It is important to understand that good customer service starts with the entrepreneur and flows from there. So before you create a customer service program or revamp the one you currently have, start giving good customer service. Your employees look to you for cues on how to behave and how to treat customers. Keep in mind that how you treat your employees will have an impact on how your employees treat customers. If you are rude, mean, condescending or otherwise inappropriate with your employees they will be more likely to be slack in their customer service efforts. When you treat your employees poorly and then talk about the importance of customer service, it sets a dangerous precedent. It makes it appear that employees only need to provide good customer service in order not to get caught or get into trouble. This is a very different idea than having employees who look at providing good customer service as something you do all the time, even when there is no one in management around to see and reward it.
As an entrepreneur, start customer service with the service you provide to your employees. Do you greet your employees when you see them each day? Do your employees feel comfortable talking with you? Are you the type of entrepreneur an employee can speak with about problems on the job without concerns for continued employment? Do employees so you as wise, principled and intelligent? Or do employees see you as a petty dictator incapable of handling criticism? When employees see that you give good service to them, they are more likely to believe you when you talk about how important good customer service.
If you do not have a customer service policy, get one now! Create a customer service policy and share it with your employees. If you have a customer service policy, look at it objectively and ask the following questions:
- is the customer service policy in writing
- do all employees have a copy of the customer service policy
- are employees trained in all areas of the customer service policy on a regular basis
- what is the focus of the policy
- do customers know about your customer service policy
- is the customer service policy being followed on a regular basis
When objectively looking at your customer service policy, look at things from a customer’s perspective and ask the following questions:
- do customers come back to my organization first for products and services whenever they need them
- do customers refer friends and family to my organization
- do customers come to my organization by choice or because there are no options
- do customers send thank you letters to my organization
- do customers smile when entering and leaving my place of business
Take time today to work on your customer service policies. Think about each area of business from the time customers find you on the internet, until the time they are sitting at home using or thinking about your product or service about your product and service. In each area, make a list of things you can do to make the experience better for your customers. Is your website easy to navigate? When customers call you on the phone can they reach a person or must they leave voice mail messages and yell at automated prompts? If a customer has a question after the sale, are you available and happy to be of assistance? Customer service is not a one and done type of activity, it is something you must work on regularly in order to keep your customers satisfied and your business profitable.
If you would like to read more articles about the importance of customer service check out the following articles.
Every business has customers and those customers should be treated as if they are valued, appreciated and desired. Customer service is the mechanism that makes that happen. It is, quite frankly, one of the most important areas of business for an entrepreneur, so the question for you this thrilling day is what area of customer service can you improve?