When you ask about customer service, most will tell you that it should be easy. It’s true, by concept customer service is not that hard. In practice, customer service is a little more difficult. Do you know how to build better customer service?
Measuring Customer Service
People often walk blindly into the belief that they have great service. The belief is that they create it with “please” and “thank you” or by kindness and caring.
Management often believes that is created by careful monitoring, pushing out surveys, and collecting feedback.
In some scenarios, exceptional service is measured by sales results and revenue growth. Numbers that are typically anchored in historical data or management expectations.
All of those might provide some value but none of them really tackles the hard stuff. The hard stuff is having a culture of caring and being driven for excellence. Not because you say it is so, but because your customers know that it is so.
A culture of the best service is built around people who are energized by working together to create an exceptional experience every time.
The values and beliefs of those functioning within it create outputs day in and day out which are the standards they live by.
Perhaps the most coveted culture inspires peers to help peers, is one where everyone takes the lead and following or co-producing is natural. The purpose is not to create more followers. It is to create more leaders.
These are their habits, replicated across time.
Build Better Customer Service
Customer service is not validated by the automated return call, the lengthy register receipt with a URL, or simply by asking those who are willing to answer. It’s validated when people come back or when they tell others about their positive experience. Better yet, it is validated when they bring friends the next time.
Customer service is not defined by rules, policies, and ultimatums. That is the easy stuff. It is what nearly everyone does and it is why there are so many complaints.
Size doesn’t matter but feelings and perceptions do. Short cuts, fake smiles, and direction pointers aren’t providing service. At best, they are earning a paycheck.
When you measure against the average, or the organization that is just one step ahead the best you’ll ever become is number two.
If you want to build better customer service, you might want to think less about rules and policies and more about culture and caring.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.