is an art won by training and habituation.
We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Why focus on Customer Service?
Customer service in America has declined
dramatically in the past few years.
Providing good customer service to your clients will
result in word-of-mouth recommendations – the best kind of
referral. A “very
satisfied” customer is almost six times more likely to be
loyal and to repurchase and/or to recommend your product than
a customer who is “just satisfied” is.1
When customers have a choice, they will choose the
professional who provides the highest caliber of customer
service is so important that the Malcomb Baldridge Award
requires that “Customer service requirements are understood
and acted upon and that standards for quality be made explicit
and visible throughout an organization especially for those
employees who regularly have customer contact i.e., the front
It is of paramount importance to
understand the expectations and requirements of our customers.
Sometimes this means we may need to change processes
and provide training or enhance the infrastructure as well as
develop service standards to respond to our customer’s
The Technical Assistance Research Program
(TARP) found that it costs from four to seven times more to
attract a new customer than to retain an existing one.
It has been determined that 81percent of
customers with minor unresolved complaints ($5 or less) will
not buy again.
More than 54 percent of customers with major
(over $100) unresolved complaints will not buy again.
While only a small percentage of your unhappy
clients bother to tell you about their dissatisfaction, the
are eager to tell lots of your potential customers of the
problems they had dealing with you.
Each dissatisfied customer will tell nine to ten
people about his/her negative experience.
Handling complaints effectively can build
customer loyalty. Research shows that when complaints are resolved quickly, up
to 95 percent of customers will return and buy again.
Companies can boost profits by almost
100% by retaining just 5% more of their customers.
Also, companies with long-term customers can often
charge more for their products and services.2
According to Jim Clemmer’s Firing on
all Cylinders, developing a strong commitment to
service/quality improvement requires two steps:
The first critical step is getting the senior
management team/partners to agree wholeheartedly that
service/quality improvement is the strategic issue for the
members must be prepared to devote substantial resources and
personal time to get this process started.
The second step is to build this commitment
within the rest of the organization.
Flawless Service Delivery includes
understanding client’s perceptions and creating every
opportunity to make a positive impression.
Enabling your employees/staff to “use their own best
judgement” to resolve issues.
Impart a “whatever it takes” attitude to all
associates and rewarding high-quality service.
“Listening to customers must become
everyone’s business. With
competitors moving ever faster, the race will go to those to
listen (and respond) most intently.”3
“At the heart of any successful strategy to manage
satisfaction is the ability to listen to the customer.”4
Customer Feedback Calls
Customer Feedback calls are an elegant
and simple method to learn what is on the forefront of the
customer’s mind. Customer
Feedback calls enable you to select a moment-of-truth, listen
to the voice of the customer on a particular moment and then
make process changes, provide training or augment technology
to respond to your customer’s requests.
Customer Feedback calls will be used periodically to
check on the progress and to provide a measurable return on
your investment. After
the initial three-month launch, your organization is left with
the skills required to continue on other moments or truth.
CFC Project Overview
The purpose of this project is to create
an awareness of your staff to provide a high-level of customer
will be equipped with the tools required to continue pleasing
your customer long after this project is completed.
Every moment of truth – every opportunity your client
has to form an impression -- will be evaluated.
Documents will be reviewed and revised if necessary, or
created if they do not exist.
Metrics to evaluate your customer service performance
will be developed so on a regular basis, you and your staff
understand your client’s perceptions.
Phase three entails on-going observation, adjusting
processes and continuing to obtain customer feedback for
various moments of truth.
Using these methods, you and your staff will
continually improve their level of customer service. This will most assuredly increase your client base, referrals
and repeat business.