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Keys to Providing Superior Service to Maintain the Competitive Edge

September 12, 2014

About 50% of our work with our clients over the past couple of years was in helping them enhance the service they provide to their clients so they can improve overall business results. It was refreshing to meet so many organizations who saw the link between service and sales. Most of the clients said they provided good or very good service and their goal was to be exceptional. One even wanted to improve their client satisfaction rating from 4.85/5.0 to 5.0/5.0! They wanted perfection in the eyes of the client.

When we reviewed the year, we identified three key changes the clients made which brought some immediate results. They created Standards of Service, they viewed their client’s experience from their client’s point of view and they ensured they had a structure in place to practice and reinforce the training.

1.     Create Standards of Service

I have written about this in many previous articles. Standard of Service are your promise to your client of how you will service them. They are defined by the client’s core set of expectations. Standards can be used to hire new employees, train new employees, develop performance appraisals and survey customers. Standards help your business remain competitive because if they are followed your customers receive a consistent, high level of service. They benefit the customer because their interactions with your employees are efficient and effective which helps them be more productive. And they help the employee because they can self-assess what they are doing well and what they need to do differently to change results.

2.     Understand the Client’s Point of View

Our clients took a few bold steps to view the experience from the customer point of view. They set up silent call monitoring systems to listen to how their service representatives were interacting with customers. They created Mystery Shops/Mystery Call programs to experience what the customer experiences. And, they created and sent their first client surveys to ask for feedback from the client’s themselves. All of these methods provided specific examples that they could use to improve the experience.

3.     Practice after Training

 

From our perspective, the best approach was when our clients practiced after the training. Managers created real-life case studies and conducted short practice sessions to focus on key skills learned in training. They also told us they had fun conducting the practice sessions, which was great to hear.

What does your organization do to deliver the best possible client service? We would love to hear your feedback.

 

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