Costomer Service Week
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Costomer Service Week Costomer Service Week Document Transcript

  • CUSTOMER SERVICE HANDBOOK
  • Contents Introduction 1 6 Customer Service Tips Tip1: Create a customer focused culture 2 Tip2: Listen to your customers 3 Tip3: Engage your employees 4 Tip4: Show customers that you really care 5 Tip5: Customer Service Benchmarking 6 Tip6: Measure and Countinously Improve 7 5P’s Service Quality Model 8 9 Policies Premises 10 Processes 11 Product/Service 12 People 13 Performance Measurement 14 Introduction Service quality has increasingly become a differentiating factor among organisations and has become the key driver for organisations to gain competitive advantage in ever changing business environment. This customer service handbook has been uniquely developed for the inaugural UAE Customer Service Week to highlight some key factors regarding service delivery excellence and provide an insight into the 5P’s Service Quality Model upon which The International Customer Service Standard is based. Each page of this handbook will provide information on a useful yet crucial aspect of Customer Service delivery. It will also identify which activities are taking place during customer service week and help you get the most out of your participation. 1
  • TIP Create a customer focused culture 1 An organisation with a customer focused culture promotes the basic value of service quality among employees throughout the length and breadth of the organisation. It makes a conscious attempt to develop and use innovative methods to respond and capture customer needs on a continuous basis. Its product offerings revolve around meeting and exceeding customer requirements. Before you look out- Delivery of excellent customer service side - look inside. A customer should be instilled within the culture of focused culture needs to be the organisation. A customer centric created among employees organisation paves its way to a (Lowe, 2010). profitable future with several growth opportunities. In “a survey conducted by Forum Corporation of 2,374 customers from 14 organisations [it was found that] more than 40 percent [of the customers] listed poor service as the number-one reason for switching to the competition” (Blume, 1988). Research shows that “service excellence initiatives are short-lived unless they are embedded as a part of the culture of the organisation” (Cook, 2008). Creating a customer focused culture involves a solid Vision and Mission Statement, Training & Education and Employee Reward & Recognition. Participate for free in CSW and learn how to implement a customer focused culture 2
  • TIP Listen to your customers 2 Customer feedback about your organisation’s products and services is as valuable as increasing profits. If organisations are going to improve the service/products provided to customers, it is essential to listen to them. A recent study revealed that only 3% of respondents thought companies and organisations across all sectors listened enough to them and their needs (Tips for Tip Top The barriers preventing Service, 2009). organisations from under- standing customer needs: • Events which do not occur but often come to management attention due to a large negative impact the situation creates • The fact that a high percentage of customers do not complain. Research undertaken in the United States suggests that “only one in 26 people”complain • Opinions may only be collected from a Listening to your customers involves specific group of customers which may collecting meaningful information not be a representative sample. This through various channels and acting can distort the view the organisation upon it in a timely manner. Methods for has about its customers’ needs and collecting customer information include: requirements • Resistance to change on the part of • Complaint handling system the organisation leading to “we have • Customer satisfaction surveys always done it this way and this is • Employee satisfaction surveys what the customer wants syndrome” • Employee exit interviews (Cook, 2008) • Declining trends in demand Learn more at our Customer Service Week complaint management workshop 3
  • TIP 3 Engage your employees An engaged workforce comprises of “people who are willing to do whatever it takes to help the company succeed, including lead, innovate and serve customers” (Gostick & Elton, 2009). Employee engagement plays a major role in raising customer satisfaction level. Research suggests that a fall in customer satisfaction level can be prevented with the help of an engaged workforce (Coco, 2009). • Act as advocates for the organisation • Increases innovation rates • Introduce cost cutting solutions Engaged Employee: • Impact on service delivery as a result of their dedication and commitment Organisations with “high- employee-engagement report on average customer satisfaction 20 percent higher than their low- engagement peers” (Gostick & Three of the key drivers which lead to an Elton, 2009). engaged work force relates to the ability of the organisation to create: • A link between each and every employee’s job role and how fulfillment of his/her job responsibilities leads to meeting organisational objectives • A positive atmosphere amongst employees resulting from the knowledge that their skills and abilities have been utilised for the benefit of the organisation • An environment which supports innovation and encourages employee contribution Download free tips, games & puzzles. Attend the CSW workshop on employee engagement 4
