Customer Service Needs to be Taught Part 2

Shawnee Love   •   April 26, 2019

Last blog focused on etiquette associated with cell phone use at work, and got me thinking about other standards which employers need to teach their staff.  Perhaps the most critical standards for company growth and enduring success are those surrounding how we serve our customers.

We have blogged about the importance of teaching new hires how to give good customer service before, but I think it bears repeating.

Good customer service differs depending on the industry, types of customers, and the size and complexity of each organization, but there are a few common standards that benefit most organizations:

  • How to answer the phone,
  • How to greet visitors/ customers to your location,
  • How to take a message,
  • How to put someone on hold or transfer a call,
  • How to respond to an email or message,
  • How much to say / share regarding colleagues, workflow, products and services, etc.

When I think about setting customer service standards associated with these, clarity is needed on:

  • Speed/ Timeliness, e.g., of response or follow up.
  • Quality, e.g., regarding what exactly to say and do such that it meets or beats customer expectations without overdoing or oversharing.
  • Ease, e.g., of getting helped, getting in touch with the right person, etc.
  • Style, e.g., the warmth or friendliness of the experience and how it makes the customer feel.

As leaders, we all have ideas of how we like to be treated and more importantly, we probably know how our customers (whether internal or external) like and need to be treated.  It is our job to ensure our employees know these expectations and are meeting them.

You can’t assume employees will know your expectations coming into the job, nor will they learn simply by watching others.  Expectations need to be taught and then practiced to ensure they stick. More on how to move from expectation to implementation in next week’s blog.

Your comments, questions and shares are appreciated! Please keep them coming.