The survival of a business is critically dependent on its ability to continually bring in new revenue from both new and old customers. Excellent customer service is one way that old customers can be turned into repeat customers and, through word-of-mouth, new customers can be found. Pleasing customers with prompt service and friendly attitudes is often left up to those employees in lower level positions such as service technicians and checkout clerks. As a business owner or manager, there are several ways to ensure that great customer service is being given.
Disallow negative talk about customers within the workplace. Forbid employees from talking about your customers in a negative light; this will improve their overall perception about the importance of the customer to the company's success. This positive attitude will subconsciously transfer to a positive interaction with the customers themselves.
Record customer service calls. Listen to customer service calls to help determine several quantitative measures by which to measure customer service. There are time measures such as time to solve a problem or the number of issues handled within a certain time frame. There is also the ability to determine how many situations an employee has resolved with respect to other employees in a certain time period. Though, time is not everything in customer service if they are not being treated cordially. Use recorded customer service calls to determine which employees need further training on dealing with customers based on their tone of voice and direct language.
Get customer feedback through surveys. Asking customers to fill out surveys at the end of their experiences is a great way to determine if they are pleased with your service. This can also provide quantitative information because you are able to ask the customers about their experience using numerical scales. Be as exact as possible on the surveys, asking the customers to reflect not only on the service overall, but on specific aspects such as solution complexity.
Engage in one-on-one performance reviews with employees. Act as a customer and engage your employee in a typical customer service call. This will allow you to gauge firsthand the employee's ability to handle the situation and how kind he is in his language.
Call customers for feedback. If you are a company that has other corporations as clients or handles fewer (but larger) accounts, it is not uncommon to call your customers for feedback about their experience. They will appreciate that you took the time to worry about their experience. When doing these calls, they will feel that they have a say in how your business is run, which makes them want to continue doing business with your company.
Review e-mails sent to customers. Much like recorded phone calls, reviewing e-mails is an excellent way to see what language is being used with customers directly. These can be used to compile quantitative data that can be separated by employee, assuming they all have individual e-mail accounts or have signed their names to these e-mails.
Always make sure to let both your employees and customers know that their phone conversations and e-mails are being recorded or reviewed to avoid legal action against your company. Business communications are by nature subject to review, but it never hurts to protect yourself proactively.