What makes a superior service organization?
Intradiem invited Donna Fluss, President of DMG Consulting and a leading contact center and back-office operations and technology expert, to answer a few strategic questions for our readers. This is the last question of the three part series, addressing the critically important topic of what it takes to deliver great service and be a top service organization.
This is one of my favorite questions. We read all the time about examples of bad service and rarely hear about organizations that create an outstanding customer experience or journey. While it’s more fun to write about bad experiences, it’s much more valuable to discuss what makes a great company with a great service organization.
The number one item is senior executive commitment, as great service starts at the top, but it also has to come from all members of the organization. This includes everyone from the janitor who cleans the place and makes sure that no personal data gets into the wrong hands, to agents who must be empowered to spend the necessary time with each and every customer to get the job done right the first time, to IT that keeps the servicing applications in good working order. All great service organizations have a wonderful corporate culture that is supportive of its employees, innovation and doing what’s right. In the October 2012 edition of the DMG Consulting’s newsletter, I included a list of the characteristics that make great service organizations:
- Customer service is a priority and integral to the company culture
- All employees and managers have customer service goals that are measured, and outstanding performance is recognized and rewarded
- All employees view themselves as customer advocates
- Senior executives frequently interact with customers, solicit feedback, and then address it
- The customer service, support or contact center group reports to a senior executive
- Customer issues are quickly escalated and must be resolved within a predetermined amount of time
- Recurring causes of customer complaints are identified and fixed
- Complaints are viewed as “gifts” (in most cases)
- The organization listens on an institutional basis
- Employees are treated with great respect
As we continue into 2013, I suggest that you pick a couple of items from this list and try to implement them in your organization. They will make a positive difference and contribution to your service organization, company and bottom line. Great service is a differentiator and helps to win new business while retaining existing customers.
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