Is your service a ‘hit and miss’ affair? Many businesses have this challenge. We are sharing our ‘ten steps’ to help you build your own sustainable customer service programme. Try it, it works for organisations, firms and businesses!
In a recent workshop ‘Brenda Eckstein International’ presented ‘customer centrism’ training to 27 entrepreneurs and other SMME business owners on behalf of the Services Seta in Durban, Republic of South Africa. Participants were asked to develop and prioritise sets of the most important customer service principles. The consolidation of groupwork provided the following list and this forms the basis of an excellent programme which you can individualise to suit your needs.
Ten steps in preparing your ‘customer centrism’ programme
- Rate your businesses’ current performance on the set of principles in the table below scoring as follows:
1 – seldom
3 – half the time
5 – we are good at this principle
- Reflect on the status and consistency of customer service in your organisation, firm or business.
- Select those principles that are relevant and would be beneficial for you and your staff to work on, thus developing your own list forming your personalised programme.
- Choose one principle per week.
- Identify skills development within each chosen principle.
- Match the training.
- Create awareness of that week’s principle and have everyone in the organisation emphasising the application of that principle during that week.
- At the end of the week hold a ‘report back’ session where everyone reports how they have applied that week’s principle during the week and give examples of how they have ‘caught some-one doing something right’ (applying) that principle.
- At the end of each week, move on to the next principle
- You will have developed your own ‘sustainable customer service programme’ and you’ll consistently provide excellent service.
- Set ‘Customer Care’ goals.
- Monitor progress and act on deviation and other feedback.
- Actively invest in training employees in customer care principles, include in job descriptions, performance appraisal systems and reward appropriately.
- Ensure that everyone in your organisation has a ‘service’ mindset.
- Treat your customers as the most important part of your job.
- Treat your co-workers as customers.
- Have a sound knowledge of your organisation’s product, service, the way you operate and capabilities.
- Deliver what you promise.
- Go the extra mile.
- Make dealing with you a pleasurable experience. Delight your customers. Give personalised and warm exceptional service.
- Smile and use positive eye contact (where culturally acceptable) at every customer encounter.
- You spot it, you own it, you fix it and you follow it until the issue is resolved.
- Treat your customers as though there is competition.
- Act as an ambassador for your organisation.
Apply ‘Ten steps to customer centrism’ and you will benefit by providing consistently good external and internal service to your customers.