Improving Customer Satisfaction: Would Miss Manners Approve?


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If you’re in the field of training customer service representatives, or if your job description contains the phrase “help improve customer satisfaction,” this post is for you. There is no shortage of information on the web, in books, and from customer service training companies giving tips on ways to improve customer satisfaction. However, before you can start to implement a customer service training program for your company, you need to go back to the basics—you first need to lay a foundation for your staff.

It starts, actually, with a discussion on good-old fashioned manners. Yup. The lost art of courtesy.

How have we become so rude?

It seems that every generation bemoans that the younger generations are increasingly rude and discourteous. You can attribute their current lack of politeness to a variety of factors: they’re so “plugged” in that they fail to notice the person next to them, or, they’re always in a hurry and forget how meaningful “please” and “thank you” can be—the list, and theories, abound.

Regardless of the reasons, it’s interesting that it’s often noteworthy when people aren’t rude. Have you ever had an experience with a customer service representative who stood out—or who made you want to give the company repeat business—because the representative was incredibly helpful and courteous? If such encounters happen frequently, they probably don’t stand out in your mind, but chances are, you notice it when you receive really polite service.

The good news is that people do take note when they’re treated exceptionally well when dealing with companies. In fact, these customers often write about their customer satisfaction online. Public endorsements for your company? Not a bad goal.

How much do manners matter in improving customer satisfaction?

Quite a bit, it turns out. Satisfied customers tend to become loyal customers. Do you think your customers will return for repeat business if they’re treated rudely or not respected?

Your business, according to statistics, will profit from 25 to 125% more by retaining a mere 5% of your customers. But before you start to set goals for improving customer satisfaction, or implement customer service training, you first need to teach your staff the importance of respecting the customer.

Your company will have its unique questions and tools that your customer service representatives will need to be trained in, but common manners are universal and can be applied at all levels of the company, for all types of customer service.

The old standbys: “please” and “thank you,” and “how can I be helpful” are simple building blocks that you first need to review with your customer service representatives if you hope to increase customer satisfaction.

Once you begin to teach your staff to adopt an attitude of politeness, courtesy, and gratitude toward your customers, you can begin teaching them the finer points necessary in customer service training.

Our tip? If Miss Manners approves of how your customers are treated, you’re on the right track.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Peggy Carlaw
Peggy Carlaw is the founder of Impact Learning Systems. Impact helps companies develop and implement customer service strategies to improve the customer experience. Their consulting services and training programs help organizations create a customer-focused culture while producing measurable business results. Peggy is also the author of three books published by McGraw-Hill including Managing and Motivating Contact Center Employees.


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