rules image by jimcox40 from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>
Great customer service skills are an asset to every company. When a customer has a good experience with your company, he can be like a walking billboard. He will tell everyone he knows about it, which equates to free advertisement for your business. Likewise, a customer will talk about his negative experiences. Too many negative customer service experiences can drive customers away and discourage repeat businesss. By implementing customer service standards throughout your organization, your employees will know how to treat and how not to treat your customers.
Identify areas and issues that could cause potential customer service problems. For example, employees arguing with customers, ignoring customers, brushing off a customer's complaint and not following up with customers in a timely manner.
Create a manual or handbook to address the potential problem areas. The handbook should serve as a rulebook to instruct your employees about how each situation should be handled. For instance, you can document in the handbook that the employee is to never, under any circumstances, argue with the customer. List a rule that the employee is to acknowledge every customer by greeting them with a smile instead of ignoring them. More sample rules are no talking on the cell phone while customers are around and apologize to customers who report negative experiences.
Ensure that your employee reads the customer service handbook. Have him sign and date a page at the back of the handbook. This will hold him accountable for implementing the behavior required by your company. Place this signed and dated form into the employee's work file.
Create a feedback system that allows feedback from your customer. If you don't have a feedback system in place, you won't know whether or not your customer service standards are consistently being followed. To collect feedback, you can provide short survey forms to the customer. You can also contact the customer via email or telephone to hear about his customer service experience.
Address the bad customer service behavior of employees instead of overlooking it. If a customer complains about an employee, speak to the employee about the matter. Take corrective action to stop the behavior if needed. If the behavior does not cease, it may be necessary to terminate the employee in order to keep your customers.
Faizah Imani, an educator, minister and published author, has worked with clients such as Harrison House Author, Thomas Weeks III, Candle Of Prayer Company and "Truth & Church Magazine." Her dossier includes JaZaMM WebDesigns, assistant high-school band director, district manager for the Clarion Ledger and event coordinator for the Vicksburg Convention Center.