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Customer Service Excellence – a Total Approach January 8, 2016

Posted by PerformDetectiv in Business Excellence, Change Management, Customer Experience, Customer Service Excellence, Excellence, Process Improvement, Training.
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The conversation was initially about mastering the art of delivering Customer Excellence. It came up in a specific conversation, but it doesn’t really matter whether it was first needed at the factory, at the point-of-sale, within a complaint communication or even at a Call Center. Everyone agrees that they want a better way to maximize a positive Customer Experience.
There has been a lot of studies to try to determine how Excellence exists in any business (Peters, Blanchard, Collins, etc) and how it is developed and maintained. For purposes of this discussion it has all to do with responding to and interacting with a customer. I would argue that being proactive on the front end, before any “complaint” develops, is also crucial to the entire outcome. But let’s just say in this review we want to only address the Customer Experience and Customer Service element.

I was specifically asked how we managed the process and delivery of the experience. What most people understand is that effectively planning and then training your people is critical. My own argument is that you need to first vitally understand that all of your people come from a different learning make-up. However if you understand the importance of an empowered training program then it comes down to some critical implementation and action steps.

It is important to involve all of your people in realizing the true value of empathizing with your clients and re-enforce that regularly. Secondly the message needs to be focused on handling the customer concern professionally and with more than just words. Third there needs to be a critical follow-up that insures that you demonstrate you want your customer to be satisfied not just pacified. I would say that Gregg Lederman does a great job of drilling down into your employees intrinsic involvement as described in his book “Engaged“. In fact Greg also relates that with your own people it’s initially 1% training and ultimately 99% reminding.

I differ in the actual percentage required for the proper training program like in The Amazement Revolution by Shep Hyken he illustrates Seven Strategies to drive the Customer Service Experience. Change is also part of this internal process and it requires knowing and practice. The psychology behind what your people actually say to a customer or client needs to be learned. You can leave the wrong impression if something is simply voiced with the wrong words, tonal quality or even facial expression.

Finally the ability to maintain this progress and insure the approach with your own people is more about The Power of Thanks (Eric Mosley and Derek Irvine) than just a reminder. It’s really not about simply ranking outcome performance or listening in on conversations. Build up your team and you’ll build that performance which your customers will feel and genuinely appreciate.

Dan Werner
The Performance Detective

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