Here Shep Hyken gives six pieces of advice that have the power to transform the way in which an organisation views customer service.
Shep Hyken is without doubt one of the most influential customer service experts in the world. His high-energy presentations are famous for their clever blend of customer service advice, humour and even magic.
Shep is a professional speaker, best-selling author, creator of the ‘Customer Focus Program’ and founder of Shepard Presentations, where he holds the impressive title of ‘Chief Amazement Officer’.
His own clients range from Fortune 100 sized organisations to businesses with fewer than 50 employees. With such a wealth of experience, he really understands how to build meaningful relationships with customers.
Here are six things you can learn from the customer service guru:
1. “Customer service is not a department. It’s a philosophy to be embraced by everyone”
No matter how big or small your business is, customer service is everyone’s job. At the end of the day, it’s the customer who is paying the wages.
Businesses need to stop thinking about customer service as a separate department that simply deals with complaints. Customer service should be integral to business strategy, marketing tactics and product development – after all, the customer is always right, and what they think should count.
2. “Social media is changing the customer experience for the better”
Quite simply, social media has given consumers a voice. They can either use that voice to recommend your business, or they could take the opportunity to share a disappointing experience.
Either way, consumers are more than your audience – they are an audience each with their own audience. This raises the stakes for businesses, making customer service even more important to get right.
3. “You can’t have happy customers without happy employees”
If you have a team of miserable, under-appreciated agents, are they going to spread happiness or misery?
Shep has what he calls “The Employee Golden Rule”: treat your employees the way you want the customer treated – maybe even better. This not only sets an example, but it creates a positive working environment where employees are more likely to go the extra mile for a customer – because you went the extra mile for them.
4. “First impressions are important, but don’t forget the ‘lasting impression'”
Everyone is familiar with “first impressions count” – and they do, there’s no doubting that. But what’s often overlooked is the last impression.
As the last point of contact, this is the moment that stays with you; and a hasty goodbye or an unconvincing ‘have a nice day’ can leave a bitter aftertaste.
You need to ensure every customer interaction ends on a high, as this positive emotion will last long after the actual experience.
5. “Customer service is about more than just being nice”
Too often, people over-simplify customer service as being just an exercise in ‘being nice’. When in fact, a nice but useless person won’t create a happy, loyal customer.
To succeed, you need to be friendly and knowledgeable – and, as a result, helpful. If you can deliver a reliable, knowledgeable and friendly service, you can gain customers’ confidence, and eventually their loyalty.
6. “Be better than average”
Customer service is now one of the only true competitive advantages, so delivering ‘average’ service simply isn’t going to cut it.
You need to be consistently delivering a better than average customer experience, not once in a while or ‘on a good day’, but always.
This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of NewVoiceMedia – View the original post