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Manning the Phones: How to Create an Effective Customer Service Strategy

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A chief role of managers and customer service employees is knowing how to create a good experience for their customers. As a business owner, it is essential that you develop a strong customer service strategy that your employees can easily navigate and understand. This strategy should effectively incorporate key points that will take your customer service to the next level.

The goal of any business is to expand and create the most profits, and the best way to make this happen is to provide excellent customer service. Your goals as a company should include an effective customer service strategy. Begin this strategy by employing a strong management team that is skilled in leadership, communication, and service. Once you have a strong team, you can begin to develop your customer service strategy.

1. Set goals

Before you can work on a plan, you must compile a list of goals that you wish your business to achieve. Once you have figured out what you want to see from your company, you can begin to map out a plan to execute the plans. Share your vision of the future of the company with your employees so that they can keep your goals in mind when carrying out tasks.

2. Determine the wants of your customer

Frequently, a business will fail because the owners were unable to understand what the customer wanted. Businesses will assume that they know better than what their customers want and then provide them with a product that won’t sell. Your business needs to have a plan in place that will allow customers to express their opinions freely. To set this plan in motion, begin by initiating communication with the customer. This can be done through feedback surveys, comment cards, and focus groups.

3. Improve your hiring process

Customer service employees should be adequately screened and vetted with the customer in mind. The agents that you hire should encompass many traits, including empathy, excellent communication skills, patience, problem-solving skills, and a keen ability to stay positive when dealing with a negative customer. All agents can be trained for certain things, but you can’t teach someone to have a different personality.

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4. Measure your results

Now that you know what the customer is looking for and you have a team that can effectively communicate, you can begin to create small goals to improve your customer service strategy even more over time. An example of a more modest goal instead of an overall vision is to answer calls within a specific timeframe. These small goals will help you achieve your bigger goals and overall vision in time. Be sure that your employees are aware of these new goals so that they can be held accountable for delivering that same high level of quality. If you find that a goal isn’t quite achievable, you can work backward and find out what is stopping your team from being able to reach their goals.

5. Ensure all employees undergo a thorough training process

Although you already hired a stellar staff with all of the qualities that your business needs in a customer service agent, you still need to deliver consistent service. The best way to stay consistent with your customers is by training all of your employees thoroughly and regularly. Train your employees on product knowledge, frequently asked questions, and provide them with a set of guidelines to follow for each phone call. Be sure that your staff is always up on current standards by using call recording to capture missed details, learn additional information about customers, and to improve the quality of every call.

6. Accountability

Your agents and managers should be held to a standard of consistency and quality. Practice regular performance reviews and be sure to share with your employees the customer service data so that they can see the fruits of their labor.

7. Reward your employees

When your employees are continually adhering to quality standards and surpassing goals, they should be rewarded for their efforts. All work and no play can create gloom in the workspace. People work better with positive reinforcement, and you will want to keep the people who deal with your customers directly to always be in a positive headspace. Prioritize a work/life balance with your employees and provide perks. Organize a happy hour with your customers, encourage a casual Friday, or reward your employees with an ice cream social or pizza party for lunch. Showing your employees that you appreciate them never has to break the bank, and any effort you make to recognize them for their service will result in a positive response.

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