Silently Providing Customer Dis-Service
Sometimes inaction speaks volumes!
There are no shortage of articles, blogs and whitepapers to suggest that customer service is probably the number one item to consider when building a business. How you treat your customers, both in-person and otherwise, speaks volumes about you and your organization. Creating loyal customers who promote your company, stay loyal to your brand and pardon your occasional misstep is challenging work.
If retention and referrals are important to your company’s growth then you already have a protocol for delivering satisfaction. Maintaining these good practices might be harder than it seems, however, especially if you count on office staff to mirror this practice.
Even with fully cooperative staff following protocol for delivery of high-quality customer service, unsatisfactory incidents may occur. Taking the time to own the mistake and re-mediate the problem is important in providing a positive customer experience. So, it goes without saying that most organization will also build this remediation step into their service protocol. Smart!
Consumers today don’t appreciate good customer service – they EXPECT it. So, delivering high quality service (i.e. product or service delivered accurately, on-time, within budget, and in a pleasant manner,) will not win a company any special accolades, but failing to do so can be detrimental. Going above and beyond in each transaction is what we should all be striving for in our company.
As mentioned, falling short of consumer expectations, even slightly, can damage the reputation of your company or organization forever. Neglecting to treat employees like your number one customers, and forgetting to lead by example, can only exacerbate this issue. (We will save that last topic for another time!)
Even with the best customer service department and the most experienced CSRs, there are moments when client satisfaction is not delivered. Some common ways in which a company can under-perform are often in minor missteps or seemingly trivial details. Here are some common shortcomings:
- Failing to update clients/consumers on the progress of their order
- Missing deadlines or delivery dates
- Providing wrong product/service or inaccurate data
- Typos, errors or omissions in documentation
- Not responding to phone calls or replying to client emails
- This is BIG for company owners or upper management: NOT replying to emails, messages or inquiries from your OWN STAFF! (which delays the CSRs ability to provide timely response to customer)
From the Top Down
Avoid many of these issues through consistent leadership and modeling expected behaviors. As company owners, we hire staff to manage a variety of activities and disciples within the organization. Having the right person in place, we often take for granted the ability of each employee to do their assigned job effectively and efficiently. Right person. right process. right procedure. Should be a slam dunk, yet it rarely ever is.
Often forgotten is the need to model the behavior you wish to see in your employees. Working hard to grow your business is not enough. The leadership team must adhere to the same policies and procedures that the rest of the staff follow. Failing to do so will almost always open the door for mistakes to occur. In the end, it is the mistakes that will cause unsatisfactory service to customers and unnecessarily add additional stress and chaos to an office environment.