A few weeks ago, Kristina Evey of Centric Strategies asked me to provide a guest post on her blog, which I happily supplied. You can see that post, The Customer-Centric Leader, here. In follow up conversations, Kristina and I wondered, “What would front-line customer service employees say to their leaders if they had a sort of “open mike night”? Kristina’s guest blog post below is a result of that rumination, which takes the form of an open letter to customer service leaders.
Top Ten Wish List to Improve Customer Relationships and Service
By Kristina Evey
Dear Customer Service Leader:
It’s us, your staff. You’ve been talking to us lately about how we should focus on improving customer service with our company. So, in order to do that, we’ve compiled a list of things that we need from you to help us deliver excellent customer service.
OUR TOP 10 WISH LIST TO IMPROVE CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
- Tell us what is expected of us. We have no way of knowing what it is you want us to do or how to act if you don’t tell us what you expect.
- Communicate with us. By opening the lines of communication as to how we are doing, what you like or what you don’t, we can tailor what we do to the expecations.
- Empower us. The more power you relinquish to us, the better able we are to serve our customers needs.
- Recognize and reward me. We don’t need a party thrown for us every time we do something well, but it is certainly nice to know that you notice when we do things right. “I noticed how you took the extra time to really help that customer. I like the way you handled that.” Those words will carry me for a long time.
- Treat us the way you want us to treat the customer. When you give us the service you’d like us to deliver to our customers, we’ll know exactly what to do.
- Hold me accountable. When I know that my compensation will reflect my efforts to develop positive customer relationships, I’ll do everything I can to deliver quality customer service.
- Help me manage customer expectations. Please work with us to let customers know when they can reasonably expect products to be delivered, to see results, or know what to expect. When we say, “You should receive this soon.” Soon can mean tomorrow or next week, depending upon the customer’s perception.
- Support my decisions that we make using good judgement. Know that we make the best decisions we can at the time with the information available to us. It increases our confidence when you support us. Yes, we will make mistakes sometimes. We promise we will learn from those and not repeat them if at all possible.
- Walk a Day In Our Shoes. Could you take an hour a week and do our jobs? If you answered the phones once in a while, made the deliveries, scheduled shipments, prepped the procedure, you would know the challenges and needs that we have. We would also know that you truly appreciate the work that we are doing.
- Set Customer Service Minimums. Help us set some Customer Service Minimum standards that we all know are the very least we will do for our customers. This will encourage us to revisit our service and continually increase the level of service that we provide.
These requests are really customer retention strategies that will help us to develop profitable customer relationships. We know that without our customers, there is no business. Without the business, we don’t have jobs. In today’s economy, good jobs are hard to come by and we sincerely appreciate having our jobs. We would love to work with you to build customer loyalty and improve the customer’s experience when they do business with us.
Kristina Evey helps companies improve the way they connect with their customers. She is the owner of Centric Strategies, a firm oriented toward developing a cultural mindset focused on the customer. Her strategy is to ensure that everyone within a company or group is of the same “Customer Centric” mindset. You can also find many customer retention strategies by visiting www.KristinaEvey.com and signing up for her free newsletter focused on helping your company become more customer centric.