Magazine article CRM Magazine

Great Customer Service Isn't an Accident: To Bring about Outstanding Service Experiences, Your Employees Have to Actually Be Put in a Position to Deliver Them

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Great Customer Service Isn't an Accident: To Bring about Outstanding Service Experiences, Your Employees Have to Actually Be Put in a Position to Deliver Them

Article excerpt

I FREQUENTLY HEAR customer service war stories, and there are a few common themes: Agents are poorly trained and do not know the answers; agents would clearly prefer to be anywhere else, doing anything else; agents rush people off calls; agents reject reasonable/common-sense requests because they conflict with company policy; companies don't care about their customers' time and make them repeat the same information over and over; customers are transferred until disconnected. In an era where customer service is a primary differentiator between otherwise indistinguishable products and services, this doesn't make sense, does it?

Delivering a great customer experience should be a top goal for all organizations because it impacts the perception of a company and its bottom line. When customers are highly satisfied and enjoy doing business with a company, they have no reason to go elsewhere. But delivering great service is difficult and expensive. And in most cases, it requires companies to make major transformations, starting at the top.

BEST PRACTICES TO ENABLE A GREAT SERVICE EXPERIENCE

There are proven practices for delivering outstanding service, but many companies use only one or two of them, and only periodically instead of consistently, which communicates a clear message to employees that these standards are not all that important. It is one thing to tell your employees that they need to provide an outstanding customer service experience; it's another to make the commitment and investments that enable them to actually deliver it.

The following actions can position companies and their employees to consistently deliver the high quality of service your customers expect:

Establish shared customer service goals for all departments and hold every manager and employee accountable. Delivering great service has to be the responsibility of everyone in a company, not just the contact center. This will happen only if all departments share this goal and are evaluated based on how well they achieve it.

Break down organizational silos so that you can improve first-contact resolution. Your customers see your organization as one entity, not as a group of disparate departments that do their own thing. …

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