IMPROVE CUSTOMER SERVICE…WHERE DO I START?

Improve Customer Service…Where do I Start?

 

SIP step 1So…you feel like your company’s service quality could be improved. But how do you start…Just tell your staff to do better? One-shot training? Ask customers how you are doing? Hire someone to be in charge of customer service, to take the upset customer calls? Show some motivational books and posters to your staff and hope for the best?

Before you do anything, make a plan. You don’t want to throw money at the problem before you know the following:

  1. How does our service quality rate today?
  2. How good should it be?
  3. How do we get from #1 to #2?

You need a plan…a SIP: Service Improvement Plan.

Many companies jump into a program but have no clear goal or process to actually get improvement. You’ll find lots of programs to help: mystery shopping, customer satisfaction surveys, customer complaints, training books, online training, employee rewards, social media, mobile surveys, etc. All these are great, but only part of the solution. If you truly want to see results that affect your bottom line, you need to think through the process.

So…how do you start?

First, you need feedback. What are you doing right? And what could be done better? How does your service quality rate today? You need to know your customer FRUSTRATORS…what is it about doing business with your company that can frustrate…and therefore dissatisfy…your customers? Is it employee attitude? Is it a procedure or process? Is it location or hours or parking? Just what is it that customers feel could be done better…what would make them happy?

How do you find out the frustrators at your company??? ASK YOUR CUSTOMERS! You probably know what complaints come in regularly. But did you know 40% of customers who are unhappy (or frustrated) with you will never tell you on their own? So, give them an opportunity to tell you…with a customer satisfaction survey.

It doesn’t have to be fancy but it does have to provide measurable results…ratings and/or line items that you can quantify so you know what/where to improve. And don’t forget to leave room for customers to write in their own words. Sometimes the best feedback comes from customers’ own words, not just answers to canned questions.

And don’t forget front-line employees…they work with customers and your process more closely than anyone every day. They have ideas for how to make things work better to benefit customers…but if you aren’t asking, they won’t tell you. Survey your employees.

How do you know what needs to be improved? Survey customers and employees first. It’s inexpensive, easy, and quick if you do it right…once you have that data, you will know what needs work and what works well already. Then you’ll be on the way to customers who are not just satisfied, but FANS of your business. And Fans will promote you to their friends and family!

Follow our blog for more information on steps #2 and #3 of a Service Improvement Plan

by Kathy Shook

Share your thoughts on our blog here or Facebook page.

The Service First Video Library keeps employees motivated, focusing on quality service, and working as a team through constant reinforcement. It keeps customer service uppermost in their minds when on the job. More importantly, the videos enhance the service skills and job performance of all your employees.  Click here for more information.

 

Download our free Customer Service Assessment tool here to make sure you aren’t losing customers due to poor service quality.

 

Learn how to make your company a leader in customer service – contact Shoppers, Inc. for more information on Service Quality Institute programs.

For more information contact Amy at Amy@InsightYouCanUse.com or 800-259-8551 x220

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About Shoppers, Inc.

With more than 30 years of experience in the mystery shopping and customer service training business, Shoppers, Inc. has the tools to assess your current customer experience and take it to the next level.

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