It’s time to take a hard look at your customer service strategy. With deadlines, tight schedules, and the stress of running a business, one of the first areas to be neglected is often customer service.
Don’t let it slip! Customer service is the lifeblood of a good brand. Customers are the reason we are in business. Without them, we wouldn’t have jobs! So why neglect the area that matters most to those who keep us in business?
As the new year gets in full swing, take some time to work on your customer service initiative.
Be the customer
Take time out to look at every aspect of the customer service process – how your brand interacts with customers on a macro scale, and on an individual, one-on-one level.
Put yourself and your staff members in the customer’s shoes and pretend you are considering your own business. Each member of your team should know exactly what it is like to be the customer. You need to understand what your customers love and hate about your business. Try to forget everything you know about what happens behind the scenes and stay in the moment of customer interaction!
After you have gone over each step in the customer service process, review what you learned with your team. Where were you strong? Where did you fall down? What part of the experience was frustrating or slow? Be honest with yourself and your team. The worst thing to do is make excuses. Your customers don’t care if you were tired or your dog ate your files!
Train, train, train!
After evaluating your current strategy and figuring out what works and what doesn’t, gather with your team and go over the plan for moving forward. Train each member of your team so that he or she is an expert at customer service. Make guidelines clear and identify scenarios in which there could be confusion about what to do or how to best help a customer. Every person who works for your business is an ambassador for your brand, and that means everyone needs to provide a consistent level of service to every customer.
Make a commitment to improve
The sad reality is that most customer service initiatives simply don’t last. It’s easy to fall back into familiar patterns and go back to business as usual. Don’t give up! Customer service means thinking in the long term. You probably won’t see big changes to your bottom line in the immediate future, but months down the line you will notice that your customers keep coming back. Loyalty brings long-term benefits, not instant gratification!
If you are struggling to come up with a comprehensive customer service initiative or you need help with training, give us a call! SRJ Marketing Communications has years of experience helping businesses develop lasting and effective customer service strategies.