How do we improve the quality of customer service?
How do we get better results around customer service? Is this something that is more about the training or about our hiring? Can good customer service be taught or is a certain personality a prerequisite? What do you think?
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Hi Armando, I've ran many large customer centric teams and in my current business we show people the psychology of good customer service. All that said, I would respectfully point out that I think you are asking the right question but in the wrong forum.
How can you / have you asked your customers that question?
Once you know the answer hire people who have the same passion as you, make sure they are clear on what the customer expects and deliver consistently at every touch point. I'm a big believer in the customer experience exists in the head of the customer so you've got to ask them what's in their head. Hope that helps.
Armando, I would like you to go through the case study of Zappos! As far as i have seen, they seem to stand tall when you talk about 'customer service'. Today, mostly it is a lip service; rarely customer is 'delighted'. So how do you do; quickly put-
- It has to be in your DNA
- Flow this into your partners, colleagues, stakeholders and everyone who is going to interface with your customer
- I would say 'hire right'. Training helps; but then a donkey whatever trained cannot become a race horse! Basic attitude is important and hire people only for that; rest can be trained; it is only an add-on; without the basic attitude, fire, zeal, enthusiasm, drive, fire in the belly, its going to be enormous energy spent in training and still not certain if that will pay off.
- You also need to conduct yourself in line with it; never to compromise your fundamental or your DNA; you exist because of your customer!
- Shyam (Startup Xperts)
I have worked with several types of people and some people are born to communicate effectively with other people in customer service, on the other hand you have the people that do not have the skill set to do that but can be trained to do so if trained effectively.
When interviewing a potential candidate for customer service look at how they communicate with you via phone or in person i.e contact and how detailed the response is to the question. If you get no eye contact and or the response is short and sweet and they appear unsure its probably best to move on to the next candidate or if you feel they can do it training is key. Best type of training is hands on training not a webinar online or a sheet that they have to go by.
Armando, customer service technique can be taught, however that which really matters is the genuineness of your staff. When it comes to customer service people are like blood hounds on the scent. They can sense genuine customer service and spot the fake stuff a mile away. What do you do? Try your best to identify the genuine folks in the hiring practice. As for training, inspire your people to know and believe that each and every one of them matter to the business so that their pride will show when they engage your customers.
Customer Service comes from the top down - if the management has the opinion that the customer is to be treated with respect and candor - and management trains their employees on this concept (and the employees see that management also applies the techniques they are teaching others to themselves) then you will have a very successful customer service team.
Also make sure that you give your customer service team the right to make decisions (within the companies parameters) this speaks volumes to the client - it is very frustrating to be on the end of the customer and hear that they (the customer service reps) can't handle their situation that they will once again be pawned off to someone else.
Customer service really starts with the education of your customers.
They need to know what they can expect from you and in return what you expect of them.
If the relationship starts on this basis then the customer will not have unrealistic expectations and will not be disappointed when you standby your terms of business.
Further, if you decide to exceed the agreed service levels, they will know you have provided a better service level than agreed.
From this position of strength you be able to renegotiate price levels.
Customer service is usually part of the company culture and therefore is difficult to change unless the inniative is driven from the top.
Good customer service stems from company policies and therefore in my view can be trained but the company must see the importance of customer service and pay much more than lip service to any policy.
As long as policies are robust and fit for purpose, the personality should not be an issue.
A mixture of both. It can be taught and certain personality is required. An effective customer service begins from talking to the customer. Finding out how they could be best served and creating the internal processes to make it happen
To improve customer service, it is training, hiring, and the organization’s culture.
If the organization’s culture is not customer, service focused that it is a trickledown effect. People follow leaders, and if leadership does not practice what they preach it is going to have an impact.
Additionally look at your metrics.
Good customer service is about 3 things (at a minimal): good training, the right employees and more importantly listening to clients.
Good training: In addition to skill set -- making sure employees are trained in the skills and duties are that required to service customers, employees must exhibit a honest and valued brand of the company by building a rapport with the customers. This will allow employees to not only service the customers, but learn of better ways to service the customer.
