30 June 2011

Does customer service improve with age?

improve customer service

Customer service improvement

Can the passage of time improve customer service? Some wines have the ability to get better with age but let us not forget that they need to be kept in perfect condition, monitored to assess their balance and sometimes remedial action needs to be taken. Customer service presents a similar degree of complexity to the extent that the environment can change rapidly and everyone's taste can be substantially different. Time can help to bed down procedures, to perfect the training of employees and better understand customer needs. But, as for wine, there will come a time when quality starts to deteriorate. Rather than wait, it is preferable to design new service standards and celebrate their implementation with a deserved glass of the said wine rather than see it being wasted.

Picture courtesy of Riedel, the Wine Glass Company, with our thanks

24 June 2011

Customer service: Stand out from the crowd

stand out customer service

Stand out customer service

Developing a customer service proposition which stands out from the crowd is the aim of many. Hands raised, waving the flag, surely our service is differentiated... Unfortunately we rarely get to see the perspective of the customer and often unable to assess objectively whether our company genuinely stands out. Gathering customer feedback through social media channels as well as through the more traditional tools becomes a critical activity. This is especially true if we suddenly discover that we stand out for the wrong reason in which case the company reputation is under threat and remedial action must be taken as a matter of urgency

Picture courtesy of Peter Stevens with our thanks - 

16 June 2011

Shadow customer service

shadow customer service
So much effort is being deployed on customer service design that it becomes nearly impossible for individuals to be themselves. The rule books, the scripts, the do's and don'ts mean that at best the modern customer service company executive is a shadow of himself. Unsurprisingly this plethora of procedures can often be counter-productive as clients feel that their interlocutor is not acting in a natural or genuine way.  It can also provide plenty of ammunitions for the customer service officer to be obstructive rather than helpful - "computer says no!" or "this is against our policy" become frequently used sentences. More worrisomely this often leads to poor levels of job satisfaction which rapidly result in poor customer service. So, make sure your employees do not turn into customer service shadows.

07 June 2011

Customer service poem

customer service poem
Customer Service Poem

Be Versed in Good Service

For really top service beyond all compare,
You have to let customers know that you care,
Right from first contact, the seeds will be sown,
So take time to smile when you pick up the phone,

 Be professional, courteous, clear and concise,
When talking of colour, delivery and price,
Don't rush through your work, or do jobs on the cheap,
And don't make a promise you know you can't keep,

If a customer phones, and is feeling uptight,
Do all that you can to make every thing right,
Sympathise, listen, and let them explain,
You can turn things around, so they'll come back again,

Customer service is just like a poem,
If it's good you will smile, if it's bad you'll just groan.

©Jan Jacks Perfect Verse 2011 
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