I don’t care about the size of your company or your marketing strategy because your success still relies heavily on one aspect– customer service. Customer service is not a trend; it’s not a fad. Good customer service is what sets companies apart. How many times have you heard a story about how a company responded poorly to a customer and the story went viral? Nowadays with the ease of people posting comments and videos, customer service should be on the top of everyone’s minds.
Seems basic right? You would think so, but unfortunately, it isn’t. I think companies assume their employees know they have to be courteous and go the extra mile and that’s where the problem lies. Your parents told you what happens when you assume, right?
So what can you do to make sure your employees display good customer service when dealing with customers and clients? Here are four easy suggestions:
- Don’t limit to just external customers and clients. Perform good customer service internally as well. Depending on how your business is structured, you may have employees who never interact with your final customer; however, it is very important they practice good customer service because it is contagious. If your front line employees have a really bad experience internally, that attitude may carry over to your client. They may think, “Well if the company doesn’t care about me, why should I care about this customer?” On the flip side, if they see people within the company going the extra mile to help them, he or she may be more inclined to go the extra mile for their customer.
- Talk about good customer service. Let employees know good customer service is very important to you and the business. Don’t assume anything. What seems like common sense to you may not be common sense for everyone else. Bring in speakers – there are a ton out there who can talk about this topic. I know my company does customer service week, where there is a guest speaker who comes as well as activities throughout the week to encourage team work and enforce good customer service.
- Reward employees for displaying good customer service. And I’m not talking about just a tacky, employee of the month plaque which everyone simply walks by every day. Think about how you could do this. Studies show that employees love to receive peer-to-peer praise. I believe this is true because peers are more in tune with what goes on day-to-day; therefore, appreciate the recognition even more when it’s from one of their peers. Maybe create awards which define different aspects of customer service for employees to win. Or maybe create a spot, possibly a blog, where anyone can go on and explain how their fellow employee displayed great customer service.
- Don’t forget to train people about how to perform good customer service. Again, this sort of goes back to number two, but don’t assume anything. Try to create common scenarios to reenact, so employees aren’t caught off guard and are prepared for a situation. This will not only make them more comfortable in a situation, but also give him or her the perspective of how the company wants the situation handled. The more you can train the better because you can’t train for everything, but if the employee can get the right frame of mind, he or she can make a better decision for something unexpected.
The last thing you want is to have your company go viral for the wrong reason and bad customer service is a very popular “not-good” reason companies end up going viral. While rarer, companies do sometimes go viral for good customer service. Being in the South, I couldn’t imagine shopping at any other grocery store besides Publix. While there are many reasons, the main one is there slogan is, “Where shopping is a pleasure,” and they truly strive to achieve that. Publix has reigned as the top grocery store in the nation for customer service since 1995. So while it may simple and like common sense, good customer service can play a huge factor in the success of your business.