  • TIP Show customers that you really care 4 “Getting it right the first time” may not be the only tactic to win and keep customers. Customers need to feel that they are cared for. Profit is the applause you get for taking care of your customers and creating a motivating environment for your people (Blanchard, 2004). Forum Corporation found that “68% of [customers] would go to another vendor simply because of indifference on the part of a single employee at their current one” Loyal customers not only contribute to (Blume, 1988). By showing customers that continual business growth but also act the organisation truly cares about as advocates for the organisation’s meeting their needs and expectations, products/services. At the Better it works its way towards building a loyal Business Bureau of Southern Colorado’s customer base. The benefits include: Excellence in Customer Service Award • Improved image of the organisation banquet, keynote speaker Rick Brinkman through the eyes of the customer mentioned that “about 90 percent of • Increased customer retention customers will remain loyal to a • Increased customer satisfaction levels company and bring five new • A reduction in costs customers if they feel they are cared • An increase in profits about” (Expert, 2006). How responsive are you to your customers’ needs? Enter the UAE CSW STAR Awards 5
  • TIP 5 Customer Service Benchmarking Benchmarking can be defined as a “continuous, systematic process for comparing your own efficiency in terms of productivity, quality and practices with those companies and organisations that represent excellence” (Karlof & Ostblom, 1995). Benchmarking, the latest management buzzword, focuses on borrowing concepts and ideas which already have proven to be successful instead of having to re-invent the wheel time and again. According to Sewell, “if an idea works in one place, you can be pretty certain it will work in another. People are just not that different from one another” (1990). Successful companies are constantly bench- marking…They have to know what they have to match up with day-in and day-out if their Benchmarking in the field of customer company is going to be service is beneficial because: successful. • It helps an organisaton to learn how to increase strategic efficiency in terms of customer service • It leads to skill enhancement as a result of learning from world class organisations According to (Johnson & Stern, 1995) • It initiates a learning process to the Four basic elements for cultivate and constantly improve benchmarking: service delivery • Determining and describing what area/aspect of the organisation to benchmark • Assessing the performance of other organisations in a similar area/aspect of operation • Identifying gaps in performance and developing a plan to address them • Implementing change Learn from local & international thought leaders on best practice during the CSW Forum 6
  • TIP Measure and Continuously Improve 6 Measuring customer satisfaction level and making a constant effort to improve service delivery performance is an essential element of delivering excellent customer service. Measure everything. Baseball teams do it. Football teams do it. Basketball teams do it. You should do it too (Sewell, 1990). Measurement is the basis for continuous improvement. According to Carl Sewell author of Customers for Life, Benefits of continual performance GE is one such company which gives measurement: continuous improvement high • It provides organisations with an importance. At GE, in order to assist call improvement plan to fill in gaps centre agents to solve customer identified in the organisation’s problems more effectively and service delivery process efficiently, an investment of USD 10 • It helps the organisation to identify million was made to develop an and improve on the inefficient and ‘Answer Centre’. This is a large unproductive areas in an database which holds over 750,000 organisation which adversely affect customer questions, so that when a the customer experience customer calls with a problem, call • It helps organisations become centre agents can enter a keyword to exceptional customer service get the information to respond. As providers and it paves the way for and when new problems arise they are increased customer retention and added to the database (Cook, 2008). satisfaction Attend the CSW workshop delivered by TICSI on service quality measurement 7
  • The 5P’s Service Quality Model The 5P’s Service Quality Model provides a comprehensive framework for the key elements essential to the delivery of customer service excellence. Each element plays a critical role in the customer’s experience and cohesively these form the basis for an integrated approach to the delivery of service excellence. This model forms the foundation for The International Customer Service Standard (TICSS2010), which has been developed by the Institute and consists of a set of practical customer service guidelines which organisations can be formally assessed against. Details of each of the elements of the 5P’s Service Quality Model follow over the next few pages, highlighting their importance within a service quality improvement context and the implementation benefits that this model can bring to an organisation. Customer satisfaction is defined by the people within the organisation responding to their needs, the quality of the products and services received by the organisation, the surrounding premises, and efficiency of the processes. Policies Products Premises Processes People Attractors Retainers Quality Assessable Defined Awareness Value Usable Communicated Technical Skills Brand Interesting Implemented Teamwork Availability Serviced Measured Behavioural Skills Refined Customer Satisfaction Performance Measurement © Philip Forrest (1985-2010) 8
