feedback? Is analytical data collated and reviewed in order to inform decisions? Do you simply leave an empty chair in the room, as a reminder that it’s not just the views in the room that count?
Whatever the tactic, it is important that decisions are based on how every detail could be improved from the customer perspective.
Processes and Procedures
The efficiency of daily operations is enhanced by clear processes and procedures. These make it easier for staff to undertake their role and know what to do when faced with something new. It also supports consistency. Do you provide your employees with clear guidance on processing orders, responding to enquiries and handling complaints?
Be assured that with clear processes in place, your employees will have greater confidence in every customer interaction.
Your Attitude Towards Customers
If Senior Managers genuinely value their customers, it will be evident in their attitude. They will proactively engage with customers, taking time to get to know them and seek their opinions. They will celebrate their customer’s successes, as well as their own. They will say thank you for a referral or send a card on an important occasion. In short, they will make each customer feel important.
As role models, the attitude of managers towards customers will filter down through the team. A polite, approachable and helpful ethos can then underpin daily interactions.
If your employees feel valued and supported, the process of delivering exceptional customer service becomes far easier. If they enjoy their work, feel that their achievements are being recognised, and know that others have their back, they are more likely to smile and be positive.
If they have received good customer service training and understand the values of the business, they will be equipped with the tools and confidence to really put the customer first. A good understanding of customer service excellence will also prompt employees to suggest ways to further enhance the customer experience.
Turning Things Around
You may feel frustrated that your customer reviews aren’t always favourable, or the attitude of your staff falls short of your expectations. Customer service training provides a means of addressing core challenges and turning things around. This could be as valuable for the leadership team as for every other employee.
Excelling in Customer Service is important for any business. It relies on an underpinning ethic, which is led by the examples set by the Management team.