Fostering a Superior Customer Service Culture
By Peter Lawless
In order to be hugely successful at business, you must provide a truly excellent level of service to your customers. You must continually exceed their expectations and delight them. Knowing how to amaze your customers is something that you must instill within the company culture. Here are some pointers to ensure you have loyal customers. Find what works and model excellence.
Customers that are delighted and truly amazed by your service, will not only remain loyal and profitable, they will also be an excellent source of referrals for you.
Create a culture of excellence
In order to truly be a respected organization, it is important to instill an excellence culture in the organization. Just as everyone is responsible for selling your offering, so is everyone responsible for servicing your customers.
It is important to utilise people's best skills in the correct positions in a team sport. The same is true in your company. There are many psychometric testing systems around that help determine what roles a person is best suited to fulfill. These can be used at recruitment stage. With existing employees, you need to introduce something like this tactfully!
Suffice it to say, that some one in customer service needs to be a caring type of person. Just for clarification, by customer service, I mean, ensuring that a customer who purchases your offering is able to make use of it in a way that will fulfill and exceed their expectations.
Set the customer up to be delighted
When a customer orders a product or service, clearly demonstrate to them what they are getting, in terms of what, when and how, with what resource.
Equally important, ensure that the people involved in providing that service, know exactly what the customer expects of them.
Then your company is in a position to delight the customer, by delivering exactly what was said on the tin. And then some, always go that little bit extra!
Don't solve problems too quickly
One of the hallmarks of good customer service is the ability to turn a complaint into an opportunity.
When an angry customer is on the phone the natural reaction is to try to solve the problem as quickly as possible. However if you study those who are expert in this area, before they solve any problem, they quickly and easily gain rapport with the customer.
What an irate customer really needs empathy. It is important to understand what it will take to cool him down, make them feel understood. The customer needs to feel that their problem is being taken seriously.
Once this is done, the customer is ready to have their problem solved, and they will definitely appreciate the service. They are now in a position to become a delighted customer who, in all probability will continue buying from you.
Find what works and model excellence.
Let's say that one of your employees is already consistently delighting your customers with the level of service they provide. The key to success is to ensure that all employees model the same behaviour .
This also ensures that the employee feels rewarded and appreciated, and are far more likely to stay with your company. There are many different techniques to find out what it is exactly what it is that the model employee is doing well. Common sense is a great technique!
Create a Customer Service Process.
Just as you have financial systems, manufacturing processes, sales processes and distribution processes, it is very important to have a sound customer service process.
If you need any help in that area, let us know, and we will be glad to perform a customer service assessment and suggest ways in which you can truly delight your customers every time.
This article was written by Peter Lawless and Paul Hewer of 3R Sales & Marketing – www.3r.ie . For previous articles and interviews like this, visit 3R's InfoCentre . Or Subscribe to Success , our free monthly Information Bulletin. Get a Free Sales & Marketing Assessment of Your Business. A 45 minute telephone interview will enable uyou to bring your company to the next level, through a customised report which we will provide you.
About the Author
With over 20 years in industry, most of it spent in senior sales management positions, sales success is no stranger to Peter Lawless, founder of 3R Sales and Marketing (www.3r.ie). Prior to setting up 3R, Peter successfully set up the Sales and Marketing Divisions of two Start-up companies, by generating significant revenue.
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