Focusing on the Customer
Today’s customers continue to demand better and better service. Here are some ways to keep up.
What is your company doing to raise the bar in customer service? If you are not continually improving how you produce your products and deliver your services, you cannot exceed your customers’ expectations. The following six recommendations will help your organization take customer satisfaction to an even higher level.
Communicate the importance of customer service. Have a clearly articulated customer service vision and set of values that describe in detail what customers will experience when they do business with your company. The vision should be a clear mental picture of what the end result will look like. The organization’s values will act as guidelines to help you make the right decisions that will turn the vision into a reality.
Hire for attitude and train for skill. You can tell which people enjoy serving others and making customers happy. You can also tell those who consider customers and their needs to be “a job.” People with great attitudes enjoy serving others, are easier to train and are better at developing an alternate plan if the company’s standard way of serving and satisfying customers is not successful.
Tear down the walls that insulate employees from customers. Some employees never have customer contact. I highly recommend introducing those insulated employees to customers and sales representatives. Knowing the customer is a real person, not just a name or invoice, makes employees more committed to satisfying the customer.
Train every employee. Companies that do a good job of training every employee to focus on the customer’s total satisfaction have more loyal customers and more profitable businesses. Does every employee in your company know the annual dollar value of an average customer? Training helps in the areas of customer knowledge, teamwork and job satisfaction.
Measure customer satisfaction. Does your business exceed customer expectations on an ongoing basis? Periodically ask your customers to find out. Measuring your customers’ satisfaction with your quality, service and timeliness provides a critical indicator of your long-term success.
Reward results and celebrate successes. Base your performance review process and reward system on customer satisfaction. And when your customers’ expectations have been exceeded, celebrate the success.
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