13 Steps to Better Customer Service in 2013


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We all resolve to do better in a New Year, but how many of us really make a plan?

What if you had a concrete plan for customer service improvement for each month of the year?
Since that makes 12, throw in a bonus 13th to make 2013 a lucky year! Hopefully the following outline can stimulate thought on the specifics you could employ to make customer service more than a passing fancy this year!

  1. January
    Challenge staff to respond to customer inquiries within 2 hours of their contact. Identify how this can be accomplished in various channels such as social media and phone contacts. (Your time frame may be different – the important thing is to identify a specific time frame such as the 2 hour example indicates)
  2. February
    Ask each service representative to call 5 customers and ask them ‘How can we improve your service?‘ Compile all results and share at staff meeting.
  3. March
    Ask each service representative to log and categorize every customer complaint received.
  4. April
    Script reponses to customer complaints identified in March. Share with staff and conduct service meeting where skills practice can be done using these responses.
  5. May
    Pick your highest contact social media channel or customer survey.
    Compile an illustrated ‘Stop Light’ of comments to share with staff: Red Light entries could cause lost business, Yellow Light entries could impact future business negatively or positively depending on how addressed, Green Light entries will help build business.
  6. June
    Identify 3 key customer expectations and ask each service representative to specifically identify how they could exceed these expectations for a specific customer.
  7. July
    Encourage staff to log any compliments received during the year from customers and share them at a staff meeting.
  8. August
    Challenge staff to identify ways to decrease a specific customer’s cost of doing business with you. Reward top three ideas at staff meeting.
  9. September
    Conduct a teambuilding workshop for all employees stressing each department’s service to each other and the impact of such on the customer.
  10. October
    Implement an internal ‘Service Star’ award program where employees can send a star to a fellow employee for internal efforts that resulted in improved service to a customer. Ask them to send a copy to person identified as your ‘Star Tracker’ who will log all service star recognition.
  11. November
    Hold a staff meeting to present awards to top recipients in ‘Service Star’ program.
  12. December
    Challenge staff to identify their worst service nightmare of 2013 and how they would avoid this happening in 2014.
  13. BONUS
    Instead of or in addition to your standard holiday card, send a letter to each of your top customers and tell them all you have done in 2013 to enhance their service and how you plan to build on that to partner with them in 2014!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Teresa Allen
Teresa Allen is a nationally recognized customer service speaker and customer service author. Allen is owner of Common Sense Solutions, a national training and consulting firm focused on bringing common sense to business and life. Allen is author of Common Sense Service: Close Encounters on the Front Lines and is co-author of The Service Path: Your Roadmap for Building Strong Customer Loyalty.


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