دوره عن العناية بالعملاء قدمت باللغة الانجليزيه
I am the
I am the customer. I have lots of money to spend, and I am going to spend it with someone. I am going to spend it on cars, clothes, services, food and fun and others.
Treat me right and make me happy and I will gladly spend my money with you.
Ron Willingham, 1932
Getting to know your colleagues
The participants of this workshop represent a rich array of experiences. Turn to the person sitting next to you and introduce yourself. Spend the next five minutes learning the following about your colleague:
Name, place of work and job title
Any expectations he/she has for today’s workshop
Anything else your colleague would like to share with the class.
When the time is up, the facilitator will invite you to stand up and introduce your colleague to the group. Share what you’ve learned and your colleague will do the same for you.
This short course should:
1.Opens a new perspective for you. Managing customer-identifying them, given them what they want-profitability and making sure they are happy.
2.Gives all participants an introduction to the skills required for good customer care.
3.Helps you and your staffs explore and develop a good customer care program to create an excellent “first impression”, to your customers.
4.Enhances personal confidence when responding to customer needs.
5.Develops interpersonal skills when dealing with internal and external customers.
6.Spells out in details how companies can go about winning customers and outperforming competitors.
Customers pay our salaries
Customers are the most important visitors on our premises
Customers are not dependent on us; we are dependent on them
Customers are not an interruption of our work; they are the purpose of it.
What is a customer?
A customer is the most important person ever in this office…in person or by mail.
A customer is not dependent on us…. we are dependent on him
A customer is not an interruption of our work…he is the purpose of it. We are not doing a favor by serving him…he is doing us a favor by giving us the opportunity to do so.
A customer is not someone to argue or match wits with. Nobody ever won an argument with a customer.
A customer is a person who brings us his wants. It is our job to handle them profitably to him and to ourselves.
Serving a customer is your privilege, not the customer’s privilege.
The customer should not thank you; you should thank the customer.
If you have trouble with that, you should find another job.
In the industrial revolution production quantity rather than quality was the goal. There were no customer service departments, consumer protection agencies, or watchdog group looking out for the buyer. The strategy was oriented to a short -term relationship between the seller and the buyer. It did not take long, however, for customer satisfaction to be recognized as a valuable asset for developing repeat buying behavior and soon companies began to offer customer service.
The nineties have seen an increase in poverty, providing a reduced number of consumers.
Consumer are becoming more educated
These factors are forcing companies to take customers more serious.
Customers who are just satisfied will still find it easy to switch suppliers when a better offer comes along.
Only 5% of customers complain.
Of the 5% of customers who complain, only 50% report satisfactory problem solution.
Satisfied customer tells three people on average about good product experience.
Dissatisfied customer tells eleven people, and 13cper cent of those people are going to tell twenty or more people.
Customers who complained to a company and had their complaint resolved satisfactory tell an average of five people about the wonderful service they received
Some 84% of CEOs say the quality of Customer Care will be the most important source of business growth in the next year.
The use of toll-free numbers for customer service continues to increase, according to a recent study conducted by the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals (SOCAP).
86% of Fortune 1000 companies surveyed for the study use customer service toll-free numbers, up from 81% in 1995 and 63% in 1992.
Some 68% of companies use the Internet as a vehicle for customer contact and/or support. The median email response time is 24 hours, and 90% of issues are resolved with one electronic contact.
In 2002, 30% (18.3 million) of Internet users will order or purchase goods and services over the Internet on a regular basis.
Differences between transaction and relationship Marketing
Transaction marketing is a short-term view concentrating on the immediate encounter. It involves hard selling. This method encourages the customer to shop-around as it place no value on the individual customer, given no incentive to shop there again.
Relationship marketing concentrate on a long-term view, looking at the customer in terms of lifetime value and placing as much importance on customer retention as recruitment.
The aim is to build good relationship with customers, encourage loyalty by providing commitment to acting in the customer’ best interests.
The relationship marketing may not provide the immediate return on investment that transaction marketing does, but is by far the more stable and financially viable option long term.
Relationship marketing recognizes the customer as an investment in the company’s future.
Customer service in Saudi Arabia
The Saudi market used to be a seller market rather than buyer market. The case is reversing now.
Customer service in Saudi Arabia is now recognized as a key area in business performance. The customer has become more demanding and goods and services can no longer compete merely on the basis of price. The way that an organization approaches and treats its customers is crucial to its success.
Today Saudi companies are facing their toughest competition ever.
Saudi companies have recognized that the procedures and systems they establish must be geared towards their customers rather than their own, or their shareholders’ needs. They also realize that responding effectively to internal customers is vital to an organization’s efficiency.
