Tuesday, January 13, 2015

25 Ways to Improve Customer Relations on a Daily Basis

What are you doing to thank your customers, your colleagues, and your vendor partners on an everyday basis? And how does this effort translate into tangible and improved service?

Even though I no longer am in the home building business in a direct way I try to thank everyone that does something for me and also praise their efforts on bigger things.

I also try to get people engaged in conversation even if it is only for a couple of seconds. I do that by replying “Terrible” when someone asks “How’s your day going?” “Good Morning” even when it’s not morning. People don’t expect those replies and it usually leads to at least a couple of seconds of conversation. It usually makes them smile when they realize I didn’t respond with a rote answer.

Here are 50 small things you can do that will make a difference. Try them today!

  1. When in doubt, be nice.
  2. Say “Thank you” in your response.
  3. Suggest a solution to the problem at hand in addition to asking for more information.
  4. Offer to provide additional assistance – email or call back.
  5. Commit random acts of kindness and deliver Customer Wow (Be More Awesome.)
  6. Follow up after an issue has been resolved and let the customer know you haven’t forgotten them.
  7. Implement standard responses for the 20% of cases you encounter 80% of the time. This is my favorite thing to do.
  8. Define what it means to “love the product”: how does your service tangibly change a customer’s life and what problems does it solve?
  9. Define the lifecycle of a customer case – what are the stages, and how does a case move from stage to stage?
  10. Make sure that one person owns the customer’s case throughout the build cycle.
  11. Create a report (shared widely within the company at an interval that makes sense to you, probably weekly) with positive and negative customer comments.
  12. Catch people in your organization doing something right.
  13. Create a clear escalation path and understand how many cases are in a state of escalation.
  14. Define customers that have custom solutions and make sure it’s easy to find why they’re custom.
  15. Maintain relationships with top customers and builders and talk to them on a schedule.
  16. Define simple goals that everyone can measure and do to improve service, even if it’s outside of their “job description”, e.g. “answer 5 customer emails/day”
  17. Try whatever you’re doing from the customer’s point of view; then observe the customer doing it with your mouth shut and your ears open.
  18. Be able to deliver a 2 minute demo of the key differentiators and benefits of your product.
  19. Respond as fast as you can, and if you don’t know the answer, say so. If you can’t solve the problem and will let the customer know when it’s going to be solved, do so. And if it’s unlikely that you’ll ever solve the problem, say so.
  20. Send physical thank you notes by “snail mail” to your customers.
  21. Have lots of ways to be contacted (whichever way the customer prefers) and funnel all of those inbound contacts into one place.
  22. Ask customers, employees, and partners: “how can we do better”?
  23. Ask daily or weekly: “what’s one thing that we should change?”
  24. Ask daily or weekly: “what’s one thing we should stop doing?”
  25. Ask daily or weekly: “what’s one thing we should start doing?”

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hi Coach - would love it if you would attribute this work to me and link to http://www.slideshare.net/grmeyer/the-thank-you-effect-50-small-ways-to-improve-customer-service