What You Need to Teach Your Employees About Customer Service

The best product or service in the world won’t be well received by customers if it is delivered poorly. Businesses of any kind and any size — whether virtual or bricks and mortar — must deliver exceptional customer service to compete effectively in what has become an increasingly competitive business environment. With businesses able to sell their goods literally around the world, your field of competitors has increased exponentially.

That means that you need to ensure that your employees are prepared to

deliver exceptional service, something that should not be taken for granted. If you haven’t explicitly told employees what your service expectations are, it’s time to do that.

As both a small business owner and a communication consultant with a background in corporate communications and marketing, I have worked with large and small organizations to establish and improve their customer service practices. My new book, “The Everything Guide to Customer Engagement” will be released by Adams Media later this year.

Small business owners can compete effectively with large organizations. While they may face a challenge in terms of competing for top staff because of the pay and benefits they’re able to offer they can offer the opportunity for their employees to learn and grow, to gain a broad range of experiences they might not have been able to gain in a larger environment, and to make decisions that truly impact the company. These are all things that can be highly motivating.They also benefit from a far less complex communication environment. Communicating, monitoring and providing feedback on service expectations can be extremely challenged in a Fortune 500 firm — far less so in a company of 50 employees or less!

Our top tip for small business owners would be to clearly convey to all employees — regardless of their role — the critical impact they have on customers. This impact can be either positive or negative. In service industries, in particular, the employees often is the service. How they interact with customers, whether via phone, in-person or, increasingly, online has a significant impact on how customers view the company.

  • Make expectations clear and explicit: “Answer the phone within two rings.” “Respond to online requests within two hours.”
  • Monitor and provide feedback, both positive and constructive.
  • Lead by example. Your employees will mirror what you do more than they respond to what you say.

It takes a lot of time, effort and often money to make consumers aware of what you have to offer, to convince them there is value in what you have to offer that is greater than other alternatives and to get them to choose you. When they do, don’t negate all of that hard work by providing a poor service experience.

by Linda Pophal

Please follow and like us:

Tags: , , , , ,