Recently my internet at home has been playing up.
After numerous emails and logs through the Virgin Media website, I resorted to desperate measures. Something that was a real last resort.
I dialled the customer support number.
After the customary ten minute hold and regular option selection, I finally got through to Marie. Expecting to have to re-explain everything and spend further time getting the problem sorted. If at all.
To my surprise, it was the one of the best experiences I have ever had as a customer.
Not only did she manage to sort out my speed problem within a couple minutes, she also upgraded me free of charge since I had been a customer for the last 5 years. She also amended my call plan to optimize the international tariffs I was using. She figured out a way to reduce my monthly line rental by £20. After the call, she even sent me a copy of the direct numbers of the internet call centre to save me having to queue and press all the options next time around.
In short, as a customer, it was an amazing experience.
The world we live in today has become so fast and competitive that unfortunately this is not always the case. Sometimes, customer service takes a back seat over simply getting customers signed up as quick as possible and closing contracts.
But great leaders are different. In ten years as a recruiter I can say with confidence that nearly every successful leader in the world of business has built their achievements on the foundations of outstanding customer service.
So how do they do it?
Here are some ways how great leaders create outstanding customer service.
They measure it
Excellence begins with awareness.
And you can never be fully aware of exactly where you are with anything, unless you are able to measure it first.
Most customer service centres tend to be totally isolated from the rest of the business. Rows of staff sitting on a separate floor – or often even in a totally different country. Rarely is anything measured, unless it is something related to cost – number of calls answered by employee, complaints etc.
The important parts – customer satisfaction, repeat business, strengthening of the companies brand etc is often missed.
Great leaders understand that just like marketing, sales and product development, customer service is an essential part of a business that needs measuring. It’s the only way to improve.
Great leaders measure progress.
They reward it
Dealing with angry customers sensitively or maintaining existing customers in a competitive landscape is not easy.
Companies that do this best are often the ones who dominate their respective markets.
Yet bizarrely, whilst pay for marketing, sales and IT professionals (amongst others) has been rising for the past few years, customer service reps are still near the bottom of the pile.
In many situations, companies even hire temp or low performing employees rather than invest in customer service properly.
Great leaders understand that in order to encourage any type of attitude or culture on an enterprise wide scale it must be rewarded. Rather than saving the mega bucks for the board room executives, they understand the importance of hiring highly skilled people at all levels of the organisation that can contribute to maintaining outstanding customer service.
Great leaders reward those who keep customers happy.
They go further than expected
However truly outstanding customer service is not based on just keeping your customers happy.
Not in this competitive age.
No, in order to really excel it’s all about making your customers delighted.
Great leaders understand that in order to stand out you have to go the extra mile. If someone asks for a price, send them the entire pricelist with all the best options. Rather than just emailing to say thanks, try sending a thank you note. Messed up the delivery time? Offer free delivery on the next order.
We all remember those who made us feel special. Not only do we recommend them to others we also remember them next time we might be looking.
Great leader make others feel special.
Customer service is a privilege.
An opportunity to serve those who have selected us over the competition.
It’s a privilege that no organization should ever abuse.
Hiring managers can gain much from those people who know the importance of outstanding customer service and apply it whenever they can.
Do you receive outstanding customer service?
If you are a hiring manager and would like to discuss your hiring requirements,
please reach out here