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The development of your customer service model should begin with an assessment of the methods other businesses are currently using. Once you move into the creation stage, include measures that create a positive initial impression for consumers. Commit to listening to the concerns of your customers and aiming to resolve as many problems as you can. Go beyond waiting for complaints by encouraging feedback and acting on the information that you obtain. Also remember to select a model that addresses internal customer service.
An effective key to building a good customer satisfaction model is to learn from the mistakes and shortcomings of other businesses, especially those in your industry. Many companies approach customer service by simply copying what is currently being done without considering consumer response. Before you attempt to select the best plan for your business, find out which methods consumers are responding well to.
Realize that great customer service begins with consumers' first contact with your business. To ensure that the initial contact is a positive experience, your customer satisfaction model must include strategies to create and preserve a positive and inviting business climate. This may include efforts such as investing in customer service training for all staff members or creating customer reward programs.
Your customer service model should be one that includes a commitment to listen. It is important to understand that this is different from allowing customers an opportunity to vent. When individuals have concerns, they want to believe that the companies that they deal with are genuinely interested and willing to help. Although your business may not be able to resolve every problem, the organization should strive to make each person feel that her problem was clearly understood and the best effort was put forth to address it.
You should avoid customer service strategies that make the process of handling problems or getting information too complicated or drawn out. It has been found that consumers tend to get frustrated when they must deal with individuals whom they believe will help them only to be told that they will need to repeat their concerns to someone else. Another irritant for consumers are automated telephone systems that require the input of information that callers will be asked to provide later. When selecting a customer service model, remember to scrutinize it from consumers' perspective.
Modern consumers tend to be advocates of transparency and accountability. Instead of having consumers make these types of demands from your business, make these commitments in advance. Do this by choosing a customer service model that involves clearly outlining policies and procedures for situations such as returns, complaints, or mistakes that your company makes. Then make these policies accessible to the public and ensure that your business lives up to them.
Select a customer satisfaction model that includes a mechanism that allows you to obtain information about your business's performance, even when it is not being offered. You may choose to do this through market research, surveys, or other creative means. Then apply the information that you gather. One of the worst decisions that a business can make is to ignore the concerns and preferences of its customers.
Do not make the mistake that many businesses do of forgetting to consider your staff when selecting a customer satisfaction model. Your choice should include a plan that addresses internal customer service. If your staff members are not treated with proper care, realize that your business is likely to suffer.