5 tips to help you deliver excellent customer service

1. Empower your team to give great customer service

Your team are the face of the company, look after them and they will look after your customers.

Hire people who care, people who are passionate about what they do.

Give your team the freedom to deliver, manage and then reward them through their achievements. Ensure your team members are people who just want to get on with the job.

Clients will then see how much your employees care about the business, the product, and customer experience.

Pay your employees well and treat them with respect to ensure their commitment to the company’s success, it’s their future too.

Don’t put off changes that you know you should make, that person will always be an issue and take you away your time from others who deserve your attention and encouragement. One person’s bad attitude can drag down an entire company’s reputation.

If you’re struggling as a business, don’t let yourself make the treatment of your employees a lesser priority. You need them, and you need the best they can offer.

Your employees should be happy to work for you. Create mentoring programs to allow for advancement within your business, encourage involvement and support suggestions.

Happier employees are infinitely more likely to provide solid customer service, so make it your goal to treat everyone the way you would like to be treated; ultimately, you’ll provide better business across the board.

Your strategy as a small business should be to continually develop a team that care.

2. Leadership

Show the team how it’s done, lead by example from the front. This will help gain real momentum within your team and customers love the ability to talk management easily with their questions, concerns and praise.

Be involved in your firm’s day-to-day operations, both for your customers’ and your employees’ sake. Appearing in person in your business and continually encouraging the quality of customer experience you embody will encourage others to do the same – it will become infectious. Failing to be present in your business can make it appear that you don’t care.

Share responsibility of departments, hand over ownership of tasks and give managers freedom for decision making, in line with the company’s parameters, targets and vision. Once done avoid the temptation to micro manage.

3 Encourage feedback – customer and employee

Social media is excellent for internal and external communications.

Everyone expects service and quality as a given in today’s business world. Encourage suggestions, how you can improve, and ensure you and the company are willing to learn from it.

The engagement has to be continual, respond authentically, it’s not just going to one person anymore it’s to an audience and is the current most cost effective way to advertise your business.

You will learn a lot about your business from feedback on social media – embrace it.

4. Under-promise and over-deliver

A commonly used term but this should form the basis of your service levels.

Ensure your KPI’s always measure service, quality and feedback

It’s your obligation to overcompensate for mistakes – resist the urge to act defensive. Many customers want nothing more than to vent their complaints. Listen patiently and offer sincere apologies.

Always go the extra mile. Although customers may not mention it to you when extra effort has been made, they will notice and will tell other people. Certainly, if no effort is made at all, they’ll definitely notice and be more likely to tell others, too!

5. Have a shared team target and action plan

Have a shared goal, communicate and reward on achieving it.

Have a measured and timed action plan that demonstrates how it can be reached.

Ensure everyone knows where they are going, what the plan is and their department’s role within that.

It doesn't have to be continual growth, it can be a strategy change or simply more of the same.

It wants to be achievable and clear for all to understand

Make changes in small achievable steps– good luck for the New Year.

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