For those of us in highly competitive businesses one of the phrases that we may use to differentiate ourselves is that we ‘provide superior customer service’ to our clients and prospects!
We say this assuming two things!
Number one we appear to be implying to potential clients and even our existing ones that while we focus on a superior customer service experience our competitors may not which is likely untrue the majority of the time.
The other thing that we assume when we make that statement is that we actually KNOW what it is that will make the experience for each customer as good as it can be. In reality, unless we specifically ask, the answer can be different for each one.
For some it may be a timing issue, for others it’s getting the same dedicated employee on the phone each and every time while for another it might be the way the product they receive is packaged.
Whatever superior customer service is to clients, one constant across the board is that your employees are trained and prepared to do their job right 100% of the time.
The following article, written by Gail Nikol of Unique Business Solutions, examines ways in which a company can proactively ensure that no matter what occurs either within or outside of a business, there won’t be any hiccups in day-to-day operations if for some reason a key employee is not available!
‘Losing Time By the Minute’
Have any of the following circumstances ever happened to you? Actually, excuse me, but tell me how many times per day (per week?) these have HAPPENED to you?
You go into a store and attempt to make a purchase and the minutes tick by as the seemingly untrained sales clerk tries to figure out how to ring up your items at the cash register.
You’re in a restaurant and midway through telling you about the “specials of the day” the waiter/waitress forgets what they are supposed to be explaining and then it’s back to the kitchen to get the details.
You call customer service and suffer through some interminable hold-time while the representative tries to find the answer to your question.
Small things, sure, but wouldn’t you agree that the day is busy enough without LOSING unnecessary and valuable time.
Why do I say “unnecessary?” Simple. In each of the situations mentioned above (and these have happened to me in the past 48 hours), a little bit of training on the part of the company owner/manager would have gone a long way to reducing, or totally eliminating, the delays caused by a lack of information and yes, training.
So really, is it too much to ask that we take the time to educate and train our employees, to make certain that they know what they are supposed to do and are skilled at executing their tasks?
And taking it one step further, what if we made certain that their job responsibilities and tasks were detailed and recorded so that if and when these employees are on vacation, out on sick leave or there is a change in personnel, the new or interim employee has a detailed roadmap so that they can assume the position and perform the job effectively.
Does that seem like it too much to ask? I thought not.
And who benefits? Well just about everyone. The customer of course, but also the employee because they now have an improved set of skills and perhaps even enhanced job satisfaction, but perhaps the biggest winner of all is the company itself (or store, restaurant, etc.) for this training will help ensure customer loyalty and repeat business.
And isn’t that what we all want? So think about it. Are you doing the required training and documenting the job responsibilities of your employees? I hope the answer is “yes!”
Gail Nikol, President
Unique Business Solutions
In 2005, Gail established Unique Business Solutions, providing business executives with tools to protect their company by identifying the processes, knowledge, expertise and tasks at risk when losing key employees. According to Gail, “The cost of losing a key employee is measured not just monetarily, but by the disruption it represents to the business workflow and bottom line.”