Standard Of Excellence: Delivering Superior Customer Service

Written by: Anaya Vardya on March 20, 2024

< Back

Standard Of Excellence: Delivering Superior Customer Service

 

I believe that creating the best possible customer experience is an opportunity many of us have been missing or overlooking for the past few years.

We have been so busy focusing on technology, quality, innovation, and manufacturing processes (and for a good reason) that we may have neglected the way we treat our customers. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying we treat them poorly, but we don’t treat them well enough.

Recently, a friend told me he feels that the higher the technology a company produces, the lower its level of customer service becomes. Because they are working on and building the tough stuff, they feel they should get a pass on the softer stuff like customer service.

During the past few months, I have been giving a lot of thought to customer service. In fact, we have reconfigured our entire customer service department to ensure we are getting quotes out to our customers more quickly, efficiently, and accurately. As we’ve climbed the technology ladder with our PCBs over the past few years, the quotes were getting more complicated and taking longer to turn around. We found we were disappointing our customers and starting to lose business.

As a team, we decided that enough was enough. We needed to do something about it, and fast. Now I am happy to say we are well on our way to delivering a great customer experience. We are not there yet, but we will be soon.

This recent experience made me think about customer service and how to deliver the best customer experience. I realized that delivering great customer service is an imperative tool for creating a distinct advantage over our competitors.

I then considered some of the more important and pertinent ways that delivering a great customer experience will be good for our company and, of course, good for our customers. In the end, it makes us a much better supplier.

Delivering superior customer service and being the best in your marketplace requires a commitment to excellence and continuous improvement. Here are some ways that delivering great customer service will drive our company to be better.

By focusing on great customer service, we actually bring the customer to the table. We think about the customer with everything we do. We ask, “How will this affect our customers?” Better yet, we ask, “How will this help our customers?”

Creating a culture of customer service means focusing on exceptional training for our team. We are investing in comprehensive training programs for our customer service team to ensure they have the necessary skills, knowledge, and empathy to handle all customer interactions effectively.

Some of this training includes active listening. We’ll be training our team to be better listeners, not only to our customers but to ourselves. We want the team to actively understand the concerns and needs of our customers before responding. Empathize with their situation.

We are doing everything more quickly and accurately. So many of our customers want their quotes back in a matter of hours rather than days. We must aim to provide quick responses to customer inquiries, whether through phone, email, chat, or social media. Speed isn’t just appreciated; it’s often mandatory.

All business is personal, so we must take pages out of the personalization book. We have to tailor our interactions to each customer's preferences and history with our company. We use their name, reference past interactions, and recommend relevant products or services. We make it personal.

Most importantly, we must empower our customer service teammates to make decisions and resolve issues without the need for constant approval. They can learn to trust their own judgment to do the right thing. We are giving them everything they need to set things right and solve problems on the spot. There is a great deal of satisfaction in solving a customer’s problems immediately.

We constantly work on our customer service culture by making sure that every single person in the company is a true believer. We celebrate success by recognizing and rewarding outstanding customer service representatives. We believe this motivates our team and reinforces a culture of excellence. We make customer service matter.

Remember that being the best in customer service is an ongoing journey. Continuously adapt and evolve your strategies to meet changing customer expectations and market dynamics. Listen to your customers and use their feedback to guide your efforts in delivering superlative customer service. Providing great customer service and everything it takes to be a great customer service company will create a direct path to being a great company.


This column was originally published by