- Develop and maintain a sound ‘Sustainable customer service’ strategic model and this should stem from and align with the entity’s overall strategy.
- Implement ongoing customer service training for management and staff at all levels. Make customer care everyone’s responsibility.
- Rotate staff so that they build relationships and become familiar with the different aspects of the organisation and appreciate the work that their internal customers do.
- Recognise and reward staff. Motivate staff through offering relevant incentives. This could be recognition, time off, money or other rewards. Empower staff to make decisions. This will not only motivate staff, but help with staff retention, too.
- Ensure that regular training improves knowledge of the company, its products, services and the way it operates. Educate and inform customers regularly regarding innovations. Don’t assume that they know there have been improvements.
- Make sure there is ongoing communication of a high standard internally and externally.
- Treat your internal and external customers as partners and adopt the attitude of being sales advisors or partners. Show them that you are interested and enthusiastic about their business and their needs. Understand their needs. Add value to them and their businesses, providing return on investment. Where possible, involve customers in new developments.
- Follow up. Send cards to say ‘thank you’ or make courtesy calls to show interest in meeting customers’ needs. Where possible, phone or meet. Don’t over use e-mails.
- Get feedback through customer surveys or other means. Measure client satisfaction and act on suggestions and requests where appropriate and advantageous. Implement strategies to improve customer satisfaction.
- Attend customer care seminars to provide visibility, make contacts, keep motivated, obtain ideas and continuously improve. Market and advertise your company in all appropriate electronic and other ways.
Ten Tips On Sustainable Customer Service
During 2009, ‘Brenda Eckstein International’ in conjunction with ‘Leverage and Growth’ (Leon Grové) presented many ‘Sustainable Customer Service Strategy’ workshops and programmes. These included a wide range of participants at workshops held ‘in house’ for various organisations, professions and businesses and also at ‘public’ workshops. One of the exercises during the workshop involves groupwork where each team produces ‘Ten tips on sustainable customer service’. Obviously the consolidated input from each workshop varies depending on the focus of that specific audience. Here we have captured the most frequently mentioned tips from all the sessions held during 2009.
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