Friday, February 17, 2006

Customer Service Goals - Planning for Success

“Those who succeed are those who are willing to do what others aren't.”

All around us businesses are failing to asses and address their failing customer service policies, if they have any at all.

I constantly get mail asking how to address various customer service issues. As I probe into their policies and planning I almost always find that there were no formal customer service plans with goals or policies. I normally get the response, “oh! I don’t write down my plan it takes to much time. I have it all in my head”.

Keeping the plan in your head is no plan at all. There is nothing realized until it is formally put down on paper and organized into a working physical document. I have had large companies that had a committee write down their policies and haven’t changed them in twenty years and we wonder why our customer satisfaction indexes and retention ratings are falling faster than a thermometer at the North Pole.

To succeed you must have a plan and that goes for succeeding in customer service. This is of great importance, because it is in customer service where the real opportunity lies for small businesses to compete heads up with larger institutional organizations.

It is here that large organizations can set themselves apart from their competition and solidify strong brand recognition.

A plan should include not only include the goals of your policies, but also the implementation or call to action of those policies. It should also spell out who has authority to solve customer service issues as well as how to train employees in the implementation of the plan.

This is not at all exhaustive. Your plan should be dynamic , always changing to meet the needs of your customers. Visit often soliciting input from staff, clerks and others that are in contact with the customer.

The point is to succeed at customer service and customer experience management you need to provide a formal plan that spells out as precisely as possible your customer road map for success. Leaving it in your head is a road map to disaster.

As always we invite your comment and feedback as part of the business and blogging community.

For more information on customer service or customer experience management please try"The Customer Development Center

1 comment:

Maria Palma said...

Tim,

As with any plan I agree that it is important to get it down in writing - and get it down in detail exactly what your service level agreement will consist of.

BTW - thanks once again for all your contributions to my customer service blog!

~Maria Palma