Want a thriving business? Get everyone to work in customer service!

Home > Customer Service | 56,589 views | 6 minutes read
25-05-2017

CS isn't the most popular department in any company. It deals with redundant questions and angry clients, spends a lot of time apologizing and answering phone calls. Yet, the secret to a thriving business lies in your ability to put your whole team in customer service.

Whenever you have difficulties with a product you purchased or with a service that was wrongly charged on your credit card, you need to reach out to your supplier's customer service center. If you're lucky enough, you may escape the incredibly frustrating "please press 1" scam that leads to 20 minutes of button-pressing and pre-recorded messages.

Once you finally have someone on the line, you might be tempted to blame that person for everything wrong that happened to you. Don't. Not only because it is most certainly not his fault and he might be trying his very best to solve your issue while respecting guidelines from his manager, but also because this person could be you.

JulienRio.com - Want a thriving business? Get everyone to work in customer service!

Why working in customer service is essential?

Working in your own company's CS team is an invaluable source of knowledge.

 

JulienRio.com - Patrick Barrabé - Expert Service ClientPatrick Barrabé, Expert in Customer Service & Digital Transformation (2K47) recommends:

" Within a company, the CS team has direct access to strategic departments: sales, supply-chain, purchasing, IT, legal, etc. It is a very strategic department and it is important to take it into consideration internally. "

 

After time, the most valuable resource for an entrepreneur is customer feedback. Relying on a CS team to handle customers' requests is adding a filter between you and your clients

On top of that, working in CS truly humbles you - you will never see customer representatives the same way. It takes real guts to handle patiently angry customers and solve problems under pressure. If you want to understand the difficulties your team is facing day in and day out, you will have to take their seat for a while and endure the same thing.

Not to forget that it is the duty of every leader to inspire and motivate his team. As a boss, you need to see results and get the best of people. But how could you measure your team's efficiency if you have never really experienced it yourself?

JulienRio.com - Want a thriving business? Get everyone to work in customer service!

What program should you implement?

Your company certainly has an onboarding program (if you don't, it really is about time you launch one). This onboarding usually means talking to every department head, getting details about the company's history, strategy, and goals, having a detailed review of tasks and KPIs with your direct supervisor, etc.

All this is great and gives you the necessary foundations to understand the company you are going to be working for. What it lacks, however, is a deeper understanding of who the customers are and what each team is doing.

 

JulienRio.com - Patrick Barrabé - Expert Service ClientPatrick Barrabé, Expert in Customer Service & Digital Transformation (2K47) recommends:

" The onboarding program is often facing internal procedures and dynamics. The retail industry has understood for long that a good onboarding program involves a full immersion in a store. It is just a matter of extending this practice to other services. "

 

As part of your onboarding program, you should get new recruits to work half a day in every department to better understand the objectives and difficulties they face - that way you build teams that work better together and understand each other's needs.

Beyond that, you should get your new staff to sit at least a day with a customer representative, listening to conversations and finding out what are the major problems clients face and how these are being handled. That way, your new recruit will be aware of the impact his future job will have on end-customers.

 

JulienRio.com - Patrick Barrabé - Expert Service ClientPatrick Barrabé, Expert in Customer Service & Digital Transformation (2K47) recommends:

" Ticketing tools or CRMs have become more common and are great sources for regular and easy reporting. These may even integrate tools to monitor Social Media, valuable sources of of customer feedback. Reporting remains key to have a transparent indicator of the company's health, from a customer service point of view. "

 

 

JulienRio.com - What should my company do with LinkedIn?Want a thriving business? Get everyone to work in customer service!

What about existing employees?

Everyone in your company, starting with you, all the way to people in sales, marketing, IT or product management should spend time in the CS department. It could be just one day per month or trimester, but this is essential.

 

JulienRio.com - Patrick Barrabé - Expert Service ClientPatrick Barrabé, Expert in Customer Service & Digital Transformation (2K47) recommends:

" Recurrence matters. Customer needs evolve over time. Within a month after launching a new service or product, you should get your teams to reach out to clients to better identify potential improvements. Iteration and agility are key to success. "

 

 

 

Whatever department your people are working for, at the end of the day, all their efforts have the same ultimate goal: acquire new clients and satisfy them. What better way to understand customers' needs than asking them directly?

Get your people to join the CS team periodically and build proximity between your staff and your clients.

After a few phone calls, you will see customer service differently.

If you wish to dive a little deeper into it, I invite you to read "The importance of a good customers service: case study with Lufthansa".

 

Julien Rio.

Last update: 2017-11-16 Tags:

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