|Customer Service Information||
Let us create a 3d Digital eBook for you! DigyCat.com
From Scowl to Smile: 5 Practical Steps to Instill Exceptional Customer Service
Whether in a restaurant, a retail establishment, or the local post office, we have all experienced a decline in customer service. Rarely do smiling, happy employees interact with us anymore. Instead, the person we are dealing with in face-to-face relationships does not even attempt to feign a smile, but rather greets us with a scowl, completely avoids eye contact with us, and grudgingly mutters responses to our requests and questions. When did customer service cease to exist? Why is it suddenly so difficult for employees to show customers some common courtesy along with a little friendliness? Have we ventured so far from the service standards of yesteryear and become so shortsighted that we refuse to treat others as we would want to be treated ourselves?
Today, improving customer service is a top priority in organizations worldwide. As a result, company leaders spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually training their employees how to provide exceptional customer service. Unfortunately, the effort is not paying off. Even with such vast resources being spent on this simple and obvious problem, few companies achieve outstanding results. And as their customer service levels plummet, dissatisfied customers take their business elsewhere and company profits suffer. Is there any improvement in sight?
The Importance of Customer Service
Purchasing virtually any goods or services is a process whereby the customer moves from interest to desire to decision. During that process, one of the primary determinants as to whether the customer completes the purchase, as well as his or her level of satisfaction in the sales process, is the attitude of the sales employee. Interestingly, the customer's attitude frequently reflects that of the salesperson. Thus, an employee attempting to close the sale will generally find it much easier to do so if he or she gives the customer a positive attitude and friendly disposition to respond to.
Equally important is the post-sale service experience, especially in today's environment filled with technically complex products and services. This trend is likely to continue as technological complexity increases and as our population continues to age. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by the year 2005 there will be 85 million Americans over age 50, and they will have cumulative purchasing power of $900 billion annually. The combination of technical complexity and the aging population will result in an increased proportion of sales transactions requiring post-sale customer service on a periodic or continuing basis.
Given the customer service problems we face today, coupled with the growing demand for increased levels of pre- and post-sale customer service, we need to begin thinking much more seriously about how our organizations will rise to meet these growing market demands. Adding to this problem will be the demographic reality of a shrinking pool of available younger workers to fill these customer service openings, which frequently are entry-level positions. The following practical steps can help your company stay ahead of this trend so you can meet tomorrow's customer service needs today.
1. Hire happy people. In our haste to find a "warm body" to fill a vacant position, we frequently miss some of the most obvious indicators of a person's likely success or failure. People who are open, approachable, and generally happy are far more likely to respond in a positive manner to our customers' needs. Prospective employees who act guarded or excessively shy, or who show evidence of having a "cold fish" personality during the interview process, probably are not good hires at the outset.
2. Train your people thoroughly. When employees thoroughly understand the organization they represent, as well as its policies, products, and services, they are far more likely to interact positively with customers. Realize, though, that training of this sort is not a one-time-for-life event applicable only to new hires. Today's organizations, markets, products, and services are dynamic and changing constantly. Keep your employees up-to-date with all the latest trends by offering continual training opportunities.
3. Treat your people exceedingly well. Do you treat your employees the way you want them to treat customers? Most company leaders do not, yet they expect their personnel to excel when it comes to friendly customer service. The fact is that employees who are unhappy on the job are not likely to display a positive, helpful attitude to their customers. Instead, they will respond to customers with the same attitude and outlook they receive from managers and supervisors. To foster exceptional customer service skills, company leaders need to ensure that they treat their employees in the same manner they want their employees to treat customers.
4. Solicit customer feedback and act promptly upon it. The only way to get a true reading of your company's customer service is to actively solicit feedback from every customer, not just the ones who you know are satisfied. Equally important is to ask for feedback in a way that prompts more than superficial responses. Demonstrate your desire for honest opinions by asking proper questions. Superficial questions return superficial responses, while thoughtful, insightful questions result in honest, valuable answers. Carefully formulate open-ended question so the answers can reveal the true state of your company's service levels.
5. Ensure that your senior leadership is hearing unfiltered feedback from both your operating personnel and your first line managers. In almost every organization, the people on the front lines have a clear understanding of the true customer satisfaction levels. The problem lies in how accurately this information moves up the organizational hierarchy. Just as any military general in the field strives to get an accurate report of what is occurring on the battlefront, many executives yearn for a clear understanding of the customer service that occurs at their organization's front lines. If you want to know what is really happening in your organization, get out and talk with your employees and your customers. Then, establish clear and strong guidelines for information to travel up the ranks. The more accurate information you can obtain, the better understanding you'll have of what needs to change.
Regardless of your industry, if you want your customers to regularly experience service with a warm, heartfelt smile rather than a scowl, you must set the example and live by it. Show your employees the vision to follow so you can instill customer service practices that will positively impact your bottom line.
