Why is it that some companies are able to provide great customer service while others can’t? Your employees can be polite and courteous to customers but no matter how hard they try, there is always something standing in the way of your customers receiving a positive impression of your services.
It might be that there are some barriers to this happening. Can you eliminate any of these 5 barriers to delivering superior customer service?
- You promise more than you can deliver. I once worked with a medical firm that wanted all of their employees to wear buttons proclaiming, “We never say no.” “But can you always say, “Yes,” to a patient or their family?” I inquired. “Well, no, sometimes we can’t let them do something for government or health reasons,” they replied. “Then don’t promise it,” I said. “It’s a sure recipe for unhappy customers.” Promise only what you are sure you can deliver.
- Your service policies are too rigid. You often see this come out in a company’s return policy. They allow you to return it within three weeks, but not one day after three weeks. Have you ever been told, “It’s our policy” when some service representative was unable to give you what you wanted? Didn’t it just make your blood boil? Policies that are too rigid and don’t allow for some variation depending on the circumstances will always get you in customer service hot water.
Note: Check out 8 Keys to Creating a Customer Service Culture for more tips on creating a true culture of service in your organization.
- Customer service representatives or sales clerks do not have the authority to solve most of the customers’ problems. If most of the decisions are made somewhere up the line, you might as well have a robot doing the work. You must give your people the power and authority to solve the customer’s problems there and then.
Yes, you do need to set some boundaries; after all you can’t let them “give away the store,” but make those boundaries wide and long. Give them lots of options and ways that they can satisfy the customer.
- Not listening to your employees – the ones that deal with your customers. Who knows best what is working or not working as far as your customer service policies are concerned? Who knows where the breakdowns in service are occurring? Your frontline people of course. Develop a system to listen to them on a regular basis. One company I’m working with has a brief staff meeting once a week to discuss, “What’s dumb, what needs to be different?” They have been able to eliminate many customer service barriers this way.
5. Not providing customer service training to your employees – Customer Service Skill training can make all the difference when it comes to delivering superior service. Many frontline workers are not equip to manage difficult people and tough situations, and yet you company depends on them. Providing training can bridge the gap from good to great service in your organization.
So what about your organization? Are stupid policies, rules and regulations standing in the way of delivering exceptional customer service? Why not call a meeting right now to find out what you need to change?
I share valuable Customer Service tips and insights for front line managers and employees on how to deliver customer service to keep your customer coming back. The name of the game is customer loyalty and it’s not just about satisfaction. It’s about a willingness to be a repeat buyer, willingness to recommend you to others, and resistance to switching to a competitor. Fortunately I learned this lesson through my 15-year corporate career. Poor service is an all-too-frequent experience for us all. I provide a framework for implementing ongoing processes that can build customer loyalty.
Let’s Talk today about what we can do to get your team motivated, engaged and delivering superior service every time.