Infusing Customer Service
Into Your Company Culture
Excellence Is Not An Accident
HOW TO INFUSE CUSTOMER SERVICE INTO YOUR COMPANY CULTURE
Customer service excellence can best be achieved through customer intimacy – a relationship of consumer trust and loyalty built to serve customers. Customer intimacy is not happenstance, it is not a stroke of luck, it a purposeful commitment to understand and fulfill the needs of a client. This results in increased customer life time value – a measure of your net profit based on the entire future relationship with a customer. The effects of the recession continue to reverberate through the economy, in spite of improvements recorded in certain segments, survival has made clients more cost conscious, more aware of choices and more demanding of value.
This Customer Service Bootcamp focuses on 5 steps that will help inject customer service into your business.
1. ‘KYC’- ‘Know Your Customers’ – Understand Who Your Customer Really Is: Everyone who comes in contact with your company is a customer -a potential customer, an existing customer, an internal customer (staff), all are stakeholders and they should each be treated with complete professionalism, politeness, interest and yes, gratitude! Your customer isn’t just the person who buys from you, the definition is more encompassing. We need to serve them well, listen to them, record important milestones that are shared – birthdays, company anniversaries, marriages, births and other celebrations that you might have future opportunities to act on. This provides stronger bonds and opens up more ways that they can be served.
2. There Is A Tangible Financial Impact Of Customer Service: Profit margins start to shrink, and the lifetime value of customers dwindle significantly when poor service is experienced. Repeat business, referrals, new client entry are all affected by the experience encountered by clients. Thousands of dollars are lost every year by small and large businesses that find clients switching brands and going to competition. Keep accurate records of clients, sales and profits so you see more clearly how your customers, your service and your bottom line are linked.
3. Introduce Your Top Ten Non-negotiable Traits To Your Team. Simple, basic and achievable traits that when consistent across a company, can send a very powerful message. Could the following be yours?
- Be punctual – to respond to emails, to get to the office, to attend meetings and prompt to answer phone calls.
- Be competent– understand your job, understand what your customer needs, be ready to provide options or look for new ways of doing things. Leverage your expertise.
- Be presentable – Look neat, respectable and approachable. You don’t need designer shoes and clothes. Just be clean, decent and appropriately dressed.
- Be compassionate – Show genuine regard, be helpful and ready to take the lead to resolve any complaint brought to your attention or at least start the process.
- Be respectful – Always remain polite and calm, even during a dispute. That is the only way to maintain control of the situation
- Be credible – Let your word be your bond. Be truthful, trustworthy and reliable. Be upfront when you fall short of expectations and seek ways to remedy the situation with sincerity.
- Be ready to go the extra mile – If a client could benefit from some extra news, tips, navigation help or savings ideas, offer it.
- Be A Team Player – If a team member is unavailable and your input would help a customer, offer to help.
- Be A Service Star – Be a service champion. Understand the difference between bad, acceptable and exceptional customer service. What is normal in your industry or business? What extras can you introduce? It might be as simple as saying ‘have a nice day’ as clients leave. After standing an extra 10 minutes at the grocery store checkout counter, that always calms me down a little. Hey, I’m usually easy to please but so are a lot of people. Some others may need a bit more ‘wowness’.
- Be Professional – Leave the drama at home. Let your clients not pay for you having a bad day!
4. Focus On Your Offering As A ‘Solution’ And Not A ‘Service’. This will give you more insight as to whether your service is enough of a solution or if you might need to consider tweaking it to enhance its value to your clients and your own business too. What is the ‘problem’ that clients face when they come to you or your competition? Customize solutions that are unique to your client’s business and need. Find out from clients how your service or the delivery of that service could make their next experience more suited to their needs. The love starts when you really love them in a way that they want to be loved!
5. Create A Culture That Speaks Of Your Passion For Customers: Whether your business is just you or a team of a thousand people, your culture must be service-oriented and consistent. Encourage your team to buy into the ‘Know Your Customer’ culture. Emphasize to your team the importance of exceptional customer service at every service point from the receptionist and security guard right through to the President/MD/ CEO.Reward service stars for showing excellence and encourage ‘copycats’.
The Customer Really Is King! And we can all work towards treating them as such – ‘Excellence is never an accident, it is a commitment, a deliberate choice’.
Contact Brand Leverage at www.brandleverageusa.com or call us on 763 347 0122 or 763 208 9774.
“Your company is worth the investment!”