Whilst not an essential, legal business requirement, many organisations choose to create and implement a Customer Service Charter.
So, what is this charter and how can it successfully impact a business?
A Customer Service Charter is a written policy defining the standards of service and the commitments made by an organisation to their customers.
It generally consists of several short, easy-to-read statements informing the customer what service they can expect to receive, how and where they can raise a complaint, and what role they play in the relationship with the company.
A Customer Service Charter can be used as an effective quality management tool, providing an opportunity to receive feedback and comments from customers on any issue; including products, service, and staff.
Once created, the service charter is a powerful marketing tool and can be used in all company material, both internally and externally – including staff handbooks, marketing campaigns, quotes/proposals, websites, and company premises. Companies who publicly display their charters present an open, honest and committed business that fills customers with confidence.
Companies who publicly declare and repeatedly adhere to their customer service commitments benefit in many ways; including -
Focused and engaged staff
Employees will have clear guidelines in place of the service standards customers expect to receive, ensuring all staff deliver a professional and efficient customer interaction every time.
Managing customer’s expectation
Clearly defining the company’s commitments* to the customer reduces the risk of misunderstandings, errors, missed deadlines and poor customer service. These commitments are individual to each organisation but can include – service, communication, returns, delivery, sourcing of products, finance, complaint handling.
*It is important to remember the commitments a company promises to deliver are realistic and achievable as customers will hold the company to their charter.
Stay true to the company’s values and vision
A customer service charter acts as a public commitment, powerfully highlighting the company’s values towards both its staff and customers. These values strengthen a company’s brand and sets them apart from their competitors.
Build a reputation
Consistently meeting and exceeding the customer’s expectations builds trust and respect ensuring the customer not only returns to the company but actively promotes it to others.
What are your company commitments to your customers?