Everyone’s trying to improve their customer service, some with more success than others. Last month, the New York Times column The Haggler, which usually posts customer service horror stories, gave voice to tales of exceptional service. The column was a refreshing change and likely sent plenty of business towards the companies mentioned.
So how can a company improve their customer service enough to be column-worthy? Google turns up a hodgepodge of papers, articles and books, some of which may bump your customer service up a notch, but you’d be hard pressed to find a clear, step-by-step plan.
That’s where we come in. We’ve improved customer service for dozens of companies: for example, GE CareCredit attributes a 31% increase in revenue to our customer service improvement program. So, we thought it was time to share the plan we use to improve customer service.
Our 5 Step Plan to Improve Customer Service:
- Pick your goals. Ask yourself what, in addition to answering customers’ immediate questions and concerns, you’d like to accomplish through customer service. There are seven main goals that customer service can achieve. These include optimizing self-service, expanding your brand and increasing customer loyalty.
- Catalog your interactions. Identify each customer touchpoint and decide how you will realize your goals from step 1 in these front-line situations.
- Create a model communication for each customer touchpoint. Your model communications may take the form of call scripts, email templates, checklists or talking points. Regardless of the format, you must set the bar and show associates exactly what you expect from each touchpoint that you identified in step 2.
- Measure meaningful details. Averages often mislead. So be sure to measure the weird stuff—the stuff that gets at the heart of interaction quality—like percent of time associates demonstrate they care about the customer, or end their interactions in an authentic and positive way.
- Keep your employees in the loop. Monitor your performance with mystery shopping, customer service monitoring and other forms of customer service quality assurance. Make sure your whole team knows how they’re doing, and which specific steps they need to take to improve their performance.
Read more about our 5 step plan in our full article here.