Friday, January 25, 2013

Set up Your Customer Service Policy



  • A customer service policy is a written code of conduct for employees to utilize for serving customers. It could include how to respond to questions or deal with disgruntled customers who want refunds. A policy can be short or it can be detailed with more than a page. The policy may state what is expected when a certain situation occurs or appropriate steps to take action. Typically, managers determine the policy and include it within the employee handbook.
  • A customer service procedure is a way of doing a routine practice. In customer service there is certain protocol that must be taken in order to remain competitive. Finding a better or faster way of doing something can be considered a customer service procedure. Managers are given the responsibility of completing job performance evaluations to see where weak links can be rectified. This leads to increased efficiency and better customer service.

What Companies Can Do

  • Companies can create better strategies in business with ever-improving customer service policies and procedures. For instance, policies can allow for leadership to flourish among employees. Management can encourage this behavior with training and employee motivation perks. The best way is by stating what is required as an employee with steps, and rewarding the employees who meet the standards. An example of customer service policies and procedures can be found in the reference section.
What Companies Must Do
  • Every company must be confident in its customer service policies and procedures. These rules must be effective, clear and precise according to the company product. Establishing feedback mechanisms, polite manners and positive appearance will make any company better when properly implemented. Managers must take time to determine priorities for customer service policies and procedures.

Steps to Produce Your Own Defined Set of Customer Service Objectives
  • Figure Out your Target Audience:  Populate your own database with information about your existing clientele and work from it to find ways to set up the best customer service methods and policies.
  • Do Market Research:  In fields and industries where businesses want to fine-tune their customer outreach processes, the kind of information acquired through market research is like gold.  Learn how to use surveys and other market research tools to figure out where you stand with customer service and how to improve it or make sure it remains at a high standard.
  • Consider Some Mystery Shopping Situations:  Companies often hire undercover operatives to get a sense of how their business works “in the field: in order to further develop a set of customer service standards.  This is most valuable in companies where either a broad footprint or significant turnover allow for more variation in the staff who will be interacting with customers on a day-to-day basis.
  • Identify Core elements of Your Customer Service Standard:  Through talking to customers and doing other kinds of research, you should be able to put together a concise list of customer service objectives that will provide a core standard for your business, something to reach for and achieve.

Greet and Listen:
·         Greet as if you are happy to hear from them.
·         Listen and do not respond too quickly. 
·         Ask Clarifying questions.
Questions and Empathy
·          Ask questions to clarify.  Resist responding too soon.
·         Empathize:  We hear, we understand and recognize the importance to them.
Address the Issue & Test:
·          Resolve the practical aspects of the complaint.  Resolved complaints result in repeat business.
·         Test Questions.  What do you think?
Additional Help & Follow Through
·          What else can I do for you?  Turns the discussions away from the complaint to something positive.
·         Make another contact.  Is everything resolved to your satisfaction? 

Try Some brain-storming sessions: targeted to the right level of management, as well as feedback from other various levels of the business, in order to glean the most natural and best advice from all of the people involved in delivering an improved standard of customer service.

Delegate Work Around a Customer Service Standard to Front-line Staff:  The people who are interacting with your customers the most are the people who are most valuable when it comes time to figure out and implement customer service standard.  Listen to them and take their ideas into account to come up with a more versatile and effective set of customer service ideas.

Implement Your Customer Service Standard goals:  When you have compiled a list of what is reasonable, come up with common sense ways to achieve and measure these objectives.

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