Friday, April 27, 2012

Getting in Your Customers’ Way?

Take the time to evaluate the direction of your customer service and you may discover it's time to realign your compass. Policies, procedures or people may be getting in the way. We can't afford to lose customers because of these three crucial factors.

Just the word "policy" turns off customers. Consider how you do business─what policies you have in place and may need to revisit. Policies are often there for the company's convenience rather than the customers'. We need to focus on how to make it EASY for customers to do business with us.

Procedures have often been in place since the inception of a business─or since the first person to do the job at the company created them. Many procedures are still followed simply because they've "always done it that way." We need to revisit our procedures regularly and make sure we're not simply creating hoops for our customers to jump through.

People skills
Take a close look at the people skills of those who work with customers─and those who lead them. Do you have employees who are rude or inept? Do managers override policies for certain customers and make front line employees look foolish? According to John Goodman, Vice Chairman and co-founder of TARP Worldwide, "Employees come to work wanting to deliver great service, but the processes and policies they work under, coupled with insufficient managerial support, are the real causes of customer dissatisfaction and disloyalty. Employees receive the customers’ anger for events they have no control over…and this is what makes employees unhappy."

Just as I call audiences to take action in my keynote, take the time to look closely at your policies, procedures and people skills. Our goal? Set a compass bearing in line with our customers' rather than creating obstacles they must overcome to do business with us.