3 Ways to Exceed Customer Expectations & Keep them for Life By Montreal based Team Building Expert Paul Fergus
Customers are smarter and have more choices than ever before. If you want to stand out from the crowd you need to be different and you need to build teams where everyone is 100% customer focused. All of your employees need to live and breathe customer service.
How many customers did you loose last year due to indifference or giving them average service and what did this cost your company?
Exceeding customer expectations is no longer the job of the sales force or the customer service team. Every accountant, every leader, your receptionist, your I.T. team, your H.R. team and everyone in your warehouse and or factory needs to make external customers their new mission in life. The big question has to be; “Is what I am doing right now helping our customers?”
Most employees and teams have no idea how their day-to-day work impacts customers. One of our clients gave their receptionist a new title; “Vice-president of First Impressions”. This not only made her feel good it put a smile on every customers face. When customers are greeted in an outstanding way on the phone or in person the WOW journey begins and the tone is set for an amazing customer's experience. The next step is for everyone else on their journey throughout your organization to continue their WOW experience to the point that they feel so good that they never want to leave you.
Team Building Exercises & Assessments are a great way to motivate your team. Have each member of your team complete a Team Performance Assessment on their team. They will be asked questions about how effective they are in terms of making decisions, communicating, collaborating, overcoming challenges, being innovative and achieving team goals. This assessment will identify their team’s strengths and areas to improve. The team will review their assessment and work together to create an action plan to improve their overall performance. This collaborative exercise enables the team to discuss their long-standing challenges and gives them a plan to create the type of team that they would all like to be a part of. We all want to be a part of a winning team and doing an exercise like this creates a shared ownership and accountability for the team’s success.
3 Ways to Exceed Customer Expectations & Keep them for Life
Team Building is a critical part of creating an organization where everyone serves external customers. You need to get your team together and make sure they are all aligned around the same vision and mission and both your Vision and Mission better include a focus on providing outstanding service to your external customers. Teams need to agree on shared team goals that enable them to make their mission come true. They all need to know how their day-to-day job and everything that they do impacts external customers. I keep saying external customers because people get too focused on their colleagues and their internal customers and loose sight of what their real customers want, need and expect.
Walk in their Shoes. All of your employees from the mailroom to the executive suite need to get out with customers much more often. Do your people even know who the end customer is and what they want and expect from your organization? Everyone in the company should go out on a sales call or listen in on a service call at least once in their career. There is a great story of the CEO from Sony going into his retail stores undercover to sell his products. He learned more from these sales calls than he could have from his many customer surveys and focus groups. The hit TV show “Undercover Boss” lets leaders go out into their organizations undercover and they always learn a lot and they discover what their customers really think of their service. No matter what position you have in your company you should speak to several customers each month and just ask them what they think about the service that they get from your team. What do they like, what could be better and what should you stop doing.
Train Everyone on How to Deliver Outstanding Service. We offer a 1-2 day program called Service Performance which gives teams the skills to provide outstanding service to their customers. The problem is that most organizations only give this course to their front-line sales and service teams. The best organizations offer our program to all of their employees. One of our clients; a hospital had a vision to offer every patient outstanding service and everyone knew that they were responsible for making their customers feel comfortable and cared for. One young couple with 2 small kids were lost as they tried to find the right entrance so they could go visit their sick grandfather. The guy cutting the grass saw that they were lost so he ran over to them and asked them how he could help. He then escorted them right to their grandfather’s bed. The family was impressed. The grass cutter’s name was Joe and he was a part-time contract employee but he knew the vision and he knew how he fit into the big picture, which was to care for and make customers feel comfortable. Joe had a choice that day, he could have continued to cut grass or he could risk falling behind and taking the time to help his customer. He chose the right thing and his boss rewarded him for it with praise and positive feedback. Imagine if his supervisor was not aligned with the team vision; everyone needs to get on board for this to work.
Everyone in your organization is responsible for delivering outstanding customer service. Make sure everyone is aligned around a common Vision, Mission and Team Goals that are customer focused. Make the time to get everyone together face-to-face to do some Team Building as you launch this new Service culture.
Give all your employees the opportunity to speak with and meet their customers and give all of your teams the training so that they can Exceed Their Customers Expectations every single day.
Contact Paul Fergus at [email protected] or call him at 1-877-633-9555 to discuss how your organization can build teams that WOW your customers and help you to keep them for life.