Providing outstanding customer service is one of the most rewarding yet challenging activities within any organization. Exceptional organizations that provide outstanding customer service generate bigger revenues, better margins and have less staff turnover.
We think that most organizations agree with this concept and yet trying to find exceptional customer service remains troublesome – mediocre service is commonplace and poor service is rampant. There are thousands of papers, books and documents on the subject and yet quality service often times remains elusive for many companies.
We hold that underpinning any positive interactions with a customer is the corporate attitude toward service and the customer. An organization serious about delivering top quality service needs to constantly work on its attitude and the team’s attitude to providing outstanding customer service. All employees and contractors are customer service leaders and should be held accountable as such.
The organization needs to set the right tone and to ensure that everyone is motivated by the corporate attitude. If the organization truly values the customer, the team will follow the lead and provide outstanding customer service. If the organization views the customer as the enemy or an interruption, the employees will follow this lead and communicate this negative attitude to the customers they serve.
Every customer service experience is a learning experience that is preparing the organization for future opportunities. Understanding the customer’s “pain” and creating empathy for outstanding customer service solutions drives resolution and innovation. Gathering continuous feedback and having the “courage to listen” to the customer service team’s responses is critical in developing service strategies that differentiate you from the competition.
Customer service team members, because they are on the frontline, can provide the organization with excellent information on how to service the customers. These insights, if listened to, provide real quality input into how an organization might better be perceived by the customers it needs to serve.
The attitude toward customers is key. Too often the customer remains a statistic – a conversion ratio or a wallet share metric. Any company needs to measure these metrics, but the metrics are influenced by the attitude to the customer when they reach out and interact with the business. Positive interactions move the dial on margin, conversion, repeat business and advocacy and so why do so many companies talk the talk but crash and burn when actually interacting with a customer in one of those ‘moments of truth’?
If your attitude toward customers sucks as an organization, your customer experience sucks. If your attitude truly demonstrates an approach to the customer that recognizes that they actually pay the bills, then your customer interactions will be so much more successful. Get your corporate attitude right and the results will follow…