HOW TO DEVELOP A CUSTOMER-ORIENTED COMPANY CULTURE
Good customer service rests on three pillars: the right employees, sound practices, and training. Like a three-legged stool, your customer service efforts will be shaky if they rest on only one of the pillars.
Many business observers contend that the most critical facet of ensuring good customer service lies in simply hiring personable and responsible employees. The good news is that pre-employment screening tests can enhance the interviewing process by helping employees measure the skills and characteristics needed for success in customer service jobs.
There are a variety of valid tests available, and consistently hiring people who score higher on them will ensure that you select employees who will represent your business to customers inn a positive light. In addition, business owners are urged to make sure that they adequately inform potential employees of any customer-relations obligations that they might have. This is typically accomplished through training programs.
Employee training is an important component of customer service. Customer service principles should be put in writing, and it should be made clear that all employees are expected to be familiar with them and be prepared to live up to them. Business owners also need to recognize that customer service training should be extended to all employees who interact with clients, not just those in high profile sales positions.
Service technicians, for example, often regularly interact with customers, but all too often they receive little or no customer service training. More companies are asking their technicians to fill gaps in sales efforts and to repair communication breakdowns. Some companies are cultivating their technicians’ abilities to clarify customer needs and identify and capitalize on sales opportunities. Some managers are giving technicians greater authority to do what it takes to keep customers happy, such as occasionally not charging for a service call or a part.
Finally, businesses need to make sure that they work hard to ensure customer satisfaction on a daily basis. Customer service should be ingrained in the company. It has to be part of the company’s mission and vision, right from Day one. Then the rest tends to be simple – it carries over to your products, your advertising, your staffing, and everything else.