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5 Tips for Managing an Excellent Customer Experience Vasudha Deming

The ulti­mate aim of any busi­ness is to cre­ate and main­tain cus­tomer loy­alty. Suc­cess in this endeavor requires a suc­cess­ful con­ver­gence of a num­ber of factors—the skills of the cus­tomer ser­vice providers, the company’s abil­ity to under­stand and meet cus­tomers’ needs, the value propo­si­tion of the prod­uct offer­ing, and more.

One cru­cial role is that of the cus­tomer ser­vice man­ager. When cre­at­ing and main­tain­ing a cus­tomer ser­vice strat­egy, a man­ager should incor­po­rate the fol­low­ing best practices.

5 Tips for Man­ag­ing an Excel­lent Cus­tomer Experience:

  1. Make sure employ­ees know they’re part of a vision, not just a job.
    As Guy Kawasaki is often quoted, “make mean­ing, not money.”  By def­i­n­i­tion, an excel­lent cus­tomer expe­ri­ence is more than just a trans­ac­tion. It fol­lows then that agents respon­si­ble for pro­vid­ing this tran­scen­dent expe­ri­ence must view their role as some­thing more than task and pro­ce­dure. A man­ager should make sure that employ­ees understand—and embrace—the vision behind the commerce.
  2. Set employ­ees up for suc­cess. Suc­cess­ful man­agers pro­vide their front-line staff with the tools, train­ing, and resources they need to con­sis­tently pro­vide an excel­lent cus­tomer ser­vice expe­ri­ence. Improv­ing cus­tomer ser­vice requires a robust and ongo­ing com­mit­ment not just to knowl­edge and skills, but to oper­a­tions as well.  A cus­tomer ser­vice agent’s excel­lence doesn’t mean much if the soft­ware is anti­quated or the ware­house is empty.
  3. Fos­ter good judg­ment, cre­ative solu­tions, and empow­er­ment. Cus­tomer ser­vice rep­re­sen­ta­tives are in direct com­mu­ni­ca­tion with cus­tomers every day. No one else in the orga­ni­za­tion has quite the same per­spec­tive and access. By trust­ing them to under­stand the sit­u­a­tion and empow­er­ing them to do the need­ful, a man­ager charts a path towars excel­lent cus­tomer experiences.
  4. Hold employ­ees account­able for their per­for­mance. All too fre­quently, com­pa­nies invest  con­sid­er­ably in train­ing their front-line cus­tomer ser­vice staff and then do lit­tle or noth­ing to sus­tain the return on invest­ment. Not only is this fool-hardy from a finan­cial stand­point, but it causes man­age­ment to lose cred­i­bil­ity in the eyes of the employ­ees. Why should they put in the effort, their think­ing goes, if the man­ager never notices? The adage is awk­wardly worded but con­sis­tently true: “What gets rein­forced gets done.”
  5. Praise and reward employ­ees for their suc­cess. The best way for a man­ager to ensure that excel­lent cus­tomer expe­ri­ences become the norm is to rec­og­nize and reward the employ­ees respon­si­ble for mak­ing this hap­pen. This praise will keep the agents moti­vated and let them know that man­age­ment is pay­ing atten­tion. There’s no need to be lav­ish or showy; just be sincere.

A man­ager can’t con­trol all aspects of the cus­tomer ser­vice expe­ri­ence, but he or she can cer­tainly make sure that the front-line staff has all the ele­ments of success.

Vasudha leads the Per­for­mance Solu­tions Team at Impact Learn­ing Sys­tems, reg­u­larly work­ing with lead­ing com­pa­nies to improve per­for­mance of their customer-facing ser­vice, sup­port, and sales teams. She is a lead devel­oper of Impact's suite of train­ing courses and has authored four books, includ­ing the pop­u­lar Big Book of Cus­tomer Ser­vice Train­ing Games, all pub­lished by McGraw-Hill.
Vasudha Deming
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  • Austinclaire22

    First-call res­o­lu­tion can actu­ally back­fire with such cus­tomer
    sup­port, a lit­tle "psy­chol­ogy" goes a long way. I recently read an inter­est­ing guide about
    how to improve your First Con­tact Res­o­lu­tion Rate. There where some really
    inter­est­ing points about causes and how to mea­sure. Check it out http://www.upstreamworks.com/index.php/first-contact-resolution/executive-guide-improving-contact-resolution/

  • Glenn

    Thanks Austin — inter­est­ing link!

  • Vasudha Dem­ing

    Thanks for the com­ment. I'm not sure I under­stand what you mean by "back­fire with such cus­tomer sup­port" but thanks for the rec­om­mended link to the FCR guide; I'll take a look.






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