Right employees: Training is required, even for experienced employees that are new to the company. Regardless of the amount of experience a new employee possesses, EVERY company differs. Accordingly, as a company continues to grow, you must make sure employees are well-versed in company policies and procedures, as well as requisite skill set. Employees must have the right personality to pleasantly service customers.
Listening to Clients: More often than not companies distribute surveys to customers without making changes or at least investigating customer complaints and/or suggestions. This is critical to improving customer service. If a customer has a bad experience a first time, they are likely to look over that ONE experience, but not a SECOND bad experience. In other words, all customer complaints and suggestions should be investigated and addressed. This is a sure way to build a reputable brand and encourage and build positive word-of-mouth experiences.
Remember a person will always remember how they are made to feel during a particular situation or problem; good or bad.
Customer service is the experience your customers receive from your company...I am always reminded of Bill Marriott saying "the check in desk is where the customer service starts with your Marriott experience. Get that right and everything else will strong a foundation to build upon."
I also think Emotional Intelligence is needed for Customer Service...
Consider the following 2 things:
1. Keep in touch with customers and tell what you are doing for them.
2. Ask whats more you can do for them
when they respond to you, listen to them do them what they need.
Customer service is an important part of your company. I always say, the company is like a human body, if one part of the body is not healthy, the body don't work well. It's the same for the company.
you want to know, how to improve the quality of your customer service ? and to know if you have the good collaborator in your customer service ? for me the best way is ...ask to your customers. Send a survey. In this survey ask to your customers what they think about your customer service, and try to measuring the smile ont the phone, the quality of you front desk etc...and you could ask them how you could improve your customers service, what they need for to be satisfy.
It starts at the top. How management treats its employees is how they will treat the customer. Your staff mimics you. So how does management treat staff when they have queries and questions ? Improvement in customer service lies in the answer to that question..
In my experience, first of all understand what customer service looks like and design a small number of measures that can be tracked. Staff involved in the delivery should have clear role descriptions that align with delivering the defined service. Role KPI's / measures also need to be defined to performance manage the staff involved in delivering the service. Recruitment needs to be against the defined role description with criterion and evidence based interview questions.
Excellence service is a key factor of a booming business. But many businesses struggle to improve service and maintain their clients. In fact, there are several methods to improving excellence service at your business, from motivating your employees, to using customer feedback, to updating your service tools to better serve your customers. No matter your approach, improving quality service at your business does not have to be a struggle. Dealing with customer complaints properly allows companies to create a strong bond with their customers by turning depressing brand experiences into positive ones. The customer’s faith and trust in the business is restored and they walk away with a positive experience to share. The company improves its customer retention, becomes more efficient at serving all consumers, and may even see a growth in sales through positive word of mouth. With all of these benefits, there’s no reason not to implement procedures that increase the quality of your customer service.
I guess a good start would be look at The Gaps Model or SERVQUAL
I feel that right hiring mixed with right training is the Key.(Finding the people with the service DNA and then supporting them with the tools to succeed).
I hope this helps.
The correct way to match personality and job is a short questionnaire:
1. your mother is:
2. your father is:
3. you are:
4. others see you as:
5. therefore you would work as:
A personality work-type is based on these 5 points.
I agree that it is more about culture and hiring people who believe in that culture than training, systems, or anything else. I also agree that the culture must come from the top and permeate the entire company. I had a partner that was not into customer loyalty and there was definitely a portion of my company that also didn't care about my programs because he didn't. So to me the most important thing is defining a culture of customer loyalty (not just satisfaction) and then ensuring everyone from the top down buys in!
If you want to know what a real customer loyalty (not just satisfaction) plan looks like, please feel free to contact me via my LinkedIn.
The first thing to decide is what "better results" mean in the context of your products and the way customers use them, and what metrics and objective align with that. Once you do that, you can fix anything that needs fixing with your tools, processes and systems. I am happy to help you think it over if you like. Feel free to reach out to me over linkedin.