Dick Bourke of Scorebuddy discusses how empowering your team will ensure excellent customer service.
Providing quality customer service should be a way of doing business for your company. Customer service should be relentlessly pursued and continuously refined, which requires you to think about it on a whole new level.
Starting from the top down, your entire organisation needs to be dedicated to unlocking your customer service potential by creating a culture of customer service, outlining your vision, and empowering your team.
A Culture of Customer Service
Quality customer service and a positive customer experience all boil down to one simple thing: your company culture. What’s happening inside your organisation has the biggest impact on the quality of customer service you provide.
Everything has a trickle-down effect. The golden rule of a customer service culture is: “Treat your employees how you want your customers to be treated”. That means that you need to set a tone that highlights the importance of customer service excellence and support in everything you do.
If you want the best chance for success in creating a customer service focused culture:
- Hire the right employees who have the attitude and personality you want.
- Train your employees to understand your company’s goals, mission, and vision when it comes to customer service.
- Make sure that everyone is on the same page by aligning all of your departments and individuals around your goals, mission, and vision.
- Empower your employees to do what needs to be done for a favourable customer experience.
- Create an environment that is open to learning from your customer service successes and failures.
Establish a Customer Service Vision
As mentioned above, to create a company culture that’s all about customer service, you need to make sure that everyone is aligned on your customer service goals, mission, and vision. The most crucial element is the customer service vision: a statement that clearly defines the type of customer service you want to provide.
This vision statement should be separate from your corporate vision, mission, and values. It’s focused entirely on how you’ll handle customer service, creating a philosophy and set of standards that everyone in your company should follow.
A great customer service vision should be easily understood, describe the type of service you want to achieve, and reflect on who you are now and where you want to be. It should guide your customer service management and call centre employees in the right direction on every customer interaction.
Examples of well-known customer service visions include:
- Zappos: One day, 30% of all retail transactions in the US will be online. People will buy from the company with the best service and the best selection. Zappos.com will be that online store.
- Southwest Airlines: The mission of Southwest Airlines is “dedication to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and company spirit”.
- L.L. Bean: Sell good merchandise at a reasonable profit, treat your customers like human beings, and they will always come back for more.
Empower Your Team
Engaging your team is critical to the type of customer service you provide. A study by Gallup reveals that managers in the top quartile—the most successful in managing organisational change—engaged 77% of their employees, on average. They realise that without the buy-in of your team, a customer service culture and vision is worthless.
The good news is that there are many ways you can empower your customer service team.
Play to Your Team’s Strengths
First, play to your strengths. You need to understand the natural strengths and challenges of your team, and then channel their time and energy into activities that play to those strengths.
Part of this requires training to make sure your team knows how best to utilise their skills, the right tools to get the job done, and support when things go right and wrong.
Give a Budget per Customer
Your team only has the power you give them. One of the best things you can do is give them the power to make your customers happy with a budget that matches the end result you want.
For example, Ritz-Carlton Hotels gives each employee a $2,000 budget to make a single guest happy. This might sound like a lot, but considering the average customer spends nearly $250,000 with the business over their lifetime, it’s nothing at all.
Focus on Employee Satisfaction
Finally, don’t forget that studies show there’s a direct link between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction.
Happy employees who are motivated, engaged, and empowered create a positive environment that bleeds over to your customers. So, if you want to improve the overall customer experience, you first have to improve employee satisfaction.
Managing an Exceptional Customer Service Team
Your customer service team is your first point of contact with your customers, and sometimes the only direct interaction you’ll ever have with them. That’s why it’s so essential that you unlock the hidden potential of your customer service team to enhance the overall customer experience.
It starts with your company culture and trickles down to your company vision, your team, and all of your individual employees. Only by putting it all together will you have happy customers that become a benchmark of your success.
This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of Scorebuddy – View the original post
To find out more about Scorebuddy, visit their website.
Call Centre Helper is not responsible for the content of these guest blog posts. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Call Centre Helper.