DO YOU HAVE A CUSTOMER SERVICE MODEL IN PLACE?
In my humble opinion, I believe that your customer is more than a number, a “target audience” or a range of people based on an age group. Your customer is that “piece of fabric” that’s intricately woven into your Customer Service design model. A Good Customer Service Model focuses on increasing customer satisfaction, establishes processes for escalations, identifying customer pain points through feedback, and resolving customer complaints. This requires a continuous update of policies and procedures in order to meet your customer’s needs. Here are a few tips that will help you create a Customer Service Model:
First, define what customer service means to you and your company. List every aspect of customer service and include why it’s important. I always tell my clients to “go back to the beginning and think about why you started your business”. When creating a Customer Service Model, go back to your mission statement and overall company goal to determine how your customer fits in line with the company’s vision. Your company’s goals and mission statement should be incorporated into your Customer Service Model; from the first interaction with your customers such as welcoming them to your store, to assisting them with products/services, to customer complaint resolutions.
Welcoming Strategy: Develop a “Welcoming Strategy” to welcome your customers to the brand. As mentioned earlier, if your business is a store, create a greeting for customers who enter the store. When purchasing a product online, a great way to welcome a customer to your company is by creating a welcoming team/customer service group who sends an email to the customer thanking them for their business, followed up by a courtesy call asking if the package arrived on time, how they like what was purchased, as a way to ensure customer satisfaction.
Employee Training Program: It is a must that every member on your team is on the same exact page. From the CEO down to the Janitor. Everyone must be on the same accord in order to reach the company’s overall goal. This means that every member of the team should be trained on all products/services as well as the proper way to execute the company’s customer service model. Employees should be trained on welcoming customers, to resolving customer complaints. A company’s reputation is built on the customer service experience, which is why an employee training program is imperative to the brand.
Customer Focused Plan: The Customer Service Plan should include services such as installation for products or software and technical support. The idea is to provide solutions that will enhance the customer service experience.
Customer Retention Program: Develop an internal Customer Retention program that includes, an escalation process for customer complaints. Appoint management and executives in place to hold them accountable for ensuring that the program is effective, make them available for escalations with the power and know-how to resolve any issue. Add a support team to assist management with handling the daily tasks of running the program. Develop a clear method on how to resolve customer complaints as well as implementing a CRM software to track complaints, solutions, and progress. Be clear and concise with instructing staff and customers regarding turn times, shipping, customer follow up if necessary, when a customer files a compliant how soon should they expect to hear from someone, refunds and return policies for shipping items.
Communication Channels: Give customers more than one way to contact the company. Either by telephone, email, social media or mail. There should be a team in place returning replies, messages, emails and phone calls promptly. The bottom line is, when a customer needs to get in touch with a representative within your company they should be allowed that flexibility to do so through more than one channel.
It is the responsibility of every member of your team, including the CEO to ensure that customer service is a priority and that the Brand’s reputation is built on delivering what was initially promised to the customer.