Customer service is not just about a smiling face from front line staff, but about delivering the goods, demonstrating integrity and reliability and exceeding customer expectations.
Marketing is the process of creating, distributing, promoting, and pricing good, services, and ideas to facilities satisfying exchange relationships in a dynamic environment.
A managerial philosophy that an organization should try to satisfy customers; needs through a coordinated set of activities that also allows the organization to achieve its goals.
Evolution of the marketing concept
1.The production era. The emphasis is to produce as much as you can
2.The sales era, try to get rid of the product through persuasive sales techniques
3.The marketing era, find out what the customers needs and try to meet it.
Marketing mix refers to four marketing activities;
Product- is the aspect of the marketing mix that deals with researching customer’s product wants and designing a good, service, or ideas that satisfies those wants. It involves creating or modifying packaging and brand name, warranty and repair services.
Place (channel of distribution)- to reach and keep customers, product must be available at the right time and in convenient locations.
Promotion- relates to activities used to inform individuals or group about an organization and it is products. It includes:
Price-relates to decision and action associated with establishing pricing objectives and policies and determining product prices.
The best marketing department in the world cannot sell products that are poorly made or fail to meet anyone’s need.
People do not swarm to the world’s 11,000 McDonald’s outlets solely because they love the hamburger. Some other restaurants make better tasting hamburgers. People are flocking to a system, not a hamburger. This fine-tuned system delivers throughout the world a high standard of what McDonald’s call QSCV- quality, service, cleanliness, and value. McDonald’s is effective only to the extent that it works with its suppliers, franchise owners, employees, and others to deliver exceptionally high value to its customers.
Some marketers draw a distinction between responsive marketing and creative marketing.
A responsive marketing finds a stated need and fills it.
A creative marketing discovers and produces solutions that customers did not ask for but to which they enthusiastically respond.
When all the company’s departments work together to serve the customer’s interests, the result is integrated marketing.
From my experience with some of Saudi companies, I found that not all employees are trained and motivated to work for the customer.
“Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department” Hewlett Packard
Xerox goes so far as to include in every one of its job descriptions an explanation of how that job impacts the customer.
Marketing directed at people outside the company. It makes no sense to promise excellent service before the company staff is ready.
It is the task of successfully hiring, training, and motivating employees who want to serve the customers well.
For a company to be truly customer-focused, every employee must be:
Responsible for responding to customers.
Without a focus on satisfying customers, employees tend to respond to customer complaints with “It’s not my job!” As a result, customers are transferred, referred and deferred.
As little as two decades ago, most companies viewed customer care as ‘complaint handling’, a ‘necessary evil’ or a ‘cost of doing business’.
We learned when we first start studying marketing that we always start out by finding out what customers want and need- only after that we should attempt to build our marketing mix.
Customers in Saudi Arabian market may tolerate poor customer services in order to gain access to the product (good or service) they seek. But with the time the Saudi market has matured, customers have learned how to avoid firms with poor service and consistently select firms where employees treat customer with respect and courtesy. Many companies in Saudi Arabia are at or approaching maturity, and as a result, firms are competing with one another on the dimension of customer services.
What is customer service?
Many people responded to this question by saying:
The customer has a problem, and we fix it
The customer has a question, and we answer it
There is an issue, and we take care of it
In each of these definitions, reacting is the key, in other words, unless there is a problem, you do not get service. Unless you have a question, you do not get an answer. Unless there is an issue, you do not get attention.
These are example of serving the customer. But customer service is more than that.
Customer service is a philosophy in which all employees feel and act accountable for creating satisfied customers.
From this definition, there are two key words:
All employees, everyone serves someone and everyone is accountable. There is not my job mentality when it comes to serving customers. It is always your job to serve customers.
Creating customer satisfaction, everyone in the company is responsible for and works to exceed the customer’s expectation.
Customer service must be an attitude within your company. It must be a fundamental aspect of your business philosophy, not a department.
It is a commitment to ensure that customers leave more excited than when they walked in the door.
Why companies should provide good customer service?
From customer perspective, simply, it is the right thing to do, customers have expectations, and your responsibility is to exceed those expectations. And as customers we deserve to be treated nicely.
From companies’ perspective, it also makes tremendous financial sense. On average it cost five to six times more to get a new customer than to keep an existing one happy.
Consumer movement is a varied array of independent individuals, group, and organization seeking to protect consumer rights. To achieve its objectives, consumer and their advocates write letters to companies, lobby government agencies, broadcast public service announcements, and boycott companies who activities they deem irresponsible.
