Top-notch service helps telcos retain their existing customers. Consistency of service is the key, and your employees need training to provide it and then exceed customers’ expectations.
It should make no difference to a customer whether they’re the first or last call of the day, whether they’re calling with a simple question or whether they’re frustrated and don’t understand their telephone bill. They should be treated with an attitude and concern that clearly leaves them with the impression that they are valued and appreciated.
Many telcos fail to create a culture that expects and rewards consistent top-notch service. Every person on your staff, whether or not they deal directly with your clients, needs to clearly understand the dollar value of a customer. Education will help your staff more easily relate to and appreciate that value.
It’s the small things companies do to provide a consistent level of customer service that help them exceed customer expectations. Your staff must be able to go beyond just using the customer’s name. They need a variety of skills that empower them to actually hear what your customer is saying and then make appropriate decisions to effectively respond in a manner that leaves the customer feeling valued and appreciated.
Are the right people taking care of your customers? How many people have you hired because they had previous experience with the product or service you provide? When you hired those people, were you sure they had the appropriate skills to take care of your most valuable asset, your customers?
Make a commitment to personally profile your job applicants to find out before you hire them if they have the attitude to treat people the way they should be treated.
You can teach customer-friendly people the skills to do the job. You can’t always teach people to be customer friendly.
Is there a possibility that you have someone with years of experience who’s tired of dealing with customers who ask questions? Don’t you want to employ a friendly and caring person who will do whatever they can to help satisfy the needs of your customers? In the current job market, people may tell you what you want to hear to get hired.
Customer loyalty starts with appreciation. I have to dig deep into my memory to remember a time when I received a genuine and sincere thank you from a company that sold me a product. Actually, there’s one exception. I recently received a card from Amazon.com telling me it has been a year since I made my first purchase. The company gave me $10 off my next order. Other than Amazon, I have not had one single company that I have ever done business with remember when I started buying from them as a customer.
If your staff does not possess these skills, then topnotch customer service is just a slogan at your telco. Are you satisfied with lip service or do you really want to develop a culture in your company that truly separates you from your competition?
David Saxby is president of Measure-X, a Phoenix, Ariz.-based measurement, training and recognition company that specializes in customer service and sales skills training for utilities.