This evening is very exciting for Customer Services! The winner of the 2013 Top 50 Companies for Customer Service will be announced. At the heart of the Top 50 is a major mystery shopping benchmarking exercise, so I personally feel this is a better reflection of true service performance than awards that are judged by industry ‘experts’ (even though I am often one of those ‘experts’!)
I’ve been very fortunate to work with companies who have done extremely well in this sought-after benchmarking study – including F&C Investments who came 1st in two consecutive years. And, for the past couple of years I have worked with the organisers, ICMI, to provide Top 50 members with a debrief of their results plus an improvement session – to help them do even better.
The significant area of opportunity for most, if not all, of these companies is making the experience for customers more individual; more personal; more ‘about me’. This requires frontline staff to listen more and to listen better; to empathise; to treat every caller as if it is the first of the day. Not rocket science but all too often it simply isn’t happening – as we, as customers, know all too well.
Common weaknesses?? I’d say…
- Management focus on measures that don’t encourage and support staff in delivering the experience that customers want
- First line managers – typically called Team Leaders – spend too little time with their Team; and whilst they may have ‘done coaching’ …it is rarely alive and well!
- Real clarity of how frontline staff should behave when the phone rings… simply is not there.
Don’t ask “what does good look like?” …ask… “what does great look like?’ And, that is what we will be hearing about tonight when the winner is announced!
I personally cannot wait! See last years winners here