Customer service doesn’t live in an office, a book, or a manual. It lives in each one of us and our teams every minute of every day. We cannot set up a list of must-dos for our teams, and then walk away and allow them to execute. If it worked that way, we wouldn’t need nearly so many Leaders out there everyday on the front lines.
But it doesn’t work that way.
Customer service is messy and requires constant tending and supervision to keep it on the tracks. It requires us to embrace the processes, teach them, and make sure they are being executed well on every shift.
We have to be sure that everything in our business works well for our Guests. When we leave things to chance, service can slide off the rails, and we may not deliver service at our maximum potential. That is really the key to everything – keeping a close eye on what is happening and making sure that everything is moving the mission forward rather than detracting from it.
I’ve designed a helpful tool that will help you with the challenge of managing the pieces that make up great service. This sheet will help you keep your eye on the prize every single day. It is a simple model to be sure, but one that you may find helpful to focus your thinking. And better yet, use it to focus your team’s thinking right along with you. Give them copies of this sheet and let them walk through your business and take a look at things with a critical eye.
So that’s the challenge. Click the link at the bottom of the page, print the sheets, then take a walk through your business and write down what you see.
PEOPLE: How are your people treating Guests? Are they being super friendly? Do they understand what great service looks like and are they delivering with each and every Guest? Really watch those interactions and make sure that they are exhibiting the very best of THE SIX CANONS OF CUSTOMER SERVICE. Their body language, tone of voice, attire, and knowledge should all be 100% focused on delivering excellence to Customers. Are they using those great positive phrases and making sure that Customers feel so very welcome. The majority of the Customer service experience is going to be driven by those on the front lines, so pay extra attention to how they are engaging with each Customer and that we pour the best of ourselves into inspiring them to deliver.
Are they treating every Guest as a cherished friend?
Also be sure that the product your teams are delivering is of high quality. Pull a product out of production and test it to make sure that you are proud of the end result. Chances are if you are proud of what you are producing your Customers will like it too.
PROCEDURES: Do all of your processes make sense for your Guests? Are you asking them to work too hard to do business with you? Does anything about working with your business feel harder than it needs to be? This is a perfect time to watch an entire interaction from the Guest’s perspective and find out. The flow of service from the time a Customer pulls into your parking lot to the time they leave is of paramount importance. Keep in mind that folks are not likely to return if, at every turn, the process is full of nonsense that wastes time. Also, be sure that your team is well trained and that they have the tools they need. Too often, Front Line Associates who don’t have the proper training or equipment to do their jobs end up delivering terrible service out of frustration. Whether it is safety, service, or job skills, they must be prepared to serve.
Be sure that the ordering and delivery processes are also easy for your Customers – that could mean calling in as a Customer or placing and order on the website to make sure it is easy to navigate.
PLACES: Your locations speak volumes about you. You can be seen as amazingly clean and welcoming or dirty and terrible. That distinction lies with you. Take the time to document the needs of your business and then address them. This isn’t to say that you have to have an amazing address and super modern facilities – but they should be clean and well maintained. Keep in mind that great lighting and a dedication to cleanliness can go a long way. Customers note that dirty businesses are a huge turn off in any type of location, so be mindful of how your place looks when folks walk in. Take care to keep your floors swept, windows clean, and your grounds well maintained.
Keep in mind that out of date magazines, dead plants, and uncomfortable temperatures also make folks less likely to wait patiently and to begin to question all aspects of your business.
So take a walk through your business today and make notes around all the items that could be improved to make the Customer experience more enjoyable. The only way to really drive the great Customer service that we want is to evaluate our delivery constantly and take action to improve BEFORE things start to slip.
Until next time, best wishes with your Customer Service Mapping and remember to treat every Guest like a cherished friend.
Tony Johnson Customer Service Expert | Author | Trainer | Speaker
Check out my latest book: RECIPE FOR SERVICE Now Available on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Recipe-Service-Inspire-Deliver-Customer/dp/0986391204
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