The Art of Customer Service

It doesn’t matter what industry you work in or what role you have; we are all in customer service.

Customer service is the new marketing so why do so many people get it wrong?

Why is customer service so bad in 9 out of 10 organisations? I made that stat up. 62% of you knew that.

Why, when we receive amazing service, are we so surprised?

  • I worked in one company where the customers.
  • I once sent a letter to a well-known train company praising the train guard for his kindness and humour over the tannoy. They sent me a standard letter back stating how sorry they were for the incident and gave me £100. Shows how many complaints they get.
  • There is a well known high street herbs and supplement store here in the UK where, at their busiest time over lunch, they have the fewest staff on the shop floor. They let queues form and people wait – rather than staff appropriately at the busiest times.
  • There is a famous baked pastry to sit and eat?
  • I had to an email.
  • It took me over 42 phone calls and several strongly worded emails before I got the internet service I was paying for.
  • I was in my local supermarket and overheard two shop floor workers being disgusting about their personal conquests at the weekend
  • There is a local tyre company here in Winchester who have delivery trucks and mobile repair units. It’s like being in a scene from Mad Max when you’re on the road with them behind you. Nutters. Branded nutters.

It seems like every single interaction in a store or on a call is fraught with poor service. No eye contact, no smiles, no welcome, no solutions first-time etc

We are all in customer service, as you’ve guessed it, is an outward display of the competency, communication, training, clarity and care of management.

What follows are some broad ideas I’ve learned building custo life.

Hire for the person not the role
I worked with a customorrow.

You cannot have great custoo?

Instead, hire for the right people. Hire people who are positive. Who care. Who are nice people to do a good job.

Then treat them well. This whole blog is focused on that very aspect – being a good manager.

Great customer service comes from a great product or service
The best way tomers.

If you have a poor product or service expect lots of customer delight.

This same customer cases per day than ever before. The execs lapped it up, she was given a bonus, yet the cases kept coming in.

When I dug in to the data, in stealth mode, I discovered it was my very own development team generating many of the cases along with poorly designed products.

If you work with customer data, look for patterns.

Look for the frequency of similar issues, look at the impact they are creating and look at the root cause.

By adding a simple self-serve password-reset to our product we removed 35% of all support calls. By improving various aspects of the product we removed a further 25%.

The data is there. Anyone on the front line has huge swathes of data tomers, and study the data, then fix the problems.

Sales people selling stuff you don’t have is a key one. Poor product implementations and delivery. Services that don’t serve as expected. Bad code being deployed with little governance. They all cause a knock on effect somewhere – and that is usually in customer support.

The most cost-effective way to improve the product or service.

If you’re on the front line you have a great swathe of data to whoever is building and designing the product and service.

  • Improve the customer’s perspective – staple yourself tomer.
  • Treat people like people and let them make front-line decisions on how tomer feels looked after.
    It can be tempting tomer as exceptional. How do you codify that?
  • Don’t use posters, banners, mantras and handbooks tomer service – role model what great looks like and ensure you’re looking for ways to take place.

As mentioned, in one company the service team had a list of the most hated custo talk rubbish about them.

  • Don’t throw money at the problem of customer service – too much money can stifle creativity and bring in a reliance on expensive to optimise processes. Even better, show them how to make improvements carefully and scientifically – and then let them do it without asking for permission!
  • People want to work in an environment of co-operation – find levers to achieve them.
  • Role model cooperation, demonstrate that learning is constant and show people how to mistakes.
  • Let people take whatever time they need with the customer feel exceptional
    One of the worst things you can do for front line staff is curtail how much time they spend with the customer will notice that.
  • Drop the policies – customers want what they paid for?

And with that – I hope you go forth and build great customer service.

To read more works on productivity click here and to read more works from our contributing author click here.

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