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Please Every Customer
 

Please Every Customer

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IN THIS SUMMARY ...

IN THIS SUMMARY
In an increasingly global business world, customer service organizations are faced with more and more diversity among customers and employees. Treating customers as a homogeneous group is certain to lead to service breakdowns and even organizational failure. With the globalization of business, it is increasingly common to deal with customers who speak a different primary language and have different communication styles and preferences. In Please Every Customer, Robert W. Lucas describes how customer service professionals can provide outstanding service through careful attention to interpersonal communication, nonverbal communication, listening, and personal image.

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    Please Every Customer Please Every Customer Presentation Transcript

    •  
    • PLEASE EVERY CUSTOMER Delivering Stellar Customer Service Across Cultures AUTHOR: Robert W. Lucas PUBLISHER: McGraw-Hill DATE OF PUBLICATION: 2011 273 pages
    • FEATURES OF THE BOOK Please Every Customer is a comprehensive guide for any company that provides customer service
    • THE BIG IDEA In Please Every Customer , Robert W. Lucas describes how service professionals can provide positive global customer service through careful attention to interpersonal communication, nonverbal communication, and listening.
    • INTRODUCTION In an increasingly global business world, customer service organizations are faced with more and more diversity among customers and employees. It is becoming increasingly common for customers to represent different ethnicities, races, and socioeconomic classes. Treating customers as a homogeneous group is certain to lead to service breakdowns and even organizational failure. In Please Every Customer , Robert W. Lucas describes how customer service professionals can effectively provide outstanding service through careful attention to interpersonal communication, nonverbal communication, listening, and personal image.
    • GLOBALIZATION AND CUSTOMER SERVICE Lucas has created the acronym POSITIVE to identify successful global service strategies: P ut the best foot forward. O ffer whatever level of assistance is possible. S tay abreast of current industry trends and strategies for delivering quality customer service. I dentify true customer needs through proactive listening. T ake the time to know customers. I nvite customers to share information. V erify understanding. E ngage in relationship building immediately.
    • MANAGING CUSTOMER NEEDS To deliver positive global customer service, Lucas recommends nine strategies: Empathy . By using an empathetic approach, customer service representatives work to understand the emotions that customers are experiencing. With this knowledge, they are better able to respond appropriately. The key to empathy is listening intently, using open nonverbal cues, and offering supportive comments. Courtesy . It is essential that customer service providers be courteous when dealing with customers. Politeness is particularly useful in situations characterized by tension and strong emotions.
    • MANAGING CUSTOMER NEEDS Respect . Companies must value and respect customers. Professional attitude . Professional customer service representatives must ensure that the first contact with a customer is pleasant and memorable. Attention to detail . Positive global customer service relies on employees who are knowledgeable about the company’s products or services and are committed to delivering excellent service. Equitable treatment . Fairness is required when dealing with customers. Without it, any customer loyalty will be destroyed.
    • MANAGING CUSTOMER NEEDS Qualified and trained staff . Effective managers recognize the strategic value of customer service and ensure that customer service employees are trained. Efficient service . Customers dislike unnecessary delays. As a result, service providers must acknowledge customers quickly and provide service in a timely way. Effective complaint resolution . Customer complaints enable companies to identify areas that need improvement. Once a customer’s problem is understood, service providers must resolve it as soon as possible.
    • CULTIVATING A PROFESSIONAL SERVICE IMAGE People with a professional image demonstrate enthusiasm, show confidence, and remain focused on service. Customers respond well to customer service providers who take an interest in their jobs and are subject matter experts about their companies’ products and services. Lucas recommends taking the following steps to cultivate a professional service image: Build credibility . In addition to product and service knowledge, it is necessary to understand company policy and how much authority one has to resolve customer issues. Customer service representatives should never fake an answer. Instead, it is preferable to escalate a customer issue to a supervisor.
    • CULTIVATING A PROFESSIONAL SERVICE IMAGE Assume responsibility . All service providers should assume responsibility for helping customers. The goal is to preserve the relationship and to compensate the customer for any inconvenience or financial loss. Exhibit ethical standards . If customers believe that a company has engaged in unethical behavior, it is unlikely they will remain loyal. Be responsive . Strive to deliver what has been promised to customers before they expect it.
    • MASTERING NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION Body language can convey meaning in several different ways. For example: Greetings . While a firm handshake is an expected practice in Western business, different practices prevail in other cultures, such as bowing or embracing. Showing the bottom of feet . In some non-Western cultures, pointing the bottoms of one’s feet toward a customer (such as when assuming a casual posture) is a serious insult.
    • MASTERING NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION Sitting . The way that a person crosses their legs may send a negative message. Slouching . Regardless of culture, slouching conveys a negative message about a person. Service professionals should strive for good posture. Touching . In the workplace, the general rule of thumb is that the only appropriate touching in Western cultures is a handshake, and in other places it is the culturally appropriate greeting.
    • MASTERING NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION Eye contact . Cultural background, gender, and other factors determine the meaning of eye contact. In most cases, it is best to follow the customer’s lead with eye contact. Clothing color . Certain cultures define status through colored clothing. If doing business with a customer from a different culture or traveling for work, it is important to become familiar with these customs.
    • LISTENING TO CUSTOMERS Service professionals that are effective listeners are better able to suggest alternative solutions for customers. Lucas outlines seven strategies for improved listening: Prepare to listen . Readiness to listen means being knowledgeable about the company’s products and services, as well as physically prepared to serve when customers contact the organization. Stop talking . Multi-tasking is not compatible with listening. Guide decision - making . Sometimes customer service representatives need to offer different options to customers.
    • HANDLING SERVICE BREAKDOWNS Lucas outlines a six step problem solving model that can be used with customer service challenges: Identify the problem . The first step is to clarify why the customer is not satisfied. A good way to begin the recovery process is with a sincere apology. The company and service professional should accept responsibility for the product or service breakdown. Compile and analyze the data . Using open—ended questions, the customer service representative must gather as much data about the situation as possible. The goal of this step is to evaluate all possible alternatives that could address the problem.
    • HANDLING SERVICE BREAKDOWNS Identify alternatives . When identifying alternatives, work to find options that meet customer expectations and also the company interests. Evaluate alternatives . The best alternatives are those that both resolve the problem and meet the customer’s needs. The same solution will not be effective for every problem. Make a decision . To empower the customer and to guarantee satisfaction, it can be useful to identify the top two options and then let the customer decide which one to select.
    • HANDLING SERVICE BREAKDOWNS Monitor the results . Once steps have been taken to resolve a customer problem, the company should follow up to make sure that everything went well. It is common for organizations to contract with firms that do phone interviews or paper surveys to gauge customer satisfaction.
    • BusinessSummaries.com is a business book Summaries service. Every week, it sends out to subscribers a 9- to 12-page summary of a best-selling business book chosen from among the hundreds of books printed out in the United States. For more information, please go to http://www.bizsum.com. ABOUT BUSINESSSUMMARIES