Customer Service Week this year is emphasizing five objectives; the third one is key: Raise Company Awareness to the importance of Customer Service. Following are my suggestions to reach this goal.
Invite Customer Service Managers/Supervisor To At Least One Board Meeting
Out-of-Sight, Out-of-Mind! Senior company executives need to see and hear from those frontline associates who serve customers every day. Inviting a group of Customer Service Managers to at least one board meeting a year will demonstrate their value to the company. Hearing directly from those who interact with customers will be a learning experience for both the board and managers.
Have Senior Executives Listen/View a Sampling of Interactions
Sending executives a sampling of calls, email correspondence, and when appropriate, videos of interactions with consumers, will automatically enhance the value of every customer service function within the company. Include examples where customers are delighted with the company’s products and services as well as ones where people are disgruntled or upset. Again, a valuable learning tool.
All Customer Touch-Point Managers Should Meet at Least Once a Quarter
In many organizations there may be several different departments that interact with customers either in person, on the phone or by email. Frequently, some customer service functions such as delivery may be outsourced to even a third party supplier. All department leaders of various customer service or support areas should meet at least once a quarter to exchange best practices and talk about challenges. Ongoing communication between the groups will help to increase the customers’ overall positive experience.
In too many corporations, the customer service function is buried or reports to areas that don’t have any authority to enhance the customers’ relationship with the company. A customer is the most important asset. The “C” in C-Suite indicates that the senior executive is the “chief”. Make sure that your company has a Chief Customer Officer that has direct responsibility for all customer touch points. I think the “C” in C-Suite should stand for “Customer.”
Some companies display their organization charts with the customer at the top. A nice touch, but that kind of graphic may not truly represent and demonstrate the importance of the customer service component. Implementing the above suggestions will change the perspective of the value of good customer service at every level within the organization and make every customer feel like they are the CEO.