There are four basic rights. These rights include:
1.The right to safety means that marketers have an obligation not to market knowingly a product that could harm consumers. Must include thorough and explicit instruction for proper and safe use, and must have been tested to ensure reliability and quality.
2.The right to be informed means that consumers should have access to and the opportunity to review all relevant information about product before buying it. Which requires specific labeling on product packaging to satisfy this right.
3.The right to choose, means that consumers must have access to a variety of products and services at competitive prices; they also be assured of satisfactory quality and services at a fair prices.
4.The right to be heard means that consumers’ interests will receive full and sympathetic consideration in the formulation of government policy. The right to be heard also promises consumers fair treatment when they complain to marketers about their products.
Customer service is not easy to control.
Customer service is not always part of the marketing function, so marketing staff cannot always influence the direction of customer service.
Customer service encompasses a wider group of people than those working in the customer service department.
Customers do not logically break down the service experience into departmental component. Rather, customers know how they feel about a service exchange and develop conclusions about a firm based on the entire experience.
Therefore, improving customer service really means improving all aspects of services provider’s operation- those that are seen by customers (front-stage) and those that are invisible to customers (back-stage).
Defining Customer Value and satisfaction.
The first task of any company is to create customer. But today customers in Saudi Arabia face a vast array of product and brand choices, prices, and suppliers.
How do customers make their choices?
Customers will estimate which offer will deliver the most value. Customers are value-maximizers, within the bounds of search costs and limited knowledge, mobility, and income. They form an expectation of value and act on it.
Customer delivered value
Customer delivered value is the difference between total customer value and total customer cost.
Total customer value
Total customer value is the bundle of benefits customers expect from a given product or service.
Total customer cost
Total customer cost is the bundle of costs customers expect to incur in evaluating, obtaining, and using the product or service.
What do customers value?
Research shows that customer would pay more than 12 percent higher prices for better quality and more than 9 percent higher prices for better service. These are things over which employees, have some control. Employees’ attention to detail affects product quality. Responsive to customer needs affect service.
What are most important to customers?
3.Knowledge of the people with whom
4.Ease of doing business
6.Performance of the product
7.Follow-through by the people with whom they deal
As we can see seven things more important to customers than price?
What is Customer Satisfaction?
We asked many people about how they define customer satisfaction? We got these answers.
Customer satisfaction is when your customers return with their friends.
Customer satisfaction is when the customer thanks you for providing service.
Customer satisfactions when the customer orders more.
Customer satisfaction is when customers tell their friends.
All these answers are correct in a sense. More formally customer satisfaction defined as:
Satisfaction is a function of perceived performance and expectations.
1.If the performance falls short of expectations, the customer is dissatisfied.
2.If the performance matches the expectations, the customer is satisfied.
3.If the performance exceeds the expectations, the customer is delighted.
Satisfaction is a person’s feeling of pleasure or disappointment resulting from comparing a product’s perceived performance (or outcome) in relation to his or her expectation.
How do customers form their expectation?
Customer expectations are influenced by:
Their past experience
Friends and associates’ advice
Marketers and competition information and promises
Some local companies raise the customers’ expectation too high, and the buyer is likely to be disappointed. Other companies set expectation too low; it won’t attract enough buyers (although will satisfy those who buy).
Some of today’s successful companies are raising expectations and delivering performance to match. These companies are aiming for- Total Customer Satisfaction (TCS)
One company guarantees “total satisfaction” and will replace at its expense and dissatisfied customer equipment for a period of three years after purchases.
One company advertises “we will never be 100% satisfied until you are, too.
One company ads says, “One reason our customers are so satisfied is that we aren’t”
The challenge of implementing TCS is to create a company culture in which everyone within the company aims to delight the customer.
In early 1980s many companies start using quality circles to learn from employees how to improve the product they made. The idea behind quality circles is that by combining the knowledge of workers with the goals of management, a better set of offering will emerge and customer satisfaction and loyalty will improve. Quality circles involve regular exchanges of information between non-managerial employees who manufacture a product or deliver a service and management. Companies use quality circles to learn from employees how to solve problems, how to improve customer service, and how to improve the internal flow of document and information.
In addition to tracking their customers’ expectations, perceived company performance, and customer satisfaction, companies need to monitor their competitors’ performance in these areas as well.
A company was pleased to find that 80% of its customers said they were satisfied. Then COE found out that its leading competitor attend a 90% customer satisfaction score.
A service-marketing checklist
Companies should ask themselves the following questions to manage and exceed expectations:
Do you strive to present a realistic picture of your service to customers?
