Posts Tagged customer excellence

The service conundrum

Your team were doing poorly in the service stakes, you got someone in to fix it, and viola! All good, it took a while, some people fought it but you got their lazy butts moving, They started to acknowledge the customers by saying hello and provided good service with a smile.

Image courtesy of Satvva from

Image courtesy of Satvva from

Things were going swimmingly and people were praised left right and centre. This felt good, now some 18 months down the track the whole thing is starting to slide… What the?

You haven’t noticed it too much, but one of your stalwart customers has. You think they are just picky, yes they are, but in your best interests. They have noted the lack of acknowledgement, the lack of interaction, the staff walking past people pondering which item to buy who might need some assistance and the list of nasty pointers starts to build.

Did the system fail? Are your people slackening off? Did something change to cause this? Perhaps all of these pointers have kicked in and slowly over time the service culture has not cemented itself into the psyche of your team.

Think of it this way, if your people did bad service for five years, can they change the long term service to a more positive culture in eighteen months? Yes, but… It needs to done in a way to make that happen, a way that shows them there is a clear benefit to doing better service, a way that alters their thinking about how they used to do service and how good it feels to make the new change. They also need to lead each other, holding each person up to the fresh set of standards. New people that come in to the business also need to be trained in these new ways.

It wasn’t you who caused the team to slide, nor was it any one team member, but collectively if one factor moves off course by even one degree, then before long the destination can’t be reached because things are too far off course.

What may be needed are refreshers, service surveys, focus groups of live customers. In short feedback on what’s working, how people (customers) perceive the service.

Perception on the customers behalf is their reality. To keep the customers happy over the long term you need to make service a high priority and you need to massage it well in to place.

Happy customers spend more, they are content and feel the ‘love’ your people share. So ask yourself and your team, are we loving the customers enough to have them buy from us or not? Now take action to support better service reactions from the team.


Steve Gray

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If they are serious you will be too…

So you have been given the title of Customer Relationship Executive – Specialist – Manager – or whatever… the main part of the title is ‘Customer Relationship’. If you have this sort of role there are a few things I think you should ask

If you land this role ask for clarification on a few points, just to see if they are on the same wavelength…

  • What do they really mean – Customer Relationship – ?
  • What’s the budget to do this? (Not including wages…)
  • How many customers are there?
  • How important to the business are they? (No brainer! It should be priceless!)
  • What will they let you do to build and maintain the relationship…
  • In the organisations mission, vision, values and beliefs, is there much about the customers? If not why not…
  • How did the title come about? (They should have a quaint story for this part…)
  • What resources are you allocated?
  • What has been done in the past?
  • Does the organisation have an strategic partners
  • Is the aim to truly and unconditionally love them?
  • The person you will answer to, do they know all this and fully support it? (Better hope so!)
  • Does anyone in the organisation know the lifetime value of the customer?
  • What is the average dollar sale and is the aim to make that rise or the number of visits by a customer rise?
  • What level of tech support will you be given? (Database, admin support, access to the website etc…)
  • To what level do they want the relationship built?
  • Will they expect you to do other (non customer focused) tasks… and how much time will that take up?
  • Do they have key performance indicators for this role… what are they
  • Will you have open access to the data on turn over, number of customers through the door etc?
  • Will you have to train others on how to work brilliantly with customers?
  • What previous training has been provided for the organisation in customer service – relationship building?
  • What promo products have been used to thrill customers?
  • How often are the customers currently contacted per year?
  • Is the organisation worthy of excellent customer loyalty? (does it look great etc…)

Notice all these things are about exploring customer relationship excellence…  and how the role you first accepted might not be quite what you thought it was but could be so much more… I thought you might notice that. If you have a keen eye you will have noticed this article is similar to the one just after it (inspiration comes from some interesting sources!)

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