biz-ability believes that in order to create a successful customer service change programme which lasts a lifetime, you need to first create a Service Culture.
- Start at the top - The CEO's attitude towards customer service is the primary determinant of the quality of service that a company delivers. This message also needs to be owned by all Stakeholders. If the senior management doesn’t believe it will make a difference, then it won’t.
- Put the customer in control - The best kind of customer service happens when management enables employees to put the customer in control. This requires two leaps of faith: first, management trusts customers not to take advantage of the situation; second, that management trust employees with this empowerment. There is nothing more frustrating than companies saying that something is “against company policy”.
- Take responsibility - A company that takes responsibility is likely to provide great customer service for two reasons: first, it's acknowledged that it's the company's problem and that it is the company's responsibility to fix it; second, customers won't go through the aggravating process of getting you to accept blame - if you went to the airport on time and checked your baggage, it's hard to see how it's your fault that it got sent to the wrong continent. You have to own the problem.
- Don't point the finger - This is the flip side of taking responsibility. A great customer service company doesn't point the finger, it figures out what the solution is regardless of whose fault the problem is and makes the customer happy. “You're either part of the problem or part of the solution.”
- Don't finger the pointer - A great customer service company doesn't shoot the messenger. When it comes to customer service, it could be a customer or an employee who's doing the pointing. The goal is not to silence the messenger, but to fix the problem that the messenger brought so that other customers won't have a bad experience.
- Don't be paranoid - One of the most common justifications for anti-service is “What if everyone did this?” If you put in a policy to take care of the worst case, bad people, it will anger and insult the majority of your customers. There will always be one or two individuals who abuse the system but generally people are reasonable.
- Under promise and over deliver - The goal is to delight a customer. For example, the signs in the lines at Disney tell you how long you'll have to wait from each point are purposely overstated. When you get to the ride in less time, you're delighted. Imagine if the signs were understated, you'd be angry because Disney lied to you.
- Stitch Customer Service into the fabric of the business - Putting it all together is the vital ending! This is not just an initiative belonging to the Customer Service Department, it is the heart of your company and owned by everyone.
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