Do you always check the accuracy of your promotional messages prior to customers’ exposure to them?
Is there regular communication between employees who serve customers and those who make promises to customers?
Do you assess the impact on customer expectation on cues such as price?
Exceeding Customers’ highest hopes: A service marketing checklist
Customers’ expectations are the true standards for judging service quality. Understanding the nature and determinant of expectations is essential to ensuring that service performance meets or exceed expectations.
Manager should ask themselves the following questions as they seek to manage and exceed expectations:
Is performing the service right the first time a top priority in our company?
Do we communicate effectively with customers?
Do we surprise customers during the service process?
Do our employees regard service problem as opportunities to impress customers, or annoyances?
Do we continuously evaluate and improve our performance against customers’ expectations?
Customer perception and Customers’ complaints
What customer perceives shapes their beliefs about your company? Perception is subjective reality. Since perception is colored by one’s needs, wants, and more, what I see may be completely different from what you see.
In business, it is the customer’s perception that always counts.
Since companies are composed of people, and people are imperfect, you must accept that mistake happen-it is human nature.
Do not waste time agonizing about mistake or passing blame.
In some situation, you know you are right and feel the need to argue that point with the customer.
Are you more interested in winning over the customer or winning the argument?
Treat customer, as you would like to be treated. Or treat customers as they would like be treated. Remember, it is the customer’s perception that count, not yours.
The pursuit to excellence is a noble endeavor. You pursue excellence by accepting that people make mistakes and focusing on ways to contain these mistakes within your company walls.
For the manager who demands perfection, are you the perfect boss?
Take action; make decision; do something. If you make a mistake, you will have to apologize, but the customer will see you tried.
Do you think customers really care about whose fault a problem is or how it happened?
Absolutely not, customers are not interested in fixing the blame; they want to fix the problem.
Blame is a useless concept. Blame spends a whole lot of time with negative energy and finger pointing. You accept responsibility for a mistake your company makes
Too many people are willing to pass the blame on to someone else for whatever reason.
You have to respond to the customer problem as quickly as possible. You must assess your system and find ways to make it easier for your customer to get information.
Customer’s greatest frustration includes;
Dealing with powerless employees
Low initiative employees
If you are a non-management employee, serve your customer well by dealing with issue on the spot. Then go back to management and say, “ I offered this alternative to the customer as a away to serve him or her better. If you are a manager, it is vital that you empower your employees with authority and guidelines so they can make decision on the spot.
Employees who feel they have some power to make decision are more committed to serving the customer.
Systems for satisfying customers’ complaints
First, Companies should make easy for dissatisfied customers to complain. They should not be like Spanish hotel that tells guests that it will accept complaints at the front desk only from 9 to 11 A.M. Companies should maximize the ease with which customers can complain. The following are some methods that companies can use to track customer satisfaction.
A. Complaint and suggestion system
Companies can place suggestion boxes in the corridors, supply comment cards, establish customer hot lines with tool free telephone number for customer to make suggestions or complain. These information provide companies with many good ideas and enable them to act more to resolve problems.
B. Customer satisfaction survey
Less than 5% of dissatisfied customers will complain. Therefore, companies can use complain levels as a measure of customer satisfaction. Responsive companies obtain a direct measure of customer satisfaction by conducting periodic survey. They send questionnaire, or make phone calls to random sample of their recent customers and ask if they were very satisfied, satisfied, indifferent, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied with various aspect of the company’s performance.
C. Ghost shopping
Companies can hire persons to pose as potential buyers to report their findings on strong and weak points they experienced in buying the company’s and competitors’ products. These ghost shoppers can even pose certain problems to test whether the company ‘s sales personal handled the situation well. Example, he can complain about restaurant’s food to test how the restaurant handles its complaint. Not only should companies hire ghost shopper, but also managers themselves should leave their office from time to time, enter company and competitor sales situation where they are unknown, and experienced firsthand the treatment they receive as “ customer”.
D. Lost customer analysis
Companies should contact customers who have stopped buying or who have switched to another suppliers to learn why this happened. Not only is it important to conduct exit interview when customer first stop buying, but also to monitor the customer loss rate, which, if increasing, clearly indicates that the company is failing to satisfy its customers.
Second, the company’s employee who receive complaints must be trained and empowered to resolve customer problems speedily and satisfactory.
Third, the company should go beyond satisfying particular customer to discovering and correcting the root causes of frequent problems. By studying the pattern of complaints, the company can correct system failures that give rise to these complaints.
