Ensuring Your Customer Service Initiative Will Be Successful: The Fourth Key


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In pre­vi­ous parts of this series I’ve touched on the impor­tance of INTENT and how under­stand­ing and act­ing from intent will allow you to lead and inspire your team. And I’ve talked about the impact of empow­er­ing your team and ways to enable them and the impor­tance of pro­vid­ing the kind of train­ing that pre­pares your team to deliver the intent of your ser­vice strategy.

The fourth key action to take to suc­cess­fully launch and sus­tain your strat­egy is to Mon­i­tor and Give Feed­back. Remem­ber the goal is to ensure that your cus­tomer ser­vice strat­egy takes hold, becomes a part of the cul­ture and is never, ever con­sid­ered a pass­ing fancy. The best way to sus­tain per­for­mance is to pay atten­tion to what your team is doing and pro­vide feed­back. Pay atten­tion to the floor, observe what’s going on, lis­ten to the hum, mon­i­tor calls, and review e-mails to iden­tify behav­iors to coach.

Speak­ing of iden­ti­fy­ing behav­iors to coach, if you want your reps to adopt the strat­egy as their own faster, try this:  As you mon­i­tor, focus on catch­ing them doing things that sup­port deliv­er­ing great cus­tomer expe­ri­ences.  In short, catch them doing things right. It’s a lot eas­ier to find mis­takes or things we’d do dif­fer­ently or bet­ter, but I chal­lenge you to try to focus on the pluses.

While there’s noth­ing more help­ful for iden­ti­fy­ing coach­able behav­iors than mon­i­tor­ing cus­tomer inter­ac­tions, there are ben­e­fits to pay­ing atten­tion to your team’s cli­mate – the per­cep­tion of how things feel to the indi­vid­u­als on the team. Cli­mate dri­ves per­for­mance. While you’re out on the floor, ask reps ques­tions like these:

  • What was the most sat­is­fy­ing expe­ri­ence you had at work this week?
  • What’s your favorite type of cus­tomer inter­ac­tion? (You may notice that they don’t all say “the easy ones.” Some peo­ple thrive on chal­leng­ing calls and e-mails. This ques­tion also gives you insight into what moti­vates each agent.)
  • What are you hear­ing from customers?
  • What would you like to be able to do for cus­tomers that you’re not able to do?
  • What inspires you to do your best work?
  • What are you learn­ing at work these days?

These are great con­ver­sa­tion starters and will give you incred­i­bly valu­able first-hand information.

The other half of this key action ele­ment is to Give Feed­back. If you want to hear and see pos­i­tive evi­dence of great cus­tomer ser­vice, praise it!  When employ­ees receive sin­cere and rel­e­vant praise on a reg­u­lar basis, they feel val­ued and sup­ported by man­age­ment. And when employ­ees feel val­ued and sup­ported, they become more ded­i­cated to their work and eager to meet the needs of the organization.

Mon­i­tor­ing per­for­mance puts you in a great posi­tion to be able to give feed­back that makes a real dif­fer­ence. It puts you in a posi­tion to help tweak per­for­mance that could be even bet­ter with a minor adjust­ment or cor­rect behav­iors that need to change. Adding a reg­u­lar cadence to your mon­i­tor­ing and feed­back pumps up its value; reps come to expect and count on the feed­back to excel in their jobs.

In addi­tion to help­ing your team be its best…there’s another ben­e­fit. Your team sees your com­mit­ment to the cus­tomer ser­vice strat­egy and to each indi­vid­ual on the team. They see how much you believe in them and what they’re doing and THAT pro­vides another jolt of inspiration.

Here are some things to think about… ques­tions to con­sider that are related to the fourth key action:

  • How do you know how well your team is deliv­er­ing the kind of ser­vice they were trained to deliver?
  • When you observe or mon­i­tor, do you look for things to praise or things to correct?
  • How often does each of your team mem­bers get direct feed­back from you related to their cus­tomer ser­vice performance?
  • How would you describe the cadence of your mon­i­tor­ing and feedback?
  • If each of your team mem­bers improved their per­for­mance by even 1% each time you gave feed­back what would it mean to the business?

Estab­lish­ing and sus­tain­ing a cus­tomer ser­vice strat­egy – one that is truly customer-focused and pro­vides the train­ing and tools employ­ees need to exe­cute it – is no mean feat. But I ven­ture to say that no one read­ing this is wor­ried about a lit­tle chal­lenge. Here’s the good news: Your com­mit­ment to cadence dri­ven mon­i­tor­ing and feed­back will not only sus­tain your strat­egy; it will help it and your employ­ees flour­ish! Now, as Nike says, “Just Do It!”

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Monica Postell
Customer Satisfaction Expert @ Impact Learning Systems | Instructional Designer | Performance Improvement Specialist | Call Center Consultant | Artist | Global citizen and world traveler making the world a better place once class at a time.


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