Sunday, March 4, 2007

Consistent Customer Care

People often wonder how some companies achieve consistently good service. One way is through careful recruiting. Another way is by setting standards for employees. This ensures that what they say, how and to whom are within what the company finds acceptable. This, in turn, ensures a consistent level of service every time. A consistent predictable level of service is also part of your brand.

Setting standards
Does your company have standards? Do your employees know how and how fast you expect phones to be answered and within which time limit to return calls or emails? When to speak to shoppers wandering in the store and what to say? How you expect them to deal with angry customers? To thank for the business and how to do so?

You can also set standards to ensure more up-selling and cross-selling. Some companies’ associates consistently ask: “Would you like dessert with that?” Do you realize that that dessert could add 25% to the sale?

Measure, reward or retrain
Setting standards or providing training without measuring if the standards or training lessons are being applied, is throwing money down the drain. Do you measure if employees are applying what they learnt? Mystery shopping is one way to measure. The results show if you must reward or retrain your employees.

Customer feedback forms
These are also extremely useful, if you use them consistently and with specific goals in mind. For instance, it is better to make sure every customer gets a card and most fill it in on a specific day, than to have 20 cards filled out by chance over a period when you no longer remember what was going on. Do it the first way and you will know where to make changes or which changes were effective. Do it the latter way and all you have is data you don’t really want to process and analyze.

MarkStra can help

  • Setting customer care and sales standards
  • Setting up and executing mystery shopping programs
  • Developing customer feedback programs and processing the forms

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