Improving Your Team's Customer Service
Has your team attended mandatory training to learn how to smile at the customer and be polite and friendly? Do you persist in having disgruntled customers despite your team's best efforts to smile brightly? Perhaps the problem lies in your service delivery methods as opposed to the level of enthusiasm with which services are delivered. Here is a technique for examining your team's service delivery practices.
- At your next staff meeting, draw a circle on a piece of easel paper to indicate your team's cycle of service. Moving around the circle clockwise, note each step in your cycle of service. Any step that involves direct contact with the customer will be written in a contrasting colour marker to the steps that occur but are invisible to the customer.
- Once your complete cycle of service has been described, begin to evaluate each point of customer contact to look for ways to improve customer satisfaction at that particular moment in the cycle.
- Next, look at the steps in the cycle that provide "behind the scenes" service, and look for opportunities to streamline or expedite those steps.
- Finally, evaluate the total cycle to assure that all steps of the process are in the most logical, and customer-friendly order. Look for opportunities to improve or expedite the entire service delivery system.
Once the team has isolated points in the cycle where improvement is needed, create service improvement plans that tell specifically what will be done to improve service at each point identified. Be sure to structure these activities so that they are listed in sequential order, and are linked to a specific timeline.
An annual review of the team's service cycle will lead to continuous improvement in service delivery, and that is bound to make your customers smile.