In a well run organization, valued customers can be internal or external. We define a customer as anyone we serve. That means, depending on your responsibilities, there may be no difference between internal customers – serving your fellow employees and management – and external customers who purchase or use your goods and services.
We then define good customer service as the experience all of us want to have when we are the customer. It should reflect what your organization believes and the values you share, as well as providing the same treatment to everyone in the organization whether it is the president or the front line person.
By encouraging and promoting this within your organization, you reinforce the skills and attitudes of customer service excellence that are beneficial to your employees and to your paying customers.
Business storytelling and purpose driven marketing also serve your employee experience. You do your best to make sure your customers know your value proposition – and your values. Do your employees know what you stand for? Regardless if your organization is a Forbes top 10, a small company, a non-profit, or a government agency, internal marketing is just as important a part of your brand as customer education. Plus, it is another boost to employee engagement.
Here are ten tips for making every employee take responsibility for the customer experience:
1. Ensure all employees know each service and/or product you provide (up-to-date summaries and other job aids are very helpful);
2. Identify what sets you apart and what values your organization stands for;
3. Reinforce the critical customer service role they have in the successes of your organization;
4. Ensure all employees understand and apply all the steps defined in the customer service experience;
5. Provide cross-selling strategies to support sales and marketing efforts;
6. Ensure that managers and supervisors know and understand how to role-model and effectively manage the customer service experience;
7. Implement monthly team meetings (led by supervisors and managers) to provide product/service updates and review customer relationships and challenges;
8. Ask employees for suggestions on how to improve the customer experience – and take their ideas seriously;
9. Obtain feedback from customers and share with customer service teams;
10. Empower employees with specific guidelines on how to satisfy customers on the spot – but, above all, support them, especially if a customer is demeaning, abusive or threatening.
As Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos said, “Customer service should not be a department, it should be the entire company.”
Desander Mas – Signitt
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