Everyone these days wants and says they’re service-oriented. Many times, in today’s economic climate, with commoditized products and services abounding, customer service is in fact the only differentiator. Those who deliver a great service experience consistently will be more profitable. Those who don’t may simply go out of business. Saying you’re service oriented is not enough, however, it requires we match our rhetoric with our actions.
In order to deliver on your desire to provide a great service experience, follow these simple strategies:
Hire service-oriented people, not only for the front-line positions, but for every position within the company. Front-line employees will not be able to compensate for decisions made elsewhere within the organization, that are not in the clients’ best interests. Who you hire within your organization will be the single most important factor in determining whether or not you successfully achieve a service culture.
Look at the experience provided to your clients from their perspective. Review feedback, suggestions, and frequent issues. Challenge those policies, products and services that aren’t in your clients’ best-interest. Get an independent perspective occasionally, as you may be too close to the situation to see what your clients see.
After looking at the big service picture, realize it’s the little things that are causing many of your client’s poor service experiences. According to the American Society of Quality, 69% of clients leave because of an attitude of indifference on behalf of a company employee. In other words, while you may be focused on the product, pricing, and aesthetics of your company, your clients are leaving because of the interaction they had with an employee, whose name you can’t even recall. If you really want to improve your clients’ experience, focus on your employees in the following ways:
* Communicate regularly with your employees about their importance to delivering a great service experience. Provide them best-practice tips on how they can deliver an excellent experience.
* Integrate service into standing staff meetings, so service becomes a part of every discussion, and best-practices can be learned and shared.
* Offer customer-service training to all of your employees. No one of us should ever feel we know everything about service and can’t learn something to improve our service delivery. Consistently challenge yourself and your staff to improve the service experiences provided.
* Reward great service. If you say service is important, and yet the non-service-oriented employees within your organization seem to be the ones recognized, your rhetoric will fall on deaf ears. Ensure your words and actions match one another, thereby encouraging employees to deliver a great service experience consistently.
Offering this level of service needn’t cost a lot of time or money. Collaborate with your colleagues in order to develop creative solutions. Saying you’re service-oriented isn’t enough. Put the rhetoric into action.