In today’s tight business market, companies continually try new strategies in developing loyal customers. Maybe the hints within this acronym will help improve your customer service and potentially increase both your customer loyalty and employee retention – S. O. A. R.
S – Specific Job Descriptions
Good customer service begins by thoroughly having your employees understanding the expectations in their roles as “The First Contact. ” All job descriptions should accurately reflect the entire performance expected, include the skills required to perform all tasks; provide a narrative explanation in how the skills are utilized on the job; contain any additional shared job responsibilities; and demonstrate how performance is evaluated and measured.
O – Orientation
Customers want employees who understand the policies as well as how to deliver the products or services. Loyal customers do not want to hear phrases such as “That’s not my department” or “I’m new here and I don’t know. ” New employee orientation should not only explain the physical structure of the organization and policies, but also include the culture of the organization. HINT: A clearly articulated vision, mission and value statements would be helpful to all new employees.
A – Achievement
Customers react positively when they see name badges with awards or a special designation to distinguish the outstanding customer service employees. New Employees should have the opportunity to see the achievement of existing employees and more importantly the value that such achievement provides to the company. Newsletters, awards are some of the ways to recognize employee achievement.
R – Reinforce
Customers value management that is also customer service focused. Management is not only responsible for reinforcing a workplace environment in which the employees wish to return, but more importantly in modeling the desired behavior. As the old saying goes: employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers!
REMEMBER: Your desired end result is loyal customers. This begins by improving your customer service training and possibly your employee retention will SOAR as well. If you don’t believer this to be true, maybe the words of W. Edwards Deming, who is recognized by some as the father of Total Quality, will help your company understand the value of excellent customer service “Profit in business comes from repeat customers, customers that boast about your project or service and that bring friends with them. ”
Copyright 2005(c) Leanne Hoagland-Smith, M. S.
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