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To improve customer service on an ongoing basis must be an integral part of every employee's job description. Great customer service is intentional, it's not something great businesses just "happen" to provide. It's a choice that business owners and their employees make on a daily basis, during every customer interaction.
Every day when an employee walks into their workplace, they either
knowingly, or unknowingly, choose how they will conduct themselves
throughout the day.
It's of paramount importance that your employees know what you expect. They must know that you expect them to arrive to work on time; to leave at home any negative moods or other personal issues that will distract them from providing the best service possible to their customers. If they can't effectively focus on the customer due to personal issues, then the employee needs to take the necessary time off they need to address those issue so they can return to their job squarely focused on their customers.
Employees must understand that you expect them to purposefully choose to add value to every customer to the best of their ability.
Making sure every team member shows up to work, ready to work and meet the expectations of their job is the responsibility of the leader. One of the most important things a leader can do to ensure team members are ready for the day is to be on site when team members walk in the door and greet them with a sincere "Good morning, how are you?"
Listen closely to the response you receive from the employee...
"We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better."
- Jeff Bezos
Did the employee make eye contact with you, with a smile on their face and say, "Good morning, I'm great, how are you?" Or, maybe they said, "I'm doing fine now that I made it through traffic." Either response is positive, no major clues that the employees isn't ready to have a productive day.
However, if the employee responds in a manner that seems negative, or the employee is frowning, appear to be shaken or overly distracted, those would be possible signs you might need to engage further. "Hey Sarah, are you doing okay, is there something I can help you with?" By showing a level of concern that is sincere and not judgmental, you open the door for the employee to possibly share more information that will help you to decide the next best course of action. Bottom line, you need Sarah to be on top of her game and ensure that the interaction you just witnessed will not be the experience of the customer.
A little conversation goes a long way to improve customer service standards with your employees. After a short discussion, Sarah will most likely recognize needs to leave personal issues at the door so she can provide excellent service to her customers.
The following key points are critical to the delivery of quality customer service:
Each of the above steps are key to improve customer service quality. As the leader it is your responsibility to regularly coach to these steps and to inspect that all team members are living up to their customer service promise.
- John Russell
There are many benefits you will receive when you improve customer service on an ongoing basis, which include:
Businesses that execute the 10 key steps provided above are certain to improve customer service standards for their business and reap these many benefits as a result of their hard work and focused efforts.