Delivering Exceptional Customer Service
After 40 years focused solely on customer service I continue to devote my time and energy on helping businesses create a service culture. I have written hundreds of articles and developed over 20 customer service programs that are focused on customer service.
The point I try to get across to everyone is…you are in the service business. Most companies think they’re in manufacturing and retail. It’s a paradigm switch. Amazon is successful because it understands it’s a customer service company that just happens to be the largest internet-based retailer in the world. Does it payoff to be focused solely on customer service? Amazon net sales will increase 32.4% to about $310 billion in 2020. They represent about 39% of e-commerce. Answer…yes it does… they celebrate excellent customer experiences.
Here are the six steps I tell everyone to creating a service culture. It works every time.
Understand you’re in the service business. Starbucks is successful because they understand they’re a customer service company that just happens to sell great coffee.
Look at all the policies, procedures, and systems you have in place that make life miserable for customers. You could have the nicest people in the world but also stupid hours, stupid rules, or stupid procedures that irritate customers. Stupid policies, procedures, and systems that keep customers from coming back.
Have empowerment. Every employee must be able to make fast and powerful decisions on the spot, and they better be in favor of the customer.
Be selective about whom you hire. Service leaders hire one out of 50 applicants, sometimes one out of 100, and they’re very careful. You have to look for the cream, the A players, instead of bringing on B and C players.
Educate and train the whole staff on the art of customer service with something new and fresh every four to six months. It doesn’t matter if you have 100, 1,000, or 10,000 employees; you better have something new and fresh constantly in front of them so when they go to work they say, “Fantastic—I’m taking care of customers.”
Measure the results financially so you know the impact customer service is making on revenue, on profit, and on market share. You have to track the numbers so you understand that it’s worth the time and effort.
My methods shouldn’t shock anyone—and it’s likely that most successful businesses are doing some of these things already. But I think it’s the commitment to following through on all six that establishes a great service culture.
John Tschohl is a professional speaker, trainer, and consultant. He is the President and founder of Service Quality Institute with operations in over 40 countries. John is a self-made millionaire traveling and speaking more than 50 times each year. His new book Relentless is now available. He is considered to be one of the foremost authorities on service strategy, success, empowerment and customer service in the world. John’s monthly strategic newsletter is available online at no charge. He can also be reached on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Share this Feature
Comments:comments powered by Disqus
- Multi-Unit Franchising
- Get Started in Franchising
- Open New Units
- Featured Franchise Stories