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Top 10 customer service strategies for the new year


December 12, 2014
By Shep Hyken

Topics

Dec. 12, 2014 – Treat your employees the way you want the
customer treated – maybe even better, says customer service expert Shep Hyken. He
offers some timely tips for helping your staff on the front line and in the field offer customers a
superior experience.

Dec. 12, 2014 – Treat your employees the way you want the
customer treated – maybe even better, says customer service expert Shep Hyken. He
offers some timely tips for helping your staff on the front line and in the field offer customers a
superior experience.

1. Be better than average. Amazing companies don’t always
deliver “Wow!” type experiences. No, they are just a little better than average
– all of the time. All of the time is the secret. Anyone can be good or great
once in a while. It’s the consistency that makes them amazing.

2. Pay attention to details. Sometimes it’s the little
things that make the biggest impact. Figure out the details that your customers
enjoy and make them a routine part of doing business with you.

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3. You may not be the owner, but you should care like you’re
the owner. Not all owners or executives make great leaders, but the ones that
are should be emulated. Watch how they take pride in how they deal with
customers and employees. Then copy them. Act and care like you are the owner.

4. Analyze when things go right. When a company receives a
complaint people usually have discussions to find out what went wrong and how
to prevent it from happening again. Next time you receive a letter of praise,
meet to find out what went right and how it can be repeated. Don’t, as the
cliché goes, just learn from mistakes.

5. Focus on 100% wallet share. A loyal customer is a repeat
customer, but may still buy from your competition. The ultimate loyal customer
is a repeat customer that buys what you sell, but only from you, and not your
competition. So, what are you doing right now that is going to make sure the
customer, the next time they need what you sell, will come back – the next
time, every time?

6. Use social media to enhance your customer service by
sending value added messages, creating users groups and monitoring what others
are saying about you.

7. Create a consistent experience. One sure way to erode
loyalty is to deliver an inconsistent customer service experience. One time
it’s great. The next time it is barely average. And, the next time it may be
great again. Inconsistency creates uncertainty. Uncertainty erodes confidence.
Lack of confidence leads to lack of trust. All of that leads to giving a customer
a reason to consider your competition.

8. “Peoplize” your business. (I made that word up.) People
do business with people. Make it personal. Customers should want to do business
with you because of you and your employees. Make your customers “feel at home.”
You may have a great location, cool displays, great signage, etc. That’s all
great, but if your people can’t make 
your customers feel welcome and appreciated, all of the other “stuff”
doesn’t matter.

9. Experience your own customer service. If possible,
personally mystery shop your own company. Find out how easy you are to do
business with through your own experience. Sure, you can hire a company to do
surveys and mystery shopping, but learning through your own experience can be
an eye opening experience.

10. Create a customer service culture, and it starts by
setting an example and practising what I call, “The Employee Golden Rule” which
is: Treat your employees the way you want the customer treated – maybe even
better. By the way, everybody should practise this as when it comes to customer
service, everyone is a leader. 

Bonus: Don’t forget to say, “Thank you!” It would be remiss
of me not to remind you to show
appreciation. You can thank a customer in person, on the phone, with a thank
you note, an email… You get the idea.

Now it’s up to you. Choose one customer service strategy to
start with. Have a meeting  around it.
Discuss how to implement it. Then, do it!

Here’s to 2012 being your best customer service year ever!

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert,  professional 
speaker and New York Times bestselling business author. For information
contact (314) 692-2200 or http://www.hyken.com/ . For information on The  Customer 
Focus™customer service training programs go to http://www.thecustomerfocus.com/ .
Follow on Twitter: @Hyken



(Copyright ©MMXII, Shep Hyken)