When it comes to customer service, expectations are key. It’s important to clearly outline what kind of service your customers can expect. It’s also vital to let employees know what kind of behavior you expect from them when dealing with customers. A customer service charter can help your business establish these standards and communicate them to all stakeholders.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
A customer service charter is a set of standards that your company promises to uphold when dealing with customers.
Understanding the Goal of a Customer Charter
When creating a customer charter, it’s important to establish the main objectives you want to achieve by outlining your customer service standards. The goals of a customer charter should align with the overall goals of your business. For example, if one of the goals of your business is to build trust with new prospects and turn them into loyal customers, then your customer charter should work to advance that goal.
Building a loyal customer base requires giving customers an incentive to return to your business. Your customer charter should outline the superior level of service you provide. Be specific about wait times for shipping and delivery or email responses. When your customers know what kind of level of service they can expect at every visit, they will be more inclined to return to your business.
Stating Customer Rights
A customer service charter outlines what kinds of rights the customer has in relation to the business. These may include:
- Returning the product for a full refund if they are not satisfied
- Expecting delivery within a certain time period
- Not having to wait on the phone for longer than three minutes to speak with a representative
- Receiving an email response within 24 hours
- Ensuring their contact information is not shared outside of the organization
This helps customers to see how much your company values their business. In some organizations, the service charter outlines what customers can do if they don’t receive the level of service the business promises. This may include escalating their issue to speak with management about the problems they have experienced with the product or service. This is a way to build trust with customers, showing them that you stand by your commitment to keeping them satisfied.
Outlining Company Promises and Standards
The customer service charter defines the standards that the company promises to uphold. Not only is this important for customers to know, but it’s also vital for employees to be familiar with. Customer-facing employees should be well-versed in the standards presented in the customer charter so that they can follow them when speaking with customers.
Company standards and promises may include always producing high-quality products without any defects, using the best source materials available and keeping customer conversations confidential. Other promises may include the company’s focus on customer feedback and incorporating it into their business practices wherever possible.
Sharing with Employees and Customers
A customer service charter is a valuable business tool. Not only does it help the business to establish rules and guidelines around customer service, it’s a useful way of communicating these standards to employees and customers.
Make it a point to share the customer service promise with all employees. Include it in the new employee training so every member of your team is familiar with it from the beginning. Use it in company meetings where issues around customer service are being discussed. It can help the staff to determine how best to rectify service issues.
Make the customer service charter readily available to customers. Post it on your website where it is easy for customers to find. When a new customer purchases their first product or signs up to your email list, send a link to the charter along with your thank you email. This way, you can set up expectations right away.
Anam Ahmed is a Toronto-based writer and editor with over a decade of experience helping small businesses and entrepreneurs reach new heights. She has experience ghostwriting and editing business books, especially those in the "For Dummies" series, in addition to writing and editing web content for the brand. Anam works as a marketing strategist and copywriter, collaborating with everyone from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, lifestyle bloggers to professional athletes. As a small business owner herself, she is well-versed in what it takes to run and market a small business. Anam earned an M.A. from the University of Toronto and a B.A.H. from Queen's University. Learn more at www.anamahmed.ca.