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7 Key Drivers for Great Customer Service

Most organizations in the world believe they deliver awesome service. To reinforce this, firms spend most of their money on surveys. With every transaction they want a survey. The NPS score is critical for so many firms. They tend to be everywhere and customers are bombarded with e-mail or online survey offers from companies who want to know their opinons about their products, services, etc.  The problem is most customers think customer service is lousy. Most people would have trouble identifying 5 firms that deliver exceptional service.

In the U.S. every firm feels compelled to spend most of  their money on surveys which irritates most customers.  Few people are compelled to respond and frankly, few firms do anything with the feedback. About 30 years ago U.S. firms focused on survey cards. In the early 1980’s Target had customer comment cards where the results were really bad.  They solved the problem by just changing the questions on the comment  cards so they could be happy with the results.

Good Service will not get you any loyal customers. Only superior, wow and awesome service will make an impact on your customers. Retailers like Sears, Marcy’s, JC Penny, Kohl’s are suffering from reduced sales as they are not keeping up with the retail online giants like Amazon. It’s almost impossible to find employees in most of these stores. Most customers prefer to shop at Amazon 24/7 with flawless execution of great service with every transaction for less money than most retailers. No lines and no looking for employees to help.

There are seven key drivers of great service.

  1. The Customer Experience. Most firm love rules and will do anything to make life miserable for the customer. They worship rules which are created to protect the company from untrustworthy employees and customers. (United Airlines is a poster child for dumb rules).

  2. Speed  Today customers want everything now. Most employees have a slow mindset and most companies love rules and policies which slow everything down. Amazon and Apple both understand speed.

  3. Live people answering the phone 24/7.  Too many firms worship at the alter of IVR Push 2 for English, 4 for Spanish, push 6 if you want etc and push 8 to go to HELL. For years I have been saying this is the most expensive piece of technology you will ever buy and you will never stop paying for it. In Kazakhstan my client, Technodom, now answers the toll free number 1717 in one ring in Russian or English. They are the most successful retailer in Kazakhstan. 

  4. Price  Very critical for most customers. Too many rules, too many under performing employees. Only Apple and Disney are immune to high prices.

  5. Empowerment. Employees have to be able to make a fast decision on the spot in favor of the customer. It is the single most difficult skill and attitude to get employees to use. Employees fear they will be fired and companies are afraid they will give away the store. Imagine if you had an over happy customer. What a problem. Amazon grew 27% or $29 billion last year because they have millions of over happy customers. I think it’s too much growth for most CEO’s but not for Jeff Bezos the founder, he is now the 2nd wealthiest person in the world.

  6. Terminate poor performing employees. About 10% of employees have poor attitudes, weak skills. The cost to improve them is very expensive and time consuming. The entire staff will be more productive once you start the process of eliminating poor performers. Our program Coaching for Success is designed to teach your managers and supervisors how to motivate employees through recognition. About 25% is focused on firing poor performing employees. These employees poison your employees and help create huge customer service problems. Click here.

  7. Employees need to be trained to deliver great service. You can take a high performing employee and develop their attitudes and skills. They should be viewed as an asset.

  8. Service Recovery is critical but less than 1% of organizations use it. When something goes wrong how do you take the customer from hell to heaven in 60 seconds? The solution is to empower and reward employees to solve problems quickly and to the customer’s satisfaction. Click here.


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