  • Policies The Policies are the guides of action for any organisation. This P creates the framework for each level and field of operation within the organisation, setting the core values for customer service provision. The Policies should be derived from best practice and address the intent of the organisation through their mission, vision, core values and standards. Setting the Policies for the organisation is as essential as thinking before acting. Policies set the goals to be reached and set the framework for how to get there (TICSI). Policies should be: • Documented to establish a Within the 5P’s Service Quality Model, common understanding of core Policies are the overall enablers and values, strategies and standards conditioners of the remaining P’s. They • Clearly communicated to all govern the allocation of resources stakeholders of the organisation (time, money and effort etc.) to assist in ensuring all employee interactions the achievement of the organisation’s with customers commit to the service excellence goals. same standard of delivery Policies Premises Processes Product/Services People How the organisation’s Are the products/ services How effective are the Are the employees designed according to the Do the delivery chan- objectives and strategies organisation’s processes in sufficiently trained to needs and expectations of nels facilitate delivery of reflect the customers’ delivering the desired enable satisfaction of the customers? customer service? expectations? output to their customers? customers’ needs? 9
  • Premises The Premises are interpreted as inclusive of all service delivery channels of the organisation. The premises contribute to the customers overall impression of the business. Within the “Premises” category all available delivery channels are measured: Physical location, Call centres and Websites. Your organisation’s website very often acts as the customer’s first touch point. It’s extremely important that your site represents your organisation’s values and vision (TICSI). Premises can lead to delivery of excellent customer service when: • A comfortable and safe work environment helps to raise employee satisfaction and motivation levels within the organisation • Customers who feel safe and comfortable within the organisation’s physical location are likely to visit the location repeatedly and may contribute to the business growth. • Access to a call centre agent/reception desk in a timely manner, by competent and knowledgeable call centre agents helps to create a positive customer experience Premises act as important attractors for new customers, as service delivered through any of the delivery channels could create a lasting first impression which would in turn persuade customers to do business with the organisation. Organisations need to ensure that all its customer service delivery channels are structured to support the needs of its customers. Policies Premises Processes Product/Services People How the organisation’s Are the products/ services How effective are the Are the employees designed according to the Do the delivery chan- objectives and strategies organisation’s processes in sufficiently trained to needs and expectations of nels facilitate delivery of reflect the customers’ delivering the desired enable satisfaction of the customers? customer service? expectations? output to their customers? customers’ needs? 10
  • Processes Processes are activities that deliver specific services or products for internal or external customers. Processes are one of the most crucial elements in the delivery of Service Excellence. Customers expect a satisfactory outcome after completing a transaction with an organisation and it is the efficiency and effectiveness of the processes that contribute greatly to this expected outcome. While Products and Premises act as attractors, Processes and People are retainers. These last two factors play a crucial role in maintaining the customers’ enthusiasm for the brand and ensuring provision of a consistently high level of service which ultimately results in customer retention and loyalty. Practical considerations regarding Processes should include: • Processes are derived from Policies to ensure that the main strategic goals are achieved • Collection of input from all relevant parties (e.g. employees, customers, strategic partners, etc.), to ensure efficiency across all levels • Documentation and clear communication to all stakeholders, so that all those who are involved in executing procedures have a uniform understanding of required resources and quality standards • Be integrated at each operational level of the organisation to maintain a quality output • Be measured on a regular basis, to eliminate non-value added activities while at the same time enhancing those activities which are beneficial for customers Policies Premises Processes Product/Services People How the organisation’s Are the products/ services How effective are the Are the employees designed according to the Do the delivery chan- objectives and strategies organisation’s processes in sufficiently trained to needs and expectations of nels facilitate delivery of reflect the customers’ delivering the desired enable satisfaction of the customers? customer service? expectations? output to their customers? customers’ needs? 11
  • Products/Services This P is the reason the organisation exists and is heavily linked to strategy and development of the organisation. This P acts as an attractor to the organisation and hence, the quality of the products and services. The value they represent to the customers and their availability are crucial factors which the organisation needs to take into consideration. Organisations must continually adjust and improve their products and/or services to Many organisations forget that a key aspect of meet customer demands. delivery of services and products involves taking into consideration customer feedback. Only organisations who support and promote a customer focused approach will ensure that their products and services are continually adjusted and improved to meet customer demands. Other key factors regarding products and services: • After sales service should be transparent and effective. The organisation should clearly communicate applicable policies