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Customer Service: Is It In Your Company’s DNA? Vasudha Deming

When I con­sult with clients who are seek­ing to improve their cus­tomer ser­vice, a typ­i­cal on-site visit might last any­where from two to five days. It only takes a cou­ple of hours, how­ever, for me to glean whether or not a strong cus­tomer ser­vice is embed­ded in the company's "DNA."

By lis­ten­ing to calls, inter­view­ing employ­ees, observ­ing pro­ce­dures, and just gen­er­ally soak­ing up the com­pany cul­ture, I can usu­ally rec­og­nize early on many dif­fer­ent indi­ca­tors of a strong (or not) com­mit­ment to cus­tomer service.

Here's why: If it's in the company's DNA, it's read­ily appar­ent. Long before I might meet with the Exec­u­tive Com­mit­tee to hear about their lofty vision, I'll see (and you would too) that this vision is car­ried through to every job role and per­vades the var­i­ous actions and tasks under­taken by employees.

Fol­low­ing are four key indi­ca­tors that a com­pany has suc­cess­fully embed­ded cus­tomer ser­vice into their DNA.

  1. Customer-facing employ­ees are poised, con­fi­dent, and pro­fes­sional. They've been given the train­ing and resources they need to do a great job and they've been entrusted to use good judg­ment and a diverse skill set to do the need­ful for cus­tomers. They enjoy their job and take pride in doing it well.
  2. Super­vi­sors and man­agers (of the customer-facing teams) are con­tin­u­ously engaged with the peo­ple who report to them. They're "in the trenches" along­side their direct reports, pro­vid­ing imme­di­ate sup­port, coach­ing, trou­bleshoot­ing, or any­thing else. Fur­ther, they enjoy a strong rap­port with the peo­ple they manage.
  3. Employ­ees com­mu­ni­cate with one another in a pos­i­tive and effi­cient way. They rec­og­nize each other as inter­nal cus­tomers and they show the same cour­tesy and respect toward one another that they do toward exter­nal cus­tomers (even if the tone is more informal).
  4. Employ­ees are aware of the "rip­ple effect." That is, they under­stand how the qual­ity of their work affects the work of down­stream col­leagues (and ulti­mately the company's exter­nal cus­tomers). They strive to meet their oblig­a­tions in full and on time.

There are, of course, other indi­ca­tors (many of which aren't dis­cernible in the first few hours of a site visit), but the ones out­lined above pro­vide some pretty good (and quick!) evi­dence that a com­pany is on the right track.

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.
5 Customer Service: Is It In Your Company’s DNA?
Vasudha Deming
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  • http://hostingminisites.com Lucille Pes­nell

    Freakin nice blog .. look­ing for­ward to fur­ther posts.






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