Kim in Colorado posed this question: “How do you find time to work on customer service when each day is already filled with seemingly impossible to complete tasks?”
The answer lies in the difference between working in customer service and working on customer service. When customer service quality matters, so does knowing where the difference is found.
Working in customer service means taking care of your customers – always a good idea and critical for customer service quality.
Customers appreciate the attention and you feel good providing quality service. Being in service takes a specific amount of your time to benefit a specific customer in a specific way.
Working on your customer service is totally different. It means creating, changing, improving or fine-tuning the tools, systems and procedures you use when you are working in service for others. Acts in this arena can improve customer service quality all the time.
Here’s a personal example:
Several years ago a magazine editor in Europe interviewed me by telephone for an article on “Building an Uplifting Service Culture.” He asked me to send him a high-quality color photograph to run with the article. I went right to work in service. I chose an existing photograph from my files, had a high-quality color copy made overnight, contacted a courier company and had the photograph on his desk two days later. The whole process took a few hours of my time and made the editor very happy.
The following week I went to work on my customer service quality. I chose 22 photographs, had them all scanned as high-resolution images and posted them on my website so that anyone, anywhere, anytime can choose the photo they want, in high or low resolution, and have it downloaded directly to their computer or sent instantly to their e-mail address as an attachment.
The whole process took a few hours of my time and has since made many editors and meeting planners very happy.
It’s easy to get very busy in customer service. Without even trying, your day is filled with seemingly impossible-to-complete tasks. Working on your customer service quality is different. It also takes your time, but it continues to serve after you have moved on to something or someone else.
Key Learning Point To Customer Service Quality
Everyone who works in service for others should also work on their customer service quality. If you improve your service system just a little each week, those small improvements can make a big difference over time. And if you work on your service in a cross-functional team or over a weekend retreat, imagine how much everyone (customers and service providers) will gain.
Action Steps To Customer Service Quality
Step back from working in service and go to work on your customer service quality. Make a checklist, design a form, create a template. Reduce four steps to three, or even one. Invest some time each week working on your service, then go back to work in service. You may still be very busy – but everything will be running a bit smoother, a bit easier, a bit better.
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Copyright, Ron Kaufman. Used with permission. Ron Kaufman is the world’s leading educator and motivator for upgrading customer service and uplifting service culture. He is author of the bestselling “Uplifting Service” book and founder of Uplifting Service. To enjoy more customer service training and service culture articles, visit UpliftingService.com.
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