I have loved bonfire night since I was a kid and we always make a big deal of it in my family. Of course, there is a bit (O.K. a lot) of a competition between my brothers and I to see who can source the “biggest” firework for our family event and until recently I relied on the same online company. Every year, the friendly owner would call me without fail at the beginning of October and tell me what firework would ensure I stood the best chance of winning our family firework challenge. This guy is totally passionate about fireworks and his knowledge and charisma made buying easy – Superb, Awesome Service!
Well, that was how it used to be! Two years ago, he took on an employee who was given the task of calling his loyal customers – including me. This employee was not very friendly, very unknowledgeable about fireworks and tried to force me to buy anything rather than what I wanted – the best firework of the season. And guess what! Since this change in service I have never bought from this online shop again, even though they continue to email and call each year.
As a customer we crave consistency and want good product knowledge, enthusiasm and eagerness to help and deliver fast service. As soon as one of these elements is removed the typical customer will go searching for that “feel good feeling” somewhere else. And you lose a loyal and valuable customer!
But to grow your company to where you want it to be it’s essential that you expand your team and free your time up to develop your business rather than work it. So how do you get members of your team to demonstrate the same level of passion and commitment to the business as you AND give all your customers a consistently outstanding service to keep them coming back for more and raving about you to other potential customers?
The Key Challenge is that service is delivered by people who all have different thinking about what is and isn’t acceptable. So assuming that your team will always act or react the way you think is correct, will be to the detriment of your business, as my story illustrates.
So here’s five awesome ideas to get your touch paper lit and ensure your team are all singing from the same song sheet:-
1 Never Compromise on a Team Member– Only recruit team members that are genuinely interested in your business and are able and willing to follow your set process for servicing customers. NEVER COMPROMISE on the people you allow to come and work in YOUR business
2 Set Your Own Service Delivery Rules – Sit down with your team and set ground rules (the rules of the game as we ActionCOACHes say) for how they will be expected to always treat customers and each other. Document these rules and make certain everyone gets a copy and commits to them. Make sure the team are involved in setting the rules so they really buy into them (watch my short video for some more ideas on this)
3 Incentivise your Team Members – Reward your team members who follow your rules and set higher standards
4 Monitor Your Service Standards – Take time out of your own schedule to police and monitor the service standards experienced by your customers. Use test customers, mystery shoppers and fake enquiries to make sure you team are maintaining your high standards. Train your team regularly and use role play to drill service standards until they conform, without having to think about their actions
5 Get Customer Feedback – Ask your customers for feedback all the time and record and report all comments, good and bad, to your team. Make sure you ask customers what they like and what one thing you could do to make their experience even better. If you get five comments from customers a day you will have over 100 pieces of feedback a month! That is what you need to make sure your service standard are consistent, continually improve and your team don’t drop any clangers that could lose you loyal customers!