so that customers are fully aware of their rights • Organisations need to take into consideration their strategic partners. This is any business relationship with a partner who is in direct contact with the organisations customers. Through an appropriate selection process, and through continuous measurements against set performance criteria, organisations can ensure their customers receive the same standard of service through all their touch points Policies Premises Processes Products/Services People How the organisation’s Are the products/ services How effective are the Are the employees designed according to the Do the delivery chan- objectives and strategies organisation’s processes in sufficiently trained to needs and expectations of nels facilitate delivery of reflect the customers’ delivering the desired enable satisfaction of the customers? customer service? expectations? output to their customers? customers’ needs? 12
  • People This P is the factor which allows organisations to deliver their vision, mission and aims in an effective way. Successful customer service is dependent on the ability of the people of an organisation to deliver, at the point of customer contact, a unique combination of a number of different elements. Knowledge, competence and skills (such as communication and interpersonal) can positively influence the service quality performance. Well trained and highly motivated employees are able to engage with customers easily and apply themselves appropriately in addressing customer needs. Together these are highly influential on emotional aspects of the customer experience and hence are the retainers within the 5P’s model. People are an organisations most important resource. Care for them, nurture them, help them achieve their dreams, and they might just, help you achieve yours (TICSI). Some key aspects regarding People: • Effective internal communication is essential to ensure that employees are kept up to date with all aspects of change thereby enabling organisations to better serve the needs of customers • Identification of training needs to ensure that employees have developed the skills and knowledge they require to perform at their job • Collection of employee feedback and suggestions is crucial for organisations to identify areas for improvement both internally and externally. Engaging employees in development of products/services encourages innovation and motivates the workforce Policies Premises Processes Products/Services People How the organisation’s Are the products/ services How effective are the Are the employees designed according to the Do the delivery chan- objectives and strategies organisation’s processes in sufficiently trained to needs and expectations of nels facilitate delivery of reflect the customers’ delivering the desired enable satisfaction of the customers? customer service? expectations? output to their customers? customers’ needs? 13
  • Performance Measurement In addition to the five P’s, the model places high emphasis on the Measurement Improvement cycle. Service Quality Performance Measurement is the key management tool for directing improvement in the organisation across all levels. All aspects of service delivery can be measured. It is only when organisations can correctly identify where they stand in relation to best practice organisations, that they can start the journey towards achieving customer service excellence. All aspects of service delivery can and should be Continuous performance measurement measured (TICSI). ensures: • The organisation identifies its strengths and weaknesses on a continuous basis and sets a path for improvement The achieved scores of service performance • The organisation is in a position measurement are the true measure of where it can accurately identify satisfaction of customers and employees, customer needs and expectations and together these are crucial in • The organisation develops an action maintaining an improvement - plan to implement improvements measurement cycle which will drive which meet customer needs and organisation’s improvement. Improvement expectations is based on the results of: • The organisation is on the path of • Customer Experience Measurement sustainable customer service • Employee Engagement Measurement improvement • Mystery Shopping Research Performance Measurement Continuous performance measurement is a crucial factor in excellence. Performance measurement ensures the organisation is moving in the right direction, monitoring strengths and areas of improvement, identifying customer needs and expectations, and ensuring sustainability in customer service improvement. 14
  • About the Institute The International Customer Service Institute (TICSI) is an international partnership organisation enabling the recognition and sharing of global best practice in customer service. The Institute was founded in 2005 in the United Kingdom with the ultimate goal to set the global standards of customer service in a diverse and always changing environment. The International Customer Service Standard (TICSS) has been developed by the Institute with the objective of making it the global standard for quality customer service. The aim of TICSS is to enable organisations to focus their attention on delivery of excellence in service quality while at the same time providing recognition of success through a formal third party certification scheme. To assist organisations measure their current performance against TICSS, a self assessment tool is available on the TICSI website. The tool promotes a flexible approach to identifying their strengths and weaknesses within their current system. For the list of references used in this guide, please email us at info@ticsi.org Prepared by: Prepared for: W: www.ticsi.org W: www.customerserviceweek.ae E: info@ticsi.org E: csw@customerserviceweek.ae T: +971 4 432 9370 T: +971 4 432 9373