One of the main missions of an organization is to improve customer satisfaction and retention through better customer service. Speaker, Tim Connor shared Twelve Laws of Effective Customer Service on his website www.timconnor.com. Read the twelve “laws” below and think about following them within your own organization….
Law #1: The customer is not always right. However, the goal is not to discredit, embarrass belittle or challenge them in a destructive way. What we need to do, is discover what is the source or cause of their incorrect perceptions, beliefs or attitudes. The next step is to determine if the organization has contributed significantly to these incorrect feelings or if their source is the competition, the marketplace or Uncle Harry.
Law #2: The customer is never always completely wrong. There is always some element of their perception that is a true reflection of reality as they see it. The customer can be a teacher for us if we will keep an open mind and receptive neutral demeanor. They can mirror back to us where our advertising, distribution methods, pricing strategies, administrative policies or marketing or sales methods need improvement, refinement or a major overhaul.
Law #3: The customer deserves your best regardless of the time or day of the week or the month of the year. Working late last night because it was your monthly inventory or your annual sales blowout should not become my problem.
Law #4: The customer deserves your best regardless of YOUR training, length of service, inventory philosophy or any other prevailing corporate attitude. So you are on the first week of the job and still can’t master this new piece of equipment or you are overstocked on a particular item so you cut back on stocking the items that I use regularly and ask me if I will accept a substitute. These and thousands of illustrations like them, if they become my problem, will cause me to seek out your competitor.
Law #5: Don’t pass the buck. Whoever hears a problem owns the problem. How often have you been transferred several times before you finally get to the right person? Have you ever heard, “it’s not my job, problem or function.” Don’t get defensive or upset when I bring you a concern or complaint. Accept the fact that the problem exists and help me get it solved.
Law #6: Don’t be too busy for your customers and don’t make it difficult for them to do business with you. How many times have you gotten the feeling that you are an interruption in an employees day or workload. Have you ever been made to feel like you shouldn’t be having a problem with a product or service, that it is your fault that the item broke?
Law #7: Employees are customers too. Every employee that ever does anything within an organization ultimately is doing it indirectly for the customer. That makes every employee an ambassador, spokesperson or representative of the customer.
Law #8: If you use technology, make it user friendly. Within the past week I have had five voice mail systems hang up on me. When I called back to get a person I had to spend se veral minutes of my valuable time wading through endless recorder dribble. I finally called another supplier.
Law #9: Say what you do and do what you say. Follow through, keep your promises, honor your commitments, keep the customer informed of your progress. Customers will tend to be more understanding, patient and tolerant if you communicate with them with integrity and in a timely manner.
Law #10: Be interested, care and act like you are glad I am doing business with you. People like doing business with people who appreciate their business. People are willing to give more of their business and money to businesses that are friendly, accommodating and interesting.
Law #11: Keep private things private. I am not interested in your personal problems or corporate politics. Sharing private, confidential or personal information whether you are the CEO or receptionist is in poor taste and unprofessional.
Law #12: Think ahead of the customer with a problem solving attitude. To survive and prosper in the balance of this decade and century as well in the new century will require that organizations and their employees, all of them, think well ahead of their customers and their potential future desires, problems and needs. Waiting for the customer to bring their problems to you or to communicate their future desires or needs with you will be too late.