February 19, 2013
While shopping one day I noticed a “No Wait” policy posted in a grocery store. The sign declared, “We guarantee that you will no longer experience long lines. When we see more than three people in line, we will open a new register immediately.”I had plenty of time to read the sign. There were six people in line ahead of me!Customer service standards are only as good as the people who enforce them. Business leaders are filled with good intentions, but good intentions don’t count. When it comes to the delivery of service, the only things that do count are the actions that customers actually experience.If a company boasts about its customer service policies and then fails to deliver the promised service, it actually does more damage than if it had never created the standards in the first place. When this occurs, customer trust is replaced by skepticism.When developing customer service standards for your organization, make sure they can realistically be supported through current staffing and budget. Customer service standards should be simple and easy to implement.Training needs to be provided at all levels of the organization so every employee knows the following:
A recognition program needs to be in place in order to reward employees for delivering great customer service. Accountabilities need to be defined so employees know how their customer service behavior will be measured. They also need to clearly understand career-related consequences if they fail to meet the service standards.Great customer service intentions don’t count unless they’re backed up by actions and attitudes that demonstrate that you sincerely care about your customers. You can have real empathy for a customer, but if you are unable to communicate that empathy, your customer won’t believe you’re being sincere.