Every few months, a new survey is released revealing which companies are rated the best. These surveys use different methods of measuring which company is number one, including growth, trust, and employee satisfaction. However, all the “top” companies seem to have one factor in common — excellent customer service.
What these companies have learned is that customer service doesn’t belong in just one department. It’s a company-wide effort. Every employee should be trained on how to handle customers so the experience is seamless regardless of who the customer comes in contact with. Exceeding customer expectations then becomes a part of the company brand and identity.
Here are a few other ways to make customer service a “top” priority in your organization:
- Listen to your customers – use surveys, focus groups, and product reviews to provide customers the opportunity to give feedback. Really listen to what your customers need. Seeing the experience through the customers’ perspective is important. This allows you to identify any frustrating parts of your organization’s buying and support process and gives you the chance to improve. These customer “listening” opportunities also reveal the temperature of your customers. Are they hot, lukewarm, or cold about your company?
- Use technology – social media, apps, live chats, and automation can be effective in providing customers new ways to communicate with a company. However, make sure to offer other ways to contact you. Keep open the phone lines and email for those who want to take that option. Always make sure you have a way for customers to receive a quick response and allow them to feel like they’re talking to a real person.
- Be creative — At The Barter Company, we have anonymous individuals who act as secret shoppers that “police” our system and notify us when clients are charging cash, inflating their barter pricing and/or any other activity that goes against our ethics. Many businesses can do the same by monitoring the sales and service process through the eyes of the customer.
Go above and beyond. Exceed customer expectations. A major hotel chain once went through great lengths to return a beloved stuffed animal to a customer’s child. Not only did that customer become a strong advocate of the hotel, it also set an example to all staff of just how much they need to do to support customers with an outstanding level of service.