Thursday, August 17, 2006

Customer Service Policy - Part 2

In addressing the customer service policy it is best to start by making a wish list. No, not what you think you should give to the customer but what you feel the customer wants from you.

Look at it as if you were the customer and then compile a list of what you think you would want, also consider feedback that customers have given you by way of sales people, personal contact and feedback instruments such as surveys.

Cover every aspect of your business such as; sales, store or office atmosphere i.e. displays, flooring, furnishings, decor etc, Accounts (are the billings on time, correct information and totals including credits, How are phones answered, how are receptionist trained to greet customers and handle their issues etc, Warehousing, logistics such as do you ship and deliver on time, the shape of the merchandise when delivered, routing, what shape are the trucks in etc. I think you can get the point from this very abbreviated list. Yes this applies to all businesses including restaurants.

Use large type for each area heading with indented items in your list. Remember customer service if done correctly is the total some experiences of all aspects of a company that a customer associates or comes in contact with. This includes your call center if you use one, in house or outsourced.

Please feel free to leave your comments.

For more information on customer service please visit "The Customer Development Center"

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Customer Service the Document - Part 1

Since every business is different it is an erroneous assumption that one must consider Customer Service in a generic perspective. In other words, one size does not fit all. The Customer Service policy statement can be part of a business plan. It is not a mission statement nor is it a action statement. It is a document that spells out exclusively the intent of the company toward its customers, the role of the employees in detail and its policies on how the customer is to be treated.

This isn't by any means exclusive, but a start, a beginning in which a company or small business can begin to form a frame work that enables employees and managers (business owners) to interact, hopeful in a meaningful way, with the customers.

It can contain many things including employee dress codes. Believe it or not this is a big area of complaint from customers although rarely is it openly addressed.

Please feel free to express your opinion.

For more information on customer service please visit "The Customer Development Center

Monday, August 07, 2006

What is Customer Service ?

In all the places that I have gone and businesses that I have worked with no one has ever come up with a definition of what customer service is. In fact the notion is quite vague and caries some what of a mystique.

It certainly means different things to different people and when you talk to a consumer the definition to them is certainly polarized opposite of that defined by business owners and managers. Even when talking to business owners and managers the context of what customer service is changes with the person, although they can be grouped according to perspective.

The one lacking ingredient that I constantly come across is the lack of a focus in a business and certainly a lack of any credible policy that could define this question through out a department or company. Do you know what customer service is? May I suggest that you ponder the thought and devise a document that defines “Customer Service” for your business. It doesn't matter whether it is large or small, just get it done. Providing a unified front on any policy strengthens a business. In this case defining what customer service is, will empower both the customer and the employee.

For more information on customer service and customer experience management visit
"The Customer Development Center"