Although your customer service approach might be in place, all businesses experience failure points. All of them, manufacturing or service, large or small, it’s the nature of operating an organization. Are you aware of weaknesses in your business? And service industries, you don’t get off so easily, you experience just as many internal and external failures as manufacturing. An example is inadequate training that leads to the customer receiving mixed-messages.
Let me give you an example: a customer calls to resolve an issue with the services they received. The first person they speak with tells them “X”, then they are passed on to the department who is actually supposed to help them, that person tells them “Y” and then hands them off to a third person who then tells them…” that could not have happened it goes against company policy, we don’t provide that service”. That’s odd, because that is exactly the service that this customer received.
I’ve been there, have you? Makes you want to go just a little bit crazy! Whose fault is this? Well I can tell you it isn’t those three employees who answered the call! It’s a management issue, no one seems to be minding the store, so to speak. If you were running that operation, how would you fix it?
What to do:
Improving the situation entails a hands-on approach by executive management. I would challenge all execs to write a quick dialog of a common customer complaint. Make at least 6-calls to their own company, act as though they are a customer, play out the dialog. Be sure to log each outcome. These execs will experience first-hand exactly what their customers are experiencing. They should be looking for trends.
Here’s the questions to help you understand where your customer service approach has failed:
- How many times were you handed off?
- How many inconsistent versions of policy or deliverables were told to you?
- Were any of the employees actually knowledgeable about the service(s)?
- Were any of the employees able to define the problem, if so, did they offer a solution?
- How did the employees treat you, as the caller?
- If you were a customer, would you be satisfied with the outcome of the call?
We think of “Process” A series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end. as only existing in manufacturing or production. Every action, every movement in every company is a process.
Some are clearly defined, some are not. Some are innate in the majority of companies, like answering the phone. But, a truly customer-service-oriented company will have a clearly defined policy surrounding answering the phone, it’s their process!
Execs, do you actively mine your customer for feedback? This is Item #6 in the Rockefeller Habits checklist, a summary of a CEO’s job description if they want to scale and grow a company.
Schedule a free call with a business growth coach to learn more about process improvement and growth concepts that will improve your company’s performance.