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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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.