Loyalty Leader Quick Tips

Take a Field Trip to Improve Customer Service

November 27, 2013

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A perfect time to evaluate the quality of your customer service is after the holidays, when things slow down for most businesses.

Do you wish your co-workers would take ownership of service?  Do you want to identify all the customer loyalty barriers in your company? Do you want lots of creative solutions for removing those barriers?  Do you want to build employee loyalty?

Organize teams of employees and schedule field trips through your company.

If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, try out this idea that I’ve used to help several of my clients identify and resolve customer service issues. If possible, include members of different departments represented on each team. What? You’re the ONLY employee? It doesn’t matter. Just schedule your own private field trip through your business.

Here is your first field trip theme: “Customer Loyalty Barriers.”

Give each member of the field trip team a worksheet where he or she can write down every customer service barrier they see. Encourage them to be creative and look beyond the obvious barriers. You can have some fun and tell everyone to dress for a safari and hand out binoculars. Remember, though, that the objective is very serious.

Be on the lookout for these common customer service trouble spots:

  • Signs that look unprofessional (handwritten), have confusing messages or give orders to your customers
  • Employees who are dressed too casually or appear unkempt
  • Long lines
  • Inadequate phone system or long wait times for phone service
  • Business hours that are inconvenient for your target market
  • Gossiping employees (particularly those who may visible to customers)
  • Unclean restrooms or drinking fountains
  • Litter on the floor or overflowing wastebaskets, both inside and outside the building
  • Employees without SMILES
  • Poor lighting
  • Outdated magazines in the waiting room
  • Unsafe or inconvenient parking

More field trip themes for improving service:

  • Customer loyalty builders. What are you and your co-workers doing well? Are there ways to expand on these behaviors?
  • Where are there opportunities to go the extra mile for customers?
  • What are new ways to make customers feel welcome–both in person and on the phone?
  • What are some new ways to thank your customers?
  • What can we do to make customers feel valued?

In a nutshell, if your company is placing service obstacles in the path of your customers, you are losing customers. When you remove obstacles, customer loyalty goes up. It is that simple. When a team identifies customer service problems, than get the whole team back together to brainstorm solutions.

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