Total Customer Service for all

There are only two ways your company can earn revenue – one is getting customers, the second is keeping them. These activities are everyone’s responsibility.

The success of any firm, whatever its size, is not only due to skilful financial management, brilliant marketing or superior products, though it sure as hell helps!  At heart, their formula for continuing success includes deceptively simple but vital ingredients.

Everything they do is devised to generate customer satisfaction and to earn customer loyalty:

  • They answer customer enquiries helpfully as well as efficiently
  • They make you feel you really matter both as a person and as a customer
  • Their systems and procedures are customer friendly
  • On the telephone they sound welcoming, friendly and helpful
  • People working in them look as if they enjoy it
  • They behave like small businesses trying to succeed

Everyone from the top executives to the most junior employees is in the business of getting and keeping customers. Nobody is likely to set out deliberately to lose customers, but unless you set out deliberately to gain and retain them, that is exactly what will happen.

Customer service is about more than the interface between sales staff and customer. It is about all employees, because the front line staff cannot perform if there are any shortcomings in production, clerical, or after-sales activities.

Too often employees in factories and offices feel distanced from the company’s paying customers. A key element in total customer service is closing that gap, causing every employee to feel legitimately involved in the company’s only revenue generating activity.

Research shows that a 2% improvement in customer retention has the same impact on profit as a 10% reduction in overheads. Therefore another key element in total customer service is identifying and eliminating all the causes which result in customers lost to competitors.

Remove boxes and artificial internal barriers. There are unbreakable links between internal and external service:

  • Why do we lose customers?
  • What blockages need to be removed in order to provide Total Customer Service?
  • Who is accountable for what?
  • Who is accountable for leadership – customer service must be managed, in a way that enables employees to share ownership of it on a day to day basis
  • Review the quality of service – the quality and consistency of service supplied by managers and other team leaders directly influence the quality and consistency of services employees provide their own customers
  • What could be done to improve customer service?
  • Is technology and producer efficiency overtaking customer care? – the answering machine; using e-mail sparingly and well written?

^ page top