Satisfying both employees and customers
Excellently managed companies believe that employee relations will reflect on customer relations. Management carries out internal marketing and creates an environment of employee support and rewards for good service performance. Management regularly audits employees’ satisfaction with their jobs.
Unhappy employee can be “terrorists”
Why do not companies deliver good customer service?
Good customer service is time-consuming; some employees believe that providing good customer service requires too much time. It requires more time to attract new customer than to keep an old customer happy.
Serving the customer is expensive; it cost more to get new customer than to keep an existing one happy.
We are good enough; some employees feel that they are fine the way they are.
We do not care; the company has too much business now, and things are so good they feel they do not have to care.
When you think you are the best; people need you more than you need them attitude.
Do not look at your customers as more a pain to your business, look at them as a gain to your business.
Do not look at your customers as interruption or intrusion, look at them as welcome opportunity.
Avoid transaction mentality.
Example, we cannot do it that way because of a company policy.
Why do buyers stop doing business with a company?
Customers who stop buying from or dealing with a particular business do so because:
1 percent die
3 percent move away
5 percent seek alternative or develop other business interest
9 percent begin doing business with the competition
14 percent are dissatisfied with the product or services
68 percent are upset with the treatment they have received.
One study revealed that on unhappy customer told 11 other people, who in turn told 5
Other people (a negative world of chain of 1+11+55=67
Companies, which provide superior customer service can charge more, create greater profits and achieve greater market share, because customers will generally pay a premium for superior customer service.
Marketing is the art of attracting and keeping profitable customers. According to American Express president, the best customers outspend others by ratio of 16 to 1 in retailing, 13 to 1 in the restaurants business, 12 to 1 in the airline business, and 5 to1 in the hotel/motel industry.
Every company loses many of its customers. The well known 80/20 rules says that 20% of the customers may generate as much as 80% of the company’s profit. Half of which is lost serving the bottom 30% of unprofitable customers.
Profitable customer is a person, household, or company that over time yields a revenue stream that exceeds by an acceptable amount the company’s cost stream of attracting, selling, and serving that customer.
The list of frustrations
Lack of authority to make decisions
Poor product knowledge
Slow service, or no service
Misspelling names on invoices and letters
Shipping the wrong materials
Failing to return the phone calls
The things that frustrate and alienate you as a customer are the very same things that frustrate and alienate your customers.
The things that impress you and cause you to do more business with a company are the same things that will impress your customers and encourage their return.
Small things that make a difference
Smiling at a customer
Using the customer’s name often
Thanking him or her
Not leaving someone on hold too long
Correcting errors long before they become problems
Although marketing is about meeting needs profitably, understanding customer needs and wants is not always a simple task. Some customers have needs of which they are not fully conscious. Or they cannot articulate these needs. Or they used words that require some interpretation.
Consider the customer who says he wants an “inexpensive” car. You as a marketer must probe further. We can distinguish among five types of needs:
Stated needs (the customer wants an inexpensive car)
Real needs (the customer wants a car whose operating cost, not its initial price, is low)
Unstated needs (the customer expect good service from the dealer)
Delight needs (the customer buys the car and receives a complimentary Saudi Arabia atlas)
Secret needs (the customer wants to be seen by friends as a value-oriented savvy consumer)
We have to define the customer needs from the customer’s point of view.
Attracting and Retaining Customers
It seems obvious that many Saudi companies took their customers for granted. Their customer may not have many alternatives or all suppliers were equally deficient in service, or the market was growing so fast that the company did not worry about satisfying its customers.
Calculating the cost of lost customers
Today companies must pay close attention to their customer defection rate and take steps to reduce it.
There are four steps:
1.The company must define and measure its retention rate
2.The company must distinguish the causes of customer attrition and identify those that can be managed better
3.The company needs to estimate how much profit it loses when it loses customers
4.The company needs to figure out how much it would cost to reduce the defection rate. As long as the cost is less than the lost profit. The company should spend that amount to reduce the defection rate.
The need for Customer Retention
The cost of attracting a new customer is estimated to be five times the cost of keeping a current customer happy.
It requires a great deal of effort to induce satisfied customers to switch away from their current suppliers.
Asking questions when customers leave
Do customers defect at different rates during the year
Does retention vary by office, region, sales representative, or distributor?
What is the relationship between retention rates and change in price?
What happens to lost customers, and where do they usually go?
What are the retention norms for your industry?
Which company in your industry retains customers the longest?
How much could a person spend with you in the course of a lifetime?
Building a relationship
Use this information to provide a better service
Thank the customer for responding
Use the opportunity to invite them back again
Add a personal touch
Do not assume you know what the customer wants
Invite complaint; apologize for the mