In most areas, we are seeing the temperatures start to heat up. That was always the time when my mom would start pushing us to organize things in our rooms and throw open the windows to air out the house. It was a time to shake off the doldrums of winter and begin to embrace the promise of Spring and Summer.
I think about that often as the snow melts and the days get longer, and along with organizing my desk, I also like to use it as a reminder to reinvigorate my Customer service.
If you want to “spring clean” your Customer service, here are four easy steps:
Dust off those Customer service surveys: If you put the time and effort into collecting and collating your feedback (especially if you ran an extensive survey), why leave it rotting on a shelf. Pull it down and use every bit of that great information to get better. This will give you a comprehensive look into your Guest’s wants and needs and that should be a great way for you to craft your next steps. Look at their requests and thoughts based on what are wants versus true needs. Seek to understand where you are falling short and if their wants are within your power to provide. Honestly, you can’t take a shotgun approach to addressing suggestions – meaning that you won’t be able to do everything, but you can do many things (maybe even most things). But you have to pick your spots and make sure that a tipping point has been reached before you change. Likely your surveys or comment cards contain a mix of questions graded on a scale and verbatim commentary. Take time with the verbatim answers and really use them to get to know your Customers. This is a great chance to hear right from the Guest’s mouth and use that data to meet, then exceed, their expectations.
Take the time after you determine the motifs and themes to bring your team into the mix. Likely your front line associates and leaders will have some fantastic ideas about how to move forward to address any concerns you uncovered. Don’t try to complete this on your own in a vacuum – it will not give you your best chance for success.
Follow up on Training: You have to take the time to reinforce the core competencies your team needs to win every day. Whether it is a refresher of certain skills, a reinforcement of policies, or continuing education, Spring can be your trigger. Set up your calendar to remind you to get them scheduled and delivered. The keys here are to be sure that you take the time to push training that can make a difference and that your trainers are set to teach. Too often training is a bloodless thing that more bores than informs, so be sure that you are providing relevant information in a format that allows it to be absorbed.
Start a New Project: Hope springs eternal, they say. Why not use that as your battle cry to start something new. This is the time to begin planning your big Fall “thing” – and what better way to use the Spring and Summer. Typically there are 100 really great days of summer, and if you get your plan together in the Spring, your summer can be spent developing those amazing ideas to roll out once the leaves start to turn. Nothing battles Customer boredom better than staying on the cutting edge. If you mine those great ideas from the Customer survey, then train your team with the right skills, that will allow you to lead the process and begin the marketing and promotion process.
Really Get Organized: If you are buried in disorganization, how can you ever hope to lead or deliver amazing Customer service. The answer is that you can’t. Face it, if you are digging your way out of email, handling items more than once, and searching for lost items, that does not set you up to deliver excellence. So the ask here is relatively straightforward. Dig in and get yourself organized. There are many great systems out there, and with a blend of electronic and written systems, you’ll have everything you need to be successful. I am a fan of using Outlook and my iPad as a means to keep my calendar and email in order – and I blend that with my hand written journal and the mobile app Dropbox. If you want to know what I’m working on this Spring, it is keeping my email monster under control by not letting messages stack up, while not allowing it control my agenda. I know this will be a daunting task, but one that will lead to greater joy and Customer service.
So take some time this week to reinvigorate your Customer service in the spirit of Spring. This connection to the unbridled hope of Spring can certainly inspire breathing a little energy into your Guest’s experience. Honestly, the message is that it is always a great time to refocus your Customer service mission, but little checkpoints throughout the year are an effective way to help yourself, and your team, get excited about it.
It is easy to lose enthusiasm or to develop tunnel vision in your business. Take a moment to enjoy the improving weather and get your team excited about serving your Customers.
Looking for a way to really turn up the excitement and share your findings, plans, and projects – make it an event. Have an amazing cook out and encourage the whole team to pitch in. Encourage the leadership team to cook and serve – just don’t let them show up in those cheesy bikini or kiss the cook aprons. Or better yet, encourage them to. . .who couldn’t use a good laugh!
Until next time, share a cheeseburger with your team and discuss how to treat your Guests like cherished friends.
Tony Johnson Customer Service Expert | Author | Trainer | Speaker
Check out my new book: RECIPE FOR SERVICE Now Available on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Recipe-Service-Inspire-Deliver-Customer/dp/0986391204
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