One of my great dilemma’s when working in organisations is why when customer service levels aren’t as good as you would like, managers always focus on training the front-line staff in customer service?
When I deliver training to staff and dig a little deeper into whats stopping them delivering an excellent service? I’ve never come across staff who purposely want to deliver a bad service, just staff who aren’t clear how they can achieve this? This is usually down to two things, lack of clarity within the organisation about what excellence looks like and inefficient processes preventing them from doing a great job.
The way leaders and managers behave towards ‘customers’ drives the culture, even if they don’t have hands on contact with customers (although they should get back to the floor occasionally), their staff are their customers and managers are there to facilitate them to deliver excellence.
Leaders and managers drive the culture in any organisation, so they need to be clear what that culture should look and feel like and in turn they should be examples of living and breathing That customer focused culture.
I do believe there is value in training staff to ensure heightened awareness of the customers and their expectations, but to begin to improve the service levels it’s best to get them involved and thinking about what’s stopping them and what do they need to change? They should help to identify solutions, as they will be more inclined to make them work if they feel they have had some input into how things can be improved.
So if you know you need to improve your customer service, don’t just target staff with customer service training, as people in your organisation, then look strategically to explore what you need to change, areas to consider include:
- Leading Edge Leadership
- Understanding Customers
- Customer Focused Culture
- Highly Motivated Staff
- Information for Excellence
- Meeting our Promises
- Problem Resolution
- Measuring to Achieve Results
Use these headings to help you to develop your plan of action to move towards greater customer excellence!