Taking Customer Service to the Next Level by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC
As a business leader/owner, there’s no question you’re aware of the importance of good customer service. In fact, it’s likely been something you’ve been working on for a while, and an area where you’ve made significant strides. If you really want to get ahead of the competition, however, it’s time to take your customer service skills up another notch.
Here are some tips to help you get to the next level.
- Increase the number of staff. It’s important to regularly evaluate how long your customers are waiting for service, and to adjust your staffing accordingly. It may or may not be necessary to hire additional people. You may be able to meet customer demands by changing the scheduling of your current staff, so that employee hours better match up with busy customer times.
- Choose the right people. Some people are naturally friendlier than others. Choose your happiest and friendliest people to be customer facing, so long as these people are knowledgeable and competent, as well. You want your customers to like the people they interact with at your business.
- Give them the right tools. Make sure your employees have the tools they need to take care of customer needs quickly and efficiently. Slow computers or systems that are rife with problems make it impossible for even the friendliest employee to serve customers properly.
- Insist on accuracy. If things are done right the first time, customers have fewer reasons to contact customer service. Be sure to track the problems customers report, and determine where these originate. Remember that the best way to provide great customer service is to ensure customers don’t have a problem in the first place.
- Request feedback. Don’t wait for customers to complain about service. Solicit feedback from your customers on the things they like and the things they don’t like about doing business with you. This gives you the information you need to ensure you’re using the right people and the right processes to manage your business.
Great customer service is the key to keeping your customers. It may seem expensive to implement new processes and hire additional employees, but the cost of keeping customers happy is significantly less than the cost of acquiring new ones. Great customer service helps your business thrive, even when other companies struggle.