Here’s the simple truth: Brilliant customer experiences aren’t the result of a value statement, job description, performance requirement or short-term incentive. True customer service comes from a culture of service, and that starts at the top, with you.
Whether you like it or not, your employees take their lead from you, so if you want to be known for always delivering what you promise, make sure you live and breathe service excellence.
According to Nathalie Schooling, founder of N’Lighten and a customer service experience expert, creating a service culture is not rocket science, but it does require commitment and effort. That, and a couple of easy to implement, service building blocks.
Make it easy for your customers to complain.
By making it easy for customers to let you know where you’ve missed the mark, you can fix it – which, more often than not, results in more loyal customers in the long term. You need to be open to hearing what your customers say.
Measure. Measure. Measure.
Then act. Keep asking your customers for their input via surveys. But do it on their terms. Objective. Unbiased. Non-threatening. Those are the three rules of valuable customer feedback. The fourth is to act on it — and then to measure again.
Employ the right people.
Look beyond qualifications to passion, attitude and culture alignment. Choose empathy, positivity and a willingness to serve over all else. Your customers will experience the difference, and your bottom line will show it.
Train and empower your staff.
Not everyone has the built-in ability to deliver great service. But everyone can learn to. Entrench customer service as a culture and business strategy. Empower your people to practice what they learn. It’s difficult to deliver great service if you can’t do anything without your supervisor’s approval.
Raymond Ackerman built the success of Pick n Pay on a passion for service. Rather than insist on service from your staff, you need to demonstrate it as he did. You’ll be amazed at how contagious a love of your customers can be.
Walk a mile in your customers’ shoes.
Take a step back, often, and look at your company’s product or service through the eyes of your customers. Only by ‘experiencing’ what your customer does can you understand the pitfalls to great service.
- Player: Nathalie Schooling
- Company: N’Lighten
- Est: 2005
- X-Factor: Creative customer care solutions that promote retention and loyalty.
- Contact: www.nlighten.co.za; +27 (0)21 794 7533