(for both external and internal customers)
What this looks like:
Strives for exceptional customer service in all interactions and “does whatever it takes” (within reason) to make the customer happy
Builds rapport and establishes strong relationships with customers to understand their needs and foster brand loyalty
Acts with urgency, empathy and patience when actively listening to customer concerns
Is knowledgable about the company’s/team’s products and services and educates the customer on best options for them
Uses good judgment to balance between satisfying the customers and understanding the impact to the company
Seeks out customer feedback to improve the user experience
Build product and/or service knowledge. The more knowledgable you are about not only products and services under your purview but also the company’s scope, the better you’ll be able to answer customer questions, point people in the right direction, and provide exceptional service.
Try this: Visit your company’s website and browse the webpages to learn more about Who We Are, What We Do, and How We Do It. In addition, talk to your manager and colleagues to learn more about the product and/or services your team provides to internal and external customers.
Find the root cause of the problem. More than likely, if one customer has a problem with your product or service, others may have the same issue too. When actively listening to a customer’s concern, discover the root of the problem to ensure that it does not occur again.
Try this: Conduct a Root Cause Analysis such as the Fishbone Cause & Effect Analysis to identify the underlying issue and determine if it can be prevented in the future.
Try this: Ask the customer open-ended questions (usually starting with what, who, why, when, where and how) to go beyond what is initially stated. This practice should help you obtain deeper a deeper understanding of their situation.
Learn from observation. Sometimes you need to see what ‘exceptional service’ looks like to help you build this trait.
Try this: Within the next 24 hours, pay close attention to every interaction you have with others at work, at the coffee shop, on the bus, at the bank, etc. Determine what about the interaction made you feel more loyal to that brand or person.
Try this: Think of companies or people who exude strong customer service i.e., Nordstrom, Trader Joe’s, Ritz-Carlton, and also companies or people who deliver poor service (I won’t name names here). Think about where these companies/people excel or fall short when it comes to providing service. Determine where you fall on the spectrum and how you can improve.
Review the user experience. When was the last time you used your product or service?
Try this: Test out your products or look at your current processes from the customer’s perspective. Determine if you’re satisfied with the product/service as a user and identify areas you can improve the experience to make it more efficient, effective and user-friendly.
Obtain feedback. Feedback is super valuable. How else will we know if we’re doing things right?
Try this: Review feedback you receive from your customers. Identify where you’re doing well, where you need to improve, and actions you can take to take your customer-centric skill to the next level. (If you or your company do not solicit feedback, start doing it now)!
Try this: If you have internal customer’s, request to receive a 360 Feedback to get a holistic perspective of your customer-centric skills. Typically, companies will appoint your Human Resource team to conduct this assessment.
More resources for inspiration
Forbes: 10 Traits of a Client Focused Company by William Craig
Forbes: 10 Effective Ways to Transform Your Customer Service and Customer Experience by Micah Solomon
Forbes: Internal Customer Service: Training Employees to Help Their Coworkers Do Their Best by Micah Solomon
Inc.: Be Customer-Focused: 4 Basic Tactics by Geoffrey James
Mediacurrent: Developing Outstanding Internal Customer Service by Mediacurrent
Salesforce: Do You Know How to Improve Your Customer Service? by Kathryn Casna
Userlike: 7 Internal Customer Service Tips to Turn Things Around by Pascal
Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh
FYI For Your Improvement by Michael Lombardo & Robert Eichinger - Chapter 3: Approachability
FYI For Your Improvement by Michael Lombardo & Robert Eichinger - Chapter 15: Customer Focus
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
The Nordstrom Way to Customer Experience Excellence by Robert Spector & Breanne Reeves
The Service Culture by Jeff Toister
The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk
Good Life Project: Simon Sinek: Serve Those Who Serve Others (53m 35s)
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