Copyright 2005 by John Di Frances
Customer Service - Google News
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news
Outsourcing: The Unspoken Costs
Outsourcing seems to be the new-new thing and approximately 50% of our major corporations are doing it. What are the costs? The benefits? And what skills need to be managed in order to make it work optimally?Let's get a clear understanding of what we mean by outsourcing: it's the shifting of easily codified jobs - such as help desk support, call centers, system maintenance, and programming jobs - to countries that can manage them more cheaply.
How to Transform Your Voicemail into an Effective Medium of Communication
"Hi this is Randy. Leave me a message after the beep and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.
Mexico: Online Ordering-Dont!
I got it into my head sometime in December 2004 that I wanted order a laptop computer. I thought I would get one from the hugely popular computer company that allows you to call their 800 number and custom order what you want.
Is Your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) System Doomed To Fail?
"Right, People. Let's blast out that mail campaign we've been planning for so long.
Hook Me Up With A Human
Oh, what has happened to the carbon-based organizational interface? Many organizations have digitized humans - aka carbon-based units - out of existence in their customer service operations. Now, I love digital technology as much as anyone, but it is time to bring the people back into their appropriate customer service roles, don't you think?Have you ever tried to reach a human at Amazon.
Moments That Matter
Many years ago, I was a first year apprentice assigned the task of pressure washing a set of condensing coils on the roof of a grocery store on Capital Hill in Seattle, an upscale part of town.It was a 90-degree day, in late August.
Treating the Customer Dissatisfaction Epidemic: How to Go Beyond Simply Masking the Symptoms
Corporations in every sector are spending more than ever before in an attempt to improve their customer service levels. Every year they pour hundreds of millions of dollars into new systems and training programs that promise them the ability to win customer loyalty.
Setting Up a Customer of the Week Program for a Mobile Car Wash
In a mobile detail or mobile car wash business you are on a first name basis with your customers. You sink or swim with your ability to please your customer and rely on them to build your business by referring their friends, associates and neighbors.
A White Paper: Profiting with Kindness
In 2002, there wasn't much interest for Kindness in business, and some business people would question, "What does kindness have to do with business, anyway?" Is this a for real question or just to prove a point? Or perhaps they couldn't figure out what being kind really had to do with business. Or perhaps the word was a jargon word, an unfamiliar language.
What You Need to Know About CRM
1. It's all about the customer.
Customer First Customer Service
The world of customer service is rapidly changing. Thirty years ago, telephones and mail services were the norm for most companies.
Why Cant Microsoft Make Soft Packaging?
Why is it that Microsoft wants you to buy its product but does not want you to open the plastic case that is welded around the cardboard box? I believe that such packaging along with cockroaches will survive atomic disasters!Good luck finding any clue as to an easy way to open this fused bit of skin-tearing packaging. I split my scissors trying to pry open the ends.
Why You Should Always Honour Your Guarantees - Even When The Customer Is In The Wrong
The Reason Why Direct Internet Marketers Have To Work So Hard To Earn Our TrustA bad attitude to customer service can literally destroy your business.So, I thought I'd share my response to what I read on an Internet Marketing Forum recently to illustrate my point.
Dissatisfied or Rude Customers Can Be Satisfied Customers
On a recent airline flight I was an upset customer. I was arriving on a late inbound flight and connecting with the last flight out on the same airline, but the connecting flight left without me! At first, I was furious when told to wait in a line of 300 people to resolve my problem.
Customers Who Rave About You and Your Service
According to customer service studies by marketing gurus of the world, here are the following qualities, which must be present in your life and your business in order to develop raving fan customers who are not just satisfied but completely loyal to you over the long haul.1.
Customers - Hold Onto the Ones Youve Got
You probably spend a great deal of your time looking for newcustomers or clients. However, are you sure your doingenough to hold onto the ones you've got.
What have you done for your existing customers lately? Probably not much, if you are like most businesses.I know that hunting new business is more of an adrenaline rush than working the business you already have, but it is not as crucial to your long-term success.
Increase Sum in Your Check Account with Follow-Ups
We'll be examining what makes follow up to prospects/customers so important on our online world today.Are you familiar with this scenario?Joined an affiliate program with good pay-out.
What Type Of Software Is This?
The other day while at the book store, I came across some accounting software CDs strewn with other CDs and books in garage sale box.How can any self respecting businessman (even a small one at that) pick up a copy of this cheap sale accounting CD from the box for his business to use? He'd think "what type of accounting system is this that would end up in a garage sale?".
Customer Feedback: Everyone has an Opinion - USE IT!
Have you ever been in a department store and known exactly what you were looking for but couldn't locate any staff to help you find it? Think of your website as your very own department store, and your contact numbers, email addresses, and FAQ's navigational buttons as your staff. Without these handy interaction tools, your purchaser will get frustrated and E-shop somewhere else.
AusTrade Domain Is For Sale - $15,000 For Enquiries eMail Us
© www.AusTrade.biz - 2012