One of the primary reasons that I continue to do business with certain establishments is that they execute in a consistent manner. It doesn’t matter if I have visited the establishment 4 or 40 times, the level of service remains the same. I can depend on receiving A++ customer service. Customers want the comfort of knowing that when they visit (in person or online) or call your business, their experience will be positive every time. The ability to consistently provide great customer service has a major impact on customer retention and customer loyalty. How is consistency created? Here are a few key ingredients:
1. Business culture – Leadership must make the decision to establish a culture that focuses on consistently delivering a quality product/service and visibly “walk the talk”.
2. A good comprehensive employee training program. – One particular establishment that I frequent appears to be good at effectively training its employees. This particular establishment utilizes college students as employees resulting in faces changing from time to time. The service does not suffer from this turnover as I have never experienced poor customer service in the four + years that I’ve been a customer. Make sure the employee understands the overall goal (great customer service), has the product/service knowledge along with a thorough understanding of the tools (systems) required to consistently deliver great customer service. Incorporate cross-functional awareness in the training to assist the employee in gaining a “wholistic” viewpoint of the organization.
3. Employee and customer friendly processes. Create processes that enable employees to consistently provide a great customer service experience. Examine your processes from your customer’s perspective, especially those processes where the customer is invited to “self serve”. Establish process metrics that promote quality over quantity.
4. Feedback – Solicit feedback from both employees and the customers. It has been my experience that the employees have ideas on how to improve the customer service experience, they’re just waiting for someone to ask for ideas. Create an environment where the employees feel safe in offering ideas for improvement. Always take time to get your customers’ opinion of your service. There may be blind spots that you’re not yet aware of and your customers’ feedback can assist in closing that gap.
Consistency in service delivery is a sure way to create loyal customers who become your external marketing department – they’ll advertise your product/service for you – creating additional revenue for your organization.