Customers spend their money where they feel valued. Feeling valued is also a factor in employee retention. Investors who put money into your company also want to feel valued, even if their investment is only a few percentage points in comparison to other investors. Your customer service policy determines the relationships you will have with the three most important elements in the survival of your business.
Customer service departments need ways to measure their success. Employees can't expect to provide your idea of great service if they don't know that means. In the book Award-Winning Customer Service, Renee Evenson writes "Before you can expect the people in your organization to provide outstanding customer service, they have to know how to give outstanding customer service." Policies set service guidelines and train employees.
Employees help or hinder the brand based on their performance. A clearly defined policy helps to ensure that the mission of the company is clear to all employees. It also takes some of the pressure off of your employees to perform the impossible. At times it can be impossible to please some customers. This reduces turnover. You can't fire employees for following your policies. You just have to review their effectiveness or the value of that customer.
Customers Expect Good Service
Customers demand to be treated like their money matters. Having a policy is a pre-requisite to business. Just providing a body in a store to answer questions or having enough staff in a call center to answer calls quickly will go unnoticed. A customer service policy is a way to design a standard to go beyond expectations. Ron Zemke and John A. Woods write in the book Best Practices in Customer Service that the customer service policies serves as a tool to rally the entire organization to move toward a "ambitious, desirable future state" in which the service moves beyond the expectations of the customers.
A customer service policy is a tool to give guidance to employees on how to solicit information from customers to improve products. In an article in "The Wall Street Journal," Qwest Communications reports designing a customer service policy to solicit information from customers to detect problems the company may have missed and to solve those problems before more customers are lost due to inadequate service problems.
Developing a Customer Service Policy
Train your staff to be problem-solvers and to incorporate up-sell tactics to capitalize on the doors they've open by providing great service. Renee Evenson writes "Devote adequate time to training coworkers to do the job they were hired to do. Get your employees involved, as they interact with the customers more than the management team. They will have a better idea of what the customer expects from their experience with the company."