In my previous post on customer loyalty, we discussed that it costs 5-10 times more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one satisfied. Once you work hard to acquire a valued customer, you want to have a process in place to keep them coming back and becoming a referral source to grow your business.
In any business, there will be times when there are problems. The key to creating customer loyalty is to have a culture that prioritizes training team members on how to deal with challenges effectively and professionally and to provide excellent customer service consistently.
Below is a checklist of some customer service best practices. To see how well you are doing, give your company a point for each activity that is already part of your culture. Use the unchecked statements to learn the areas where you can improve.
_____ Our company has a consistent process for training employees on customer service best practices.
_____ We encourage customers to provide us feedback (both positive and where we need to improve).
_____ If we receive negative feedback, there is a process in place to act and follow up.
_____ We listen to customers in order to clearly understand the situation and look for solutions.
_____ We look for opportunities to offer additional products/services that would benefit the customer.
_____ We proactively look for ways to exceed customer expectations.
_____ We generally keep our commitments, but if there is a delay we keep the customer informed.
_____ We encourage employees to take personal responsibility for the satisfaction of customers (not to blame others).
_____ Difficult customers are not treated like a “hot potato” and passed off to someone else.
_____ We have a clear, step-by-step process for dealing with difficult people and difficult situations.
_____ Follow-up with customers is prompt, consistent and thorough.
_____ We empower our team to resolve issues without having to escalate to a manager in most situations.
_____ Our team is encouraged to ask for, and receives, help and support when needed.
_____ We rarely lose a customer due to poor service.
_____ As a team, we brainstorm ideas for improving customer service.
_____ Our customer service policies are regularly reviewed and updated if needed.
_____ We know that first impressions are important. We greet customers with a smile.
_____ We consistently thank our customers and/or have a program that rewards customer loyalty.
____/ 18 TOTAL SCORE
0 – 6 Your customer service/culture needs some work.
7 – 12 You are doing a good job; but there is still room for improvement.
13 – 18 You have a great customer service culture. Congratulations! Keep working to be the best.
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