Customer service is a culture not a department

We are all, in both our business and personal lives, more aware than ever before, of the customer service we experience. We all know what types of customer service we love and what we dislike.

It’s intriguing though what prompts those we employ to give great, average or below par service.

Give anything less than good customer service in today’s world and you risk losing the customer for good. But are your staff as aware of this as they need to be? And are your staff sufficiently commercially aware that they understand the cost to the organisation of poor customer service?

I rather get the sense that too many staff in organisations feel it is only the reception, call centre and service desk staff who are responsible for customer service. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Customer service should be everyone’s priority.

In fact customer service should be a culture and not a department.

I also get the sense that some staff, filled with a sense of power and achievement and armed with a budget to spend, do not appreciate that their suppliers are also their customers. A disgruntled service provider can spread the word of their unhappiness regarding your treatment of them just as much as someone who has purchased from you. Just think of the number of disgruntled Tesco suppliers who have spoken publicly recently.

But other than those lost souls who don’t give good service due to their sense of power or superiority, what else causes low service?

As I travel around on business these would be my top five reasons for the sub standard customer service I come across:

In no particular order…

  1. Laziness, lack of any evident work ethic
  2. Lack of company standards/clear expectations around customer service
  3. Demotivated and disengaged staff who are not being managed
  4. Lack of understanding of the commercial necessity for great customer service and the cost of poor service
  5. Lack of basic training in how to deliver great service. Not everyone was born knowing how to give great service

And how can you assess whether customer service in your organisation is a culture or department? Well, why not today walk into a part of the business where you are not known. If every person who sees you walk in, approaches and asks if they can help, or if you need pointing in the right direction, then you have a great customer service culture. If everyone ignores you as they go about their business, then you probably have work to do!

Interested in improving the customer experience? Raising standards, increasing knowledge? Then why not talk to us today about our new Bag of Learning – Delivering Great Customer Service? It includes an hour and a half on delivering great service by phone, plus a one hour module on the customer experience through social media. Workshops are also available. For some more information call us now on 01425 479888 or if you’d prefer email us.

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