Archive for October, 2009

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

Any organization that serves others must provide what is commonly called Customer Service. That is, when a customer has an issue, they need some one to call who will get the issue resolved. Here are some thoughts on providing excellent Customer Service:

1. Don’t give the customer any reason to call. That is, anticipate and fix problems before the customer ever sees their effects. We used to hold top level weekly meetings where we reviewed all unsolved customer service problems. More often than not these were new issues, often easily solved, but things the customer service people had not been trained to address.
2. Get rid of those extensive call director menus, and allow your customer to talk to a real person, quickly. I know this is a cost issue. My solution? Allow the customer to self select into a longer automated queue if they are comfortable doing so.
3. Have your Customer Service people take charge of the customer’s problem, lift it off of the customer’s shoulders, give your people a procedure for dealing with these things, and compensate them for doing so. Get back to the customer when a solution is provided.
4. Training, training, training. How can you expect your customer service people to know the answers to all the problems that might come up if you do not gather information company wide, craft solutions, and inform your people about them?
5. Compensation. Craft a structure to pay good employees for good work, as an incentive compensation plan laid over base wage.

Remember, you will not receive a call from your customer when he switches to your competitor.