Loyalty Leader Quick Tips

Deliver Exceptional Service, But Hurry Up!

November 7, 2017

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Many employees attend my training workshops because their managers want them to learn how to build customer loyalty. For example, in my Do’s and Don’ts of Customer Communications workshop, I encourage employees to take time with each customer by actively listening to his or her needs. They learn creative ways to go the extra mile to make their customers happy. They also learn how to turn angry customers into loyal customers. By the time they’ve completed the training, most of the employees are fired up and motivated to get back to their departments and do right by their customers. I’m excited by their enthusiasm.

But lately, more employees have been telling me, “I loved this training and I agree with everything you’ve taught us, I just don’t think my manager will allow me to do it this way.” 

“Why not?” I’ve asked.

“Because our performance evaluations are based on how many calls we handle each day, not the quality of the way the call was handled.”

Great customer service requires a positive attitude and enthusiastic effort. It sometimes takes more time, but in the end, it saves everyone’s time because things get done the right way. Managers need to be cautious about sending mixed messages. If they want employees to deliver quality service that builds customer loyalty, they need to support their employees’ efforts.

9 Questions to Consider During Employee Performance Reviews

  1. Does this employee consistently begin each telephone conversation with a warm, friendly greeting?
  2. Does this employee use the customer’s name at the beginning and end of each conversation?
  3. Does this employee patiently listen to his or her customers without interrupting?
  4. Does this employee demonstrate proper telephone etiquette?
  5. Does this employee follow through on the customer’s request to be sure it was completed correctly?
  6. Does this employee maintain a solution-oriented attitude when faced with problems or difficult customers?
  7. Does this employee use positive communication to show empathy for the customers?
  8. Does this employee take ownership of meeting customer needs and resolving customer complaints?
  9. Does this employee actively seek ways to do what’s best for the customers?

Mixed messages about customer service are commonplace in all types of organizations, and they create extreme levels of stress for employees. Dealing with contradictory messages presents a real challenge because employees cannot serve two masters at the same time. On the one hand, employees are told to deliver exceptional customer service. On the other hand, their job performance is measured based on productivity–how many calls they handle and the length of each call.

Employees are far more motivated when their performance is measured on how calls are handled, not just how quickly tasks are completed. They will know that their managers are not just paying lip-service to quality customer service when they are rewarded for taking time and making an effort to build positive relationships with customers. These relationships will result in loyalty, increased customer retention and greater profitability for the company.

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