By David Saxby
Most companies and call centers measure success by their sales numbers but they overlook one small detail – the customer. Do you know how your customer feels about doing business with you? Do you believe companies when they say they really do care about their customers? Most people don’t believe that claim. Instead, they think businesses are not walking their talk.
The following are five tips on how to understand customers and how to measure customer service at your business or call center:
Tip Number 1: If you truly want to understand your customers, ask yourself these questions: How do you know your customers are experiencing extraordinary customer service when they use your services? If they are a new customer, will they stay with your service ? Or if they are a new project for your call center, will they return with a new project once the existing project has been completed? Do your customers tell other people about you? Are you meeting or exceeding your customers’ expectations? Are your prior customers now using the service from your competition and/or do you even know?
Tip Number 2: Mystery Shop. Hire a mystery shopping company. These companies have the ability to see your business through the eyes of your customers. The results of the mystery shop give you the feedback necessary to know what is and is not working from the customer’s point of view.
Tip Number 3: Survey your customers by direct mail: Send out an easy-to-understand questionnaire immediately after they have started using your service. They should only have to take one to two minutes to complete the questionnaire and it should come with a postage-paid return envelope.
Tip Number 4: Survey your customers via email: Email your customers an online survey to obtain their feedback. Use this feedback before you change or implement a new service. Develop a core group of customers that becomes your source of feedback for future changes.
Tip Number 5: Call your customers: Hire someone to make the calls. This will make it easier for your customers to be totally honest and it will help keep the results objective. Ask your customers what your company can do to improve its service. Long term profitability in a changing market is not solely the result of increased sales. It’s more about determining the needs of your customers and then meeting those needs. If you can’t measure customer service at your business, then you can’t manage it.
David Saxby is President of Measure-X, a training firm specializing in providing training on customer service skills and employee retention. He can be reached at 888-644-5499 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out their website at measure-x.com.
[From Connection Magazine – September 2001]