The winning operations understand the importance of human relationships and how this will ultimately decide how successful they are in the future. The heart of the matter is establishing healthy relationships. How well we treat our customers will be the deciding factor in how we are judged with our service. The moment that an organization begins to fall will be the moment that they have forgotten what I call the people factor. Take care of people and you will take care of your organization.
Another successful trait that the best companies have is their drive to take care of both the customer and their own team. They never forget the importance of treating their employees fairly. If we were to take a closer look at the best companies to work for, we would eventually discover their secret. This of course is that they understand the importance of taking care of their employees. They believe in the golden rule of management that states “treat each employee the way you would like your employees to treat each customer.” Following are five areas that are consistently witnessed in the best companies.
1. The best companies hire the right people
Organizations that do it right do so because they have the right people. Every great customer service company becomes this way as a result of having a group of individuals who work together in building a successful operation. In other words, the best companies become this way because they have the best working team. They have a way of attracting and hiring the best qualified people. The process is done correctly and the personnel responsible have an innate ability to bring on board the best qualified at serving others. This is reflected in the service itself. Remember that successful companies are a result of people, and if we are to succeed in delivering exceptional service, we must develop a great team that understands the importance of serving others.
2. The best companies train their staff
The best operations take care of their employees. This includes keeping them motivated by providing them with periodical training programs that assists in keeping everyone on track. When employees feel that the organization cares about them, the employees in turn give their best. There is an inner drive in each of us to perform at our highest level when we are motivated by someone who genuinely cares for our welfare. This motivation can come from the organization or from an individual within the organization. When training programs are offered, it subconsciously conveys to the employees that the organization cares.
This can have a big impact on the overall performance. When we look at the advantage of offering programs for the employees, the benefits far outweigh the cost. As mentioned, the psychological impact of feeling the company cares will automatically improve the performance of the employees. It is also beneficial in that employees walk away with new information that will help them in their quest to offer outstanding service.
3. The best companies give more than expected
Nothing is more pleasing to a customer than being pleasantly surprised. One way to consistently offer this is to simply go the extra mile and give your customers the service that they were not expecting. In other words, surprise the customer by giving them great service. In reality this is not difficult to do since the majority of service in America is average. Understanding this will definitely work to your advantage. When we realize that most service is simply average, we will automatically surprise our customers when they see our service going the extra mile. This is what separates the best companies from the others.
Think of it in this way. Our customers are not expecting much. They have had hundreds of experiences through the years with average to below average service. When they enter our doors, they basically expect the same run of the mill service. By simply showing ourselves to be more friendly and pleased to see them, we have automatically given our customers something that they were not expecting. We must remember this if we are to improve. Give a little more and your customers will walk away thinking that they had just experienced great service.
4. The best companies listen to their customers
In an earlier chapter I spoke on the importance of listening to our customers. This is because they are the most important asset that any organization has. Customers will tell us a lot about our service if we simply would have the courage to listen to their advice.
The best companies understand this and continually seek out the opinions of their customers. Without this input we will only be guessing at how well we are doing in the customer service department.
Listening to our customers fulfills two important roles in becoming our best. The first role of listening is that it tells the customer that we care about their opinion. This alone will have a profound effect in expressing to them that we care enough to listen to them. Another role of listening is that it actually can help us to improve our services without having to pay for it! It is free, unbiased advice coming from our most important source. If we are to improve and deliver five-star service, we need to copy the best companies and seek out the advice of our customers.
5. The best companies respond quickly
One telling sign of a successful company is measuring how quickly they respond to their customers. This is especially true in the area of customer service over the telephone. The best companies understand the importance of responding promptly. We need to give the impression that the customer’s request is urgent and we will take care of it in a quick and efficient manner.
When customers take notice of our urgency to deliver them with their request, they in turn will automatically give us a higher rating on our service. Returning telephone calls promptly and getting back to the customer as soon as possible will leave them with a positive opinion of our service. In today’s world, being respectful of our customer’s time is the only way to go. Whether over the telephone or in person, we must consistently give the impression that the customer’s time is important and we will do all that is in our power to take care of them. With this attitude we will not only deliver outstanding service, but we will also have our customers telling others about the great experience that they had.