AFC Business Services

customerservice

What happened to Customer Service Leadership?

In the past ten years I have watch levels of acceptable customer service drop from mediocre to none existent.  Many people blame it on a particular generation, lack of true leadership and others see it as just another example of the decline of civilization.  I disagree with the generational explanation as it is up to the leaders in an organization to teach the next generation about the expectations of exceptional customer service.   Its all about who’s running the show and their leadership examples that creates the ideal customer experience.  

Having lack of customer focus is a leadership issue. Genuinely customer-focused organizations are run and managed on a day-to-day basis by Customer-Focused Leaders. The buck stops with them!

Customer service is indeed the face of your company and to deteriorate in meeting your customer expectations could spell doom. A real leader teaches their employees that every action is shaped by a relentless commitment to meeting and exceeding customer expectations regarding product and service quality.

Excellent customer service leadership ensures that every team member understands what he/she must do to maintain and add value with both the paying customer and those within the organization that rely on them for the work they do.  This process applies to any business regardless of the product or service offered.   

The reality is that you can talk about how important service is from the highest levels of your company, you can begin to change processes and procedures company-wide which reinforce customer-focus, and your staff can work diligently at trying to provide service excellence. However, at the end of the day, the only way to ensure sustainable service excellence is for those in management positions throughout your company to do things which create an environment where service flourishes.

Today, one of the main expectations regarding the customer experience is its level of personalization.  In the age of the hyperconnected consumer, delivering a personalized experience is critical.  By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator, according to Frost & Sullivan. Fostering relationships with customers can significantly help companies not only meet but exceed customer expectations, turning them into happy customers.  

One way to ensure this happens every time is guaranteeing your leadership team has the proper training.  Provide freshly promoted Managers an in-house leadership program.   By doing this it lets them transition smoothly into leaders and gives you the ability to equip them with the new skills necessary to do their job and meet customer expectations.   

Coaching customer service and support staff is a crucial part of their role.  They must be able to analyse customer interactions and find out what went wrong and what went right.  A good customer service leader will be highly analytical and detail oriented. 

Today, many customers are prioritizing more of a fusion of a company’s values with their own. Consumer habits are shifting from consumerism to a more conscious, selective customer when making a buying decision. The bottom line is that customers expect a fast, meaningful, personalized experience through the communication channels of their choice when making a buying decision. If your business is up to the challenge, the results will speak for themselves.

Thanks for reading, until next month.

Angela 

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