Customer Service is an attitude, not a department
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  • 29 Oct 2013

This is an oldie but it’s so true! While most companies focus their customer experience training on front-line customer-facing staff, those behind the scenes can have just as big a role to play.

You need to consider the number of different touch-points a customer can have with your organisation. For example, all the fantastic work personal trainers do on the gym floor to forge great customer relations can be completely undone by a surly accounts person or a grumpy receptionist.

And it can go beyond just the people interactions – a customer might have a great experience when they interact with the people, then receive a very unclear invoice that confuses and annoys them. So take a look beyond the obvious and make sure that everyone and everything that comes into contact with a customer adds to the overall customer experience you deliver.

Customer Service affects EVERYONE who talks to your customer

One of our clients has long recognised the importance of this approach. They invest in training their salespeople and customer service staff to ensure they understand and apply the key skills needed to create great customer experiences. But they invest just as much to ensure their delivery staff (who see the customers 4 times more than the sales staff!) to ensure they add to the great experience they provide to their customers. They’re smart enough to realise that these drivers have the chance to undo all the good work done with a badly parked truck, a dirty uniform or a grumpy greeting. And guess what? Their business is flourishing and I’m certain this understanding of and commitment to creating great customer experiences by all who interact with customers plays a major part in that.

Everyone who answers the phone has a part to play in this. Answering it promptly, sounding happy and being prepared to listen to what the customer has to say will go a long way to creating a positive experience.

You don’t have to be working for the company directly, either. Cleaning and other contract staff are often overlooked in this equation, but if they are going to be on show to your customers, then they need to understand how you want them to behave. A smile and a cheerful greeting can go a long way in helping customers accept the slight inconvenience of having a floor mopped or light bulb replaced around them.

So as we head into what I’m sure will be a bumper Christmas season, it’s the perfect time to remember and remind your team that the responsibility to provide great customer experiences requires everyone’s commitment – not just a few staff on the front line.