Provide Opportunities for More
Employee-Customer "Face Time"
In many organizations,
front line customer service employees never actually meet their customers. All
their contacts are by email and telephone. These have their place, of course,
but they are imperfect methods of communication. Face-to-face meetings can
greatly improve relationships, rapport and understanding.
Get Senior Management
More Involved With Customers
Successful senior managers
recognize that their customers are their most valuable asset. They go out of
their way to spend time with customers to build long-term
surveys of customers is an excellent way to gain a better understanding of how
they really feel about your products, services, procedures and employees.
Implement a "Keep in
When is the last time you
spoke with each of your top 10 customers? Savvy senior managers develop contact
systems for making certain that these customers are not forgotten. "Keep in
touch" calls to "just see how things are going" are greatly appreciated by
customers. The key is to make these "keep in touch" contacts a regular part of
how you conduct your business.
Speak With Customers
Once customers take their
business to your competitors, it is usually too late to win their business
back. However, learning why they left can help ensure that other customers
don't jump ship as well. Telephone calls, personal visits and surveys can all
help surface this valuable information.
Survey New Customers
When new customers come on
board, ask them why they chose to do business with your firm. This knowledge
can help you land future customers.
Conduct a "Shopping
Have you ever called the
customer service line of your own organization? Were you treated with respect?
Conduct your own shopping study by doing business with your firm or hiring
someone else to do it. This is a very powerful way to learn about the
experience of your customers.
Conduct an Internal
Customer Satisfaction Study
If departments within your
organization are not providing professional, timely and courteous service to
each other, how can you expect that they are providing quality service to your
customers? Conduct a survey of employees in your organization to learn how they
feel about the service they are receiving from other departments in the
organization. Also, ask them to self assess how well they are servicing other
departments in the organization. Don't be surprised if employees throughout the
organization feel that they are providing better service than they are