How To Jump-Start Your Customer Service Initiative

AdobeStock_344117943I’ve come to believe it’s human nature to over-complicate just about everything we take on. We tend to take relatively simple ideas or concepts and over-think them, sometimes to the point of freezing ourselves into inaction. We look at the full picture of a project and get overwhelmed by the sheer complexity of the thing and often choose not to even begin tackling the project because it’s just too much. 

The same thing often happens when an organization looks to improve its customer service. Where do we begin? Who needs to be involved? How will we roll this out to everyone? Is now the right time to focus on this? And we keep adding to the list of tasks that need to be done, get overwhelmed, and decide it’s just not worth the effort. 

All of those questions do in fact need to be answered. But they don’t need to be answered all at once. I find it’s best, especially at the beginning of a service improvement initiative, to keep it simple and take it step-by-step. And one of the first steps is to define what a great customer experience looks like and sounds like in your business. 

When I think of what customers want from a business, it’s pretty consistent across industries. We want you to do the job right; we want you to be easy to do business with; and we want you to be nice to us. (The “nice” component sounds fluffy, but we all want businesses we’re working with to be courteous and respectful.) That’s really it. Let’s take a closer look at each of these wants:

Do the job right

If I could do the job myself I would. But when I can’t do the job myself, I come to you. I don’t know how to write computer code, or know how to build a house, or fill a tooth cavity, so I find an expert who DOES do those things. My foundational expectation is that you know what you’re doing and that you do what you said you would do. What does doing the job right look like in your business? 

Be easy to do business with

As a customer, I have to deal with way too many frustrations associated with doing business with organizations. I find that most organizations design their processes for their own convenience, not that of their customers. But when you’re the organization that creates a seamless experience for your customers, you become a beacon of light in your industry. What would a seamless experience look like to your customers? 

Be nice to me

I’m giving you my money and perhaps my time, so I think I should be able to expect you to seem like you’re glad to see me or hear from me. Make me feel welcome and valued as a customer and I’ll notice it, because most organizations don’t make me feel welcome or valued. What behaviors would make your customers feel welcome and valued? 

So, there you have a quick and easy way to get a service improvement initiative under way in your organization or department. Gather your team and answer these three questions: 

  1. What does doing the job right mean in our business?
  2. What does being easy to do business with mean in our business?
  3. What does being nice look like and sound like in our business? 

Just by answering these three questions you’re under way in your service improvement efforts. What could be easier?