Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Best Resource for Customer Service Data

The Best Resource for Customer Service Data

Out of all the resources your company has access to, for the most up to date data available that really shows how your customers rate your company, the most important resource is your front line staff. If you take all other customer service metrics combined (comment cards, surveys, etc.) you still won't get as much information as you will with what front line staff hear every day.

Customers have the habit of telling employees exactly how they feel about a company, in fact much more honest comments than they would ever put on comment cards or in surveys. And yet, most companies ignore this most valuable customer service resource.

If you really, truly, want to know exactly what your customers like and don't like about your company and its products and services, talk to your employees. Ask them what the customers are saying. You may be surprised at what customers really have on their minds. However, you can use this information to tailor a more effective customer service program.

www.phillipjboucher.com




Saturday, September 26, 2015

Introduction to RADICALtm Customer Service

 Introduction to RADICALtm Customer Service
Welcome to my new blog, RADICALtm Customer Service. This blog will discuss customer service in general, and my RADICAL method of customer service in particular.This blog is an introduction to my method in which a company can determine how effective their current customer service program is, and use unique and unusual ways of designing and implementing an effective customer service program.

What is Customer Service?
It seems that many people, and that includes the experts in the customer service industry, all have their own idea of what customer service is really all about. I'm no exception to that rule, and have developed my own definition of customer service as follows:


“Customer Service is the exchange of goods, services, and money that facilitates and satisfies the necessary earnings requirements of a company balanced with the needs and desires of its customers.”

In other words, customer service is about the company providing goods and services to consumers at fair prices that still make the company a profit but provide good value to the customer. A restaurant sells a steak dinner for $10.00. The items for the dinner actually cost $3.50, so the restaurant makes $6.50 which goes towards costs and profit. The customer gets a nice quality steak dinner at a good price.

Now, What is RADICALtm Customer Service?
RADICALtm Customer Service is my seven-step method of determining what customer service issues exist, fixing and improving on the problems, and putting into practice and continually improving on giving great customer service. My RADICAL Customer Service seven-step program is as follows:

Research, Analyze, Develop, Initiate, Communicate, Asses, Learn


Research
Research involves using the information gathered from both a company's customers and related information, and their employees. Companies should never rely solely on customer surveys, comment cards, phone calls, letters, or any other normal and usual method of acquiring customer service data as being correct or factual. Customers will fill out these forms biased to what they think the company wants to hear. However, they will be open and honest to a front-line staff member more often.

Therefore employees, the front-line people who deal with customers every day, are the best and ultimate indicator of what a customer really wants, how the company is actually doing as a business, and

Managers, executives, and owners need to be open to the very strange, unusual, unconventional, and traditionally avoided methods of customer service research.

Analyze
Analyzing the results of all of the above research material again may take some unusual methods or sacrifices to traditional ways of doing things. This does not involve simply looking at the material and making a general determination as to what the data means. Analyzing means to look at each and every piece of data on its own and in conjunction with all the other data, deep down and dirty, 

Develop
Developing an effective RADICAL™ Customer Service program involves work by all levels of management to . Don’t do this by yourself. You need to include everyone in the company, and that includes your front line staff,

Initiate
Put your program into place so it is effective, efficient, and poignant.You must ensure your new customer service program is actually working.

Communicate
Use every media outlet you have to convey your program to both staff and customers. This includes newsletters, websites, internal communications boards, posters, etc. Make sure everyone who works and visits your place of business is aware of your program.

Asses
Asses the results of your new program through analysis of the decrease in customer issues and complaints. Look at what is working for them and what is not.

Learn
Keep yourself educated on every aspect of your program. Learn what things are improving your customer satisfaction levels ans what things are lacking. Adjust your program to compensate for that lack of improvements. Talk to your customers, talk to your staff. The more data you have, the better you can put into place improvements to your program.