No matter what the size of your organization, customer services need to be top notch. The large the organization, the more you’ll need to make it easy for customers and clients to reach representatives of your company. That means having an effective online, and offlien presence. You should, at the least, have Twitter and Facebook accounts, and they should be monitored on a 24/7 basis. Set up an alert system to help with his if your business is a one or two-person show.
Additionally, you can set up a phone line that has an operator on standby 24-7, ready to answer any customer requests or complaints. It is better to handle situations immediately, as quick action can usually resolve the situation. It will also make customers happy to know that their complaints or concerns are top priority.
Discuss Common Questions
If you have assigned customer service to one or more people in your organization, what are the policies and protocols that are in place currently? Talk with those people to find out what are the most common questions they hear, complaints, compliments, or otherwise. If they have consistent complaints about a product, it’s time to fix the problem with the product. If you don’t listen and learn, expect to lose business.
If there are a lot of common questions, it’s time to create an FAQ (frequently asked questions) page on your social media accounts, emails, or newsletters. Free up time with your customer service people so they can start doing more to promote the good things about what you do and less time in putting out fires.
One of the next things you should find out should be focused on what people inside and outside the organization think could or should be improved.
Listen to Your Employees
Listen to what the people in your organization have to say, no matter what level they work. What some organizations forget is that when one department does something for another department that too is a form of customer service, even within the organization. When leadership listens to the people and responds to ideas and concerns, then a deeper bond is formed. People will be more likely to feel satisfied in their job and stay with the company longer. So you’ll spend less in replacement and training costs, let alone the loss of productivity that happens when a new person is learning and getting their skills up to speed.
Not to mention, by incorporating all levels of staff it will help you see the situation from the top level. Sometimes, it’s easy for communication to get lost in the many layers of management within an organization. Almost like a game of telephone, where the bottom employee has information that is very critical, but that information is lost or changed as it works its way up.
Listening to feedback, and your employees will also make them feel valued, and give them a better reason to look out for mistakes, or constantly try to better themselves and their department. After all, they spend a majority of their day working for the organization, they are bound to have feedback to improve. A better functioning department will result in a happier and results driven team.
What to Do in Crisis
While companies are always subjective to an unhappy customer, it’s best to have a set of rules in place in case something uneventful happens. This procedure should not only protect your company, but also actively work to project any employees that may be involved. Have a relationship with a public relations firm who can comment or step in if needed. Not every crisis will be the type to have all hands on deck, but it is best to take every step in case anything were to ever happen.
Additionally, don’t forget teaching your customer service people (and others) about what to do in a crisis – and how to avert a crisis altogether. Teach them how to share positive stories, use some of these on social media. Ask consumers for positive comments that can be shared with others and make sure you protect their privacy while doing so.
Remember, your customer service people are the ones that take the brunt of negative comments first. Make certain they feel appreciated for the work they do. That doesn’t necessarily need to be through higher salaries, but the extra touch and show of appreciation could save your company a lot of hassle at some point in the future. Happy employees help keep customers happy.