We all resolve to do better in a New Year, but how many of us really make a plan?
What if you had a concrete plan for customer service improvement for each month of the year?
Hopefully the following outline can stimulate thought on the specifics you could employ to make customer service more than a passing fancy this year!
- January: Challenge staff to respond to customer inquiries within 2 hours of their contact. Identify how this can be accomplished in various channels such as social media and phone contacts. (Your time frame may be different – the important thing is to identify a specific time frame such as the 2 hour example indicates)
- February: Ask each customer service representative to call 5 customers and ask them ‘How can we improve your service?‘ Compile all results and share at staff meeting.
- March: Ask each customer service representative to log and categorize every customer complaint received.
- April: Script reponses to customer complaints identified in March. Share with staff and conduct service meeting where skills practice can be done using these responses.
- May: Pick your highest contact social media channel or customer survey.
Compile an illustrated ‘Stop Light’ of comments to share with staff: Red Light entries could cause lost business, Yellow Light entries could impact future business negatively or positively depending on how addressed, Green Light entries will help build business.
- June: Identify 3 key customer expectations and in your monthly customer service training, ask each service representative to specifically identify how they could exceed these expectations for a specific customer.
- July: Encourage staff to log any compliments received during the year from customers and share them at a staff meeting/customer service training.
- August: Challenge staff to identify ways to decrease a specific customer’s cost of doing business with you. Reward top three ideas at staff meeting.
- September: Conduct a teambuilding workshop for all employees stressing each department’s service to each other and the impact of such on the customer.
- October: Implement an internal ‘Service Star’ award program where employees can send a star to a fellow employee for internal efforts that resulted in improved customer service. Ask them to send a copy to person identified as your ‘Star Tracker’ who will log all service star recognition.
- November: Hold a staff meeting to present customer service awards to top recipients in ‘Service Star’ program.
- December: Challenge staff to identify their worst customer service nightmare of the year and how they can avoid this in the year to come.
- BONUS: Instead of or in addition to your standard holiday card, send a letter to each of your top customers and tell them all you have done during the year to enhance their customer service and how you plan to build on that to partner with them in the year to come!
I hope these ideas stimulate thought on your end. Please comment and share YOUR ideas for more monthly activities to boost your customer service!