5 Key Steps to Delivering a Good Customer Service

This seems like such a simple question, after all, it is what each and every one of us who work with, or within Customer Service talk about and strive for each and every day.  We asked our valued network and specifically the members of the Customer Service Executive & Professionals LinkedIn Group, for what they felt were the key steps needed to deliver good Customer Service around the world and across industry sectors:

1.   Communication:  

Ken Brandon, Atlanta   Attentively listening to the needs of the customer with a co-operative partnership focus in mind is a must. The result will be a customised, tailor made, customer service package, whose objectives truly fit the needs of that customer while providing the added value that seperates you and your service from all others”

Stacey Callun, Exeter:   I think one of the main components of good customer service is communication. It’s important to get that right. Some of the best companies we’ve worked with make sure that every customer knows who to call if they have any queries – they have a named contact for various situations. Something as simple as offering your customers a contact card, with phone numbers and even a picture makes all the difference. Communication is important throughout the customer experience, you should be friendly without needing to think about it.”

Ingrid Caballero, Philipinnes:    Rule of the thumb: How would you rate the service if you are in your customer’s situation. Customer Service should be defined based on the customer’s current situation. Their demands are just clues of what they are going through. Therefore, to win the customer’s satisfaction and to avoid giving them a bad customer experience, we should start with knowing what kind of service and treatment do they need by attentively listening to them at the start of the contact. After getting the issue or concern, provide the service that they need.”

2.   A Clear Company Vision With Management Buy In:

Manisha Bhayani, Luton:   Customer service is not just a department or an area within an organisation, this is a function that every employee contributes into, throughout their organisation. However there is a group of people who are the face/voice of that organisation to their customers and some companies make the mistake of assuming it is down to that team alone in achieving good customer service. Companies need to actually live and breathe their mission and vision and create teamwork throughout the organisation which is filtered from the top down.”

Louise Barker, Warrington “I always advocate that anyone dealing with a customer should treat the customer in the way that they would want to be treated themselves. If you can get everyone in a business thinking this way then they start to see that often there is a disconnect between the service they believe they are providing to a customer and the service the customer actually experiences. This then highlights where policies (i.e. what we are telling our employees to do) have not been written with the customer as a focus and these can then be corrected”

Joel VANDER ELST, Brussels:   “Good customer service could not exist if Management isn’t convinced about the added-value of this function. Keep it simple. Keeping customers on board costs 8 to 10 times less money than acquiring new ones (Philip Kötler).”

Nicolette Wuring, Amsterdam:   “When You Care, People Notice!  Customers who feel you care, reward you with repeat business; increase their share of wallet, decrease OPEX and on top of that become your ambassadors (customer advocacy; NPS – Net Promoter Score), generating new customers at the lowest possible cost. Being a Customer Service professional requires taking responsibility and, when necessary, personal risk to CARE for customers (and your employees) by instilling holistic awareness, a ‘safe environment’ for frontline employees and a healthy eco system company-wide, showing the bottom line impact AND the sustainability long term of CARING for customers.”

3.   Engagement & Empowerment of Staff:

Jozef Gontkovic, Edinburgh:   A happy employee is the key to good customer service.”

John Blakeman, Texas:   “The best way to create the ‘heavenly’ experience is through empowerment. By this I mean ensuring that every analyst/agent first has a full grasp of the value system of the company. If you don’t know the values of the company, you won’t know what behaviours align to and support those values. What’s important is that everyone recognizes that any interaction that can’t be covered by policy/process while complying with the value system is an exception that requires a thoughtful response. My position is that, knowing the values, empowered people will make the right choice for the customer and the company 99% of the time…the 1% are opportunities to learn and improve.”

Manisha:   “You can have the right people, however, a company must understand that they too have a responsibility to look after their employees. That goes for any employee in any department. No point in wasting time and resource on finding the right people if you are not prepared to look after them!”

4.  Timely Response: 

Marie Shubin, California:   “ I think the most critical step is timely presence in a time frame that is satisfactory to the customer. Whether that presence is staffing for face to face encounters, scheduling phone agents to meet demand, or having a readily accessible automated process, timing is a critical first step. While not all issues are critical, they are important to the customer at that time. The customer wants service when they want it. Delayed responses are a jumpstart on dissatisfaction, regardless of how good the ultimate resolution might be.”

Zahra Saleh, UAE: Commitment and determination to meet the customer requirements on time is the main element for a prefect customer service no matter which part of the world you are in. “

5.   Creation Of ProcessesWith The Customer In Mind: 

Manisha:  “keep it simple – has customer service been over complicated? Too segmented? AHT’s are checked, yet do you also check how many times a customer actually had to call in for one issue? SLA’s are achieved, yet was the issue resolved?”

Louise:   “We should establish processes that mean we deal with all customer contact to conclusion before we consider it resolved – regardless of which department is ultimately responsible for the resolution. If those who work for the company claim not to be able to help the customer with their particular issue, then how is the customer supposed to know what to do to resolve it?”

What are your key ingredients for Customer Service success?  Do let us know your thoughts or what else you would add here.  Do also feel free to join the Customer Service Executives LinkedIn Group to talk with any one of the contributors about their comments there.

About Douglas Jackson Executive Search and Recruitment Consultants

Douglas Jackson are an Executive Search and Independent Recruitment Consultancy offering professional executive recruitment and managerial appointments on a permanent and fixed term contract basis. We work with customer and experience focussed organisations, who want to develop, or, improve their operation, sales, strategy, service, experience, or success. We recruit for Chief Customer Officer, Director, Head of Department, Manager and skilled strategists for; Customer Service, Customer Experience, Customer Contact, Resource Planning, Operations, Strategy, Insight, Analytics, Sales, Success, CRM, Data, Programmes, Transformation, Continuous Improvement, and Contact Centre. We work in partnership with our customers across the UK and internationally, many of whom are FTSE 100, blue-chip brands but also challenger, fintech and start-up organisations, to design, develop, deliver and manage your Customer strategy. Revolutionise your Recruitment and Retention of New Hires. Douglas Jackson Search takes the guesswork out of your hiring. Sourcing Exceptional Talent….Define your Customer Strategy. Lead your Operations. Design your Customer Experience. Direct your Digital and Customer Contact. Transform your functions. Develop your Customer Insight. Manage your Data/CRM, Deliver your Sales and Customer Success. Differentiate your business and brand.
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