For the most part, great customer service is linked to general common sense. Treat customers how you would want to be treated. Don’t be rude. Be patient and understanding. However, if common sense and customer service are so directly linked, why is it that good customer service is not so common?
Though many businesses understand what needs to be done in order to achieve great customer service – and thus greater customer satisfaction and the increase in returning consumers – execution fails them. The following are some points to help you determine why your business may be struggling.
1. The company’s vision for customer service may be unclear. First things first, does your company even include customer service in its vision? If not, it is time to incorporate one into your statement. Often times though, even if the vision does address customer service, it is either too wordy or too broad to even make an impact. The vision should be clear; employees need to know what the company hopes to achieve and what it expects from them personally.
2. The company failed during the hiring process. When an employee is hired, yes, skill and overall competence are deeply important. However, so is the aptitude for great customer service. Some individuals, regardless of the training they receive, will never be able to exhibit appropriate customer service. Make sure to keep customer interaction capabilities in mind throughout the hiring process.
3. Training is inadequate. In order for a company to exhibit great customer service as a whole, each individual partner needs to be on board. Tactics and performances that should be second-nature to your employees need to be taught and implemented. The default standard needs to be set and trained upon. Everyone should be on the same page when it comes to the basics of customer service for your company.
4. Inconsistency. Along with proper training, it is important for your employees to understand that the bar is constantly set for customer service. It should be employed at all times. Some may not think that the standard applies to them and their role within the company, but that is not the case. Everyone has a customer, or at least connects with one in some form or another. The customers should already know what to expect from your employees and your business as a whole. That’s how consistent it should be.
Great customer service is not an unknown concept. In fact, it’s a fairly simple concept. The work comes in trying to implement a standard level of service that meets your expectations across a range of different personalities working together within a company. Though it may take constant prodding, time, and perhaps the use of incentives, great customer service is definitely attainable for your small business.