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The days of companies relying on the customer service department to manage every complaint and challenge are all but completely gone.  Businesses are most effective when employees in every department have the same facts on hand to solve problems quickly and efficiently and to do it accurately on initial contact.  Doing so will reduce irritation and foster a healthier business/client relationship (I think we all know that transferring clients from one department to the next only exacerbates the problem).

Let’s be honest, it’s all about management and employees working in sync and keeping the lines of communication open and silos torn down. 

As a side note, I’d like you to consider this thought: when asking, “How was the service?” and the client says, “Fine”, you may have a problem on your hands.  “Fine” can mean, “The service was on point” or it could mean “I’m never going to return to your store”.  On the internet I found a funny phrase on posters and quote boards that support my claim that the word “fine” has a double meaning.  It says, “Fine is not fine! The scale goes Great, Good, Okay, Not Okay, I Hate You, Fine!”.

Now while that may be an exaggeration of sorts, we should take a look at a few ideas on how to build an effective customer-centric team so that when clients say “fine”, they mean the service was great !

  • Make sure everyone in the company understands the company’s core values.  Empower the team so that they can make decisions with minimal management involvement.  Be sure they understand your firm’s customer satisfaction accountability standards.  
  • Employees must understand the roles they play in the company.  Everyone has two jobs… (1) the one for which they were hired based on their skill set and credentials and (2) providing outstanding customer service to every customer every time—this includes internal/external customers, vendors, and suppliers.
  • Employees must have control over customer interactions (via live chat, telephone, written communication, social media…) because it conveys the notion that they are taking ownership in solving the problem.  They will understand that taking a stake in the matter will give them a voice during training sessions and teachable moments in sales/staff meetings.
  • Your team must understand your company’s customer philosophy (if none exists, by all means create one).  This is not to suggest that you should eliminate the customer service policy, however, the policy is consulted to resolve situations after they occur;  the philosophy is a proactive document; its tenets should be implemented on a daily basis to solve challenges before they occur.

Remember, your clients compare the service they receive from you with the service they receive from other businesses across all industries.  They want and expect an outstanding engagement each time they interact with you.  The best way to make that happen is to have a cracker jack team in every department of your company that is ready, willing, and able to deliver impeccable service !

Make it a great day and continue to be exceptional !

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