If you want your business to be successful, you must produce happy, satisfied customers. How do you do this? By making customer service a priority for your company, starting from the main persons in charge to every employee on staff. Check out these five ways to make customer service the priority of your business.
Keep Service at the Forefront
If you want your employees to focus on customer service, then you have to focus on it as well. Keep customer service at the forefront of training and staff meetings. Mount your service philosophy on the wall where all of your employees will see it daily. Present the example of customer service to your staff, by getting out of the executive office and onto the customer floor, where you can interact with your customers directly.
Identify Customer Expectations
Providing customer service means meeting customers’ expectations. However, you cannot be successful at this task until you know what those expectations are. Determine what your customers want from your business – by asking them. Use customer feedback cards or simply spend a week or two talking to your customers when they come in. Through this process, you can identify expectations and then develop a service philosophy that will meet them.
Empower Employees to Offer Best Possible Service
When employees are empowered to provide the best service, they understand how important service quality is to your business. Employees should rarely, if ever, tell a customer they cannot meet their needs. Even if the answer to a customer’s request must be “no,” service reps should be prepared with a myriad of alternatives that meet needs and remain within the parameters of company policy. If an employee doesn’t know the answer to a customer’s question, he should know exactly where to go to get that question answered.
If service is to be a priority for your business, excellent service efforts must be recognized. There are many ways to recognize outstanding service within your company, from presenting awards and recognition at staff meetings to holding friendly contests among your service team. Any type of award can work, from cash bonuses to recognition in front of the rest of the staff. When employees know their efforts won’t go unnoticed, they will be more likely to give their best effort every single day.
Link Customer Service to Your Bottom Line
Finally, make sure employees understand the importance of high quality service by linking customer service to your bottom line. In most cases, happy customers are the ones that will be more likely to return to your business, purchase more products and service, and tell their friends and family about your company. If you can, use a chart with actual numeric values, showing the direct association between customer satisfaction and your bottom line.
Customer service should be the priority of every business today, but some companies don’t know how to pass that priority down to the rest of the staff. Through these ideas, and many others your management team may develop, customer service can be the reason all of your employees come to work every day and put forth their best effort for your company.
- Meredith Estep