Nothing encapsulates a great forward-thinking company more than quality customer service. Top-notch customer service signifies a company knows how to retain customers. It is spoken of highly in the market through positive word-of-mouth publicity. It attracts more customers, and in turn, leads to higher revenue.
When you think of customer service, HR may not be the first thing you associate it with, but that would be a mistake. On the contrary, HR plays a critical role in establishing top-notch customer service.
Here are five HR strategies that are crucial for customer service excellence:
1. Comprehensive Training
Management teams often believe hiring talent is a one-and-done thing, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Just as a plant needs water for nutrients, your best and brightest employees need comprehensive training in order to ensure they consistently provide a best-in-class customer service experience. Unfortunately, training is one area many businesses end up falling asleep at the wheel on.
Training that focuses on language, behavior, listening skills and treating others how they want to be treated should not be underestimated. The most successful businesses don’t just rely on strategy to create exceptional service champions. They know that investing in training will reinforce the white-glove service their clients have come to expect.
2. Fostering A Solid Team
Ever heard of 5 dysfunctions of a team? Yeah, those situations and many like it can be a manager’s worst nightmare. When your team is not running like a well-oiled machine, things can get ugly very fast. The bottom line, your employees need to work effectively as a team to deliver excellent customer service.
Creating a positive dynamic is key to ensuring strong comradery amongst the whole team. There’s value in balancing work and play, so don’t get caught up in an all-work situation. Team leads can even organize group social events and team-building sessions to promote growth, development, and a strong team spirit.
3. Empowerment For Quality Service
No employee wants to feel like a task rabbit in their job, especially when providing stellar customer service. Empowered employees are much more effective at being creative, trustworthy, and better performing. When your employees feel they have greater control over their work, they are more likely to demonstrate initiative and be more committed to reaching goals. They are more confident and show positive behaviors, which is a must for exceptional customer service.
To get to this stage, first ensure employees are given a clear concept of their authority’s boundaries. Secondly, make it a duty to communicate and explain the empowerment limits to your employees.
Be sure not to micromanage, as this would counter any efforts to empower staff and could instead make them feel as though you don’t trust them enough.
Provide your employees with the tools they need to showcase their expertise. Likewise, put a quality assurance process in place that closely observes essential customer experience metrics to measure your empowerment initiatives.
4. Honor And Celebrate Accomplishments
Rewarding excellent performers is not just a powerful motivation tool, it is also an effective way to retain your employees. From recognition awards to paid-in-full trips, to flexible hours or having the opportunity for passion-based projects — there are many ways to reward employees for a job well done. Play with the rules regarding celebrations as it all depends on what works for your business’s culture. Get to know your employees and understand their motivations as it all does not need to be money-oriented. This personalized approach will reinforce what matters most to your employees while recognizing them for a job well done.
Customer service is at the helm of business differentiation in the marketplace. In today’s digital world, a poor customer experience can quickly go viral. This can damage your brand and negatively impact your bottom line. Enabling a customer service strategy will ensure excellence is the constant and aligns everyone to the same end goal. Your customers drive your business, but your employees play a critical role in driving customers towards your business.