02 April 2010

Friday Top 5

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to facilitate the session on "World-Class Customer Service" for the ASAE Super Idea Swap. The Top 5 Lessons We Learned about Customer Service:
  1. You need to set people's expectations properly and then exceed them: "We want you to be delighted."
  2. "Just listen."
  3. Personalization, paying attention, and demonstrating a caring attitude towards your customers are key.
  4. It's amazing how far an apology can take you - and even trying to make it right earns good will.
  5. Empower your line staff to do what they need to do to fix problems - and then support their decisions.
A bonus 5:
  • Hire for fit - front line customer service reps need to like people and be able to stay calm in a crisis.
  • Just as membership is everyone's business, in an association, customer service is everyone's business. Everyone - including your top execs - needs to spend some time on the front lines talking to everyday members and listening to their everyday complaints on a regular basis.
  • Develop cross-departmental linkages and relationships. It facilitates cross-training and makes it easier to get to resolution on complex issues.
  • Pay attention to frequent complaints and seek to find and address the underlying cause.
  • Follow the Ritz-Carlton model: YOU own the problem and need to see it to resolution.

Edited May 5 to add: Great list of 10 examples of outstanding customer service

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