It’s always smart to put your customer service standards on the operating table and give them a check-up to stay in sync with your audience. Meeting and exceeding high quality standards with regard to your customer service cannot be overlooked or short changed in this day and age.
The little things add up and a combination of substandard little things can turn a fine brand into an also ran.
Here are three key areas to focus on that can help improve the customer service experience and create positive word-of-mouth:
1) Brand Pride
When you walk into your lobby does the environment and the receptionist exude pride in your brands? Every example of excellence in customer service starts with an unmistakable brand pride that permeates the physical space. Think of the Nordstrom attitude that is consistent with every experience and ask yourself if the same high standard hits you when you walk in the door of your facility.
Nordstrom is clean, bright, upbeat, friendly, and welcoming. The employees clearly love being part of the Nordstrom team and are brand advocates.
The same could also be said of the Ritz Carlton brand experience, which always strives to meet or exceed guest expectations.
The same brand pride criteria should be applied to your station’s street teams, which besides on-air talent are the first line of defense for listener-experience satisfaction. Are your teams engaged, friendly, upbeat, and welcoming, or are they just showing up to pass the time? Do they actually make eye contact with your listeners and do they actually enjoy being at the event? Are they consumed with their own mobile devices and spending time engaged with their phone rather than their event? Do they engage in conversations among themselves that have a negative tone that could be overheard by the client or the listeners?
Instilling brand pride is the first step toward an excellent customer service reputation.
2) Strong Empathy Skills
Sometimes a front desk or street team person has no concept of what the listener is thinking when they are approaching with a question or concern. Great customer service has to include an ability to have empathy when the communication unfolds.
We have all experienced the difference between a caring ear and one that is trying to rush the interaction without a clue for what the other person is feeling.
Nordstrom is one of the finest customer service brands and in their hiring process they screen for individuals who lead without authority and who exhibit strong empathy skills as part of providing the best possible service quality.
Keep an eye on the hard-to-teach quality of strong empathy skills of your customer service people.
3) Strong Problem-Solving Skills
All of the great customer-experience companies teach their employees that their ability to be self-motivated and exhibit strong problem-solving skills is a factor that sets them apart.
Take, for example, Amazon, which is so driven by a continuous improvement mentality and a mission to be the most customer-centric company on earth. The energy and passion that they seek when they are recruiting talent is driven by that obsession. Are the employees on your front line trained to have a bias for action?
Don’t take for granted the standards you expect from your team regarding customer service. Attack yourself and it will help your brand stand out in a very crowded marketplace.