Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit: The Secrets of Building a Five-Star Customer Service Organization, by Leonardo Inghilleri and Micah Solomon, holds a spot on the ShareFile reading list. Here are two of the book’s most helpful lessons for anyone who wants to create a strong support ethic in their business.
Everyone in your company is part of the service team: You may have a specific customer service team, but every employee can work to improve the customer experience. Inghilleri and Solomon call this approach ‘Function Versus Purpose.’ Employees can provide the best service to a customer when they know that is their primary responsibility, above and beyond any routine tasks. By emphasizing that the company’s foremost goal is to help the customer, leadership can foster a service environment where everyone is ready and able to drop what they are doing to assist a customer.
It’s never your policy to inconvenience a customer: Has a service rep ever told you that they cannot fulfill a request due to company policy? Within your own company, you may not be able to give every customer what they ask, but turning a client away with a reference to company policy shows a breakdown in the problem-solving capability of the rep.
There are steps that you can take to ensure that your customer support team is empowered to provide a more satisfying experience.
-Enable client-facing employees to resolve issues on the spot: If you work in an industry where refund requests are frequent, consider adopting a more liberal refund policy. Offering refunds for problematic goods and services restores trust with clients, encouraging them to try your services again in the future or even pass along a good word to potential new clients. This tactic applies to other concessions, such as allowing customer service to expedite orders. Giving customer support reps the power to resolve issues immediately can increase the cost of support, but it can also lead to more positive, helpful service interactions and loyal customers.
-Brainstorm appropriate responses to requests you cannot reasonably fulfill: There will be times when fulfilling a client’s request isn’t the best option for the company or for the client. Talk to your customer support employees about what they should and should not say in these cases. Instead of giving an excuse, a rep may be able to offer an alternative resolution that the client may not have considered. Working with clients to come up with a suitable response to any issues they report can take some trial and error, but it can also build stronger client relationships.
Look out for more lessons from Exceptional Service, Exception Profit next week. To experience world class customer service, sign up for a free ShareFile trial or call us at 1-800-441-3453.