Question: How do you avoid a decline in customer service when growth takes off?
Customer Service Is Everyone's Job
"Companies lose their way as they and senior management moves completely out of the trenches. One of the best things a company can do is make sure that every new hire goes through customer service shifts as part of their training -- no matter if they are a sales rep of the VP of Finance. Then, once a quarter, rotate the senior management through the occasional shift. "
Sell or Serve?
"Is your corporate philosophy one of 'sales' or 'service?' A sales philosophy generates a transactional mentality which erodes customer loyalty and longevity. An attitude of service (throughout the organization) nurtures a relationship with your customer, resulting in a life-long customer."
Share the Risk, Share the Reward
"Clarify the impact that great customer service has on each employee's career. Educate staff on the value of transformational versus transactional relationships, the concept of customer loyalty and how staff is the organization’s leading brand image. Publish metrics internally that define your organization’s customer service curve. Reward all staff for achieving customer service goals."
Try to Predict Future Demand
"Customer service is critical in consumer facing businesses. You must stay ahead of the game and try to predict future customer demand. It makes sense to rely on a temporary workforce to help with additional workloads during peak times, for example holiday season for most retailers."
Customer Service Decline = Business Decline
"This is a tough one -- managing all the requests with a growing business. That said, customers know when you really care or when you're just in it for the buck. The only true differentiator is why you do what you do (you care) and how you do it (with the best customer service). Use auto reminders, send hand written thank you's, and invest in good help."
It Begins With You
"Emphasize the importance of service to all of your staff. Good customer service begins with the head of the organization, the vision and philosophy that the CEO represents. It doesn't take any longer to provide good customer service than poor service. What you as the CEO believe and communicates is the basis of achieving good customer service and retaining customers."
Empower Employees to Delight Customers
"Everyone in a company should consider themselves responsible for customer service. Consider creating a culture where everyone understands that they are empowered to delight the customer at any time. Then, when you see amazing customer service coming from anyone in any department, reward it and call it out publicly. Exceptional customer service is a mindset that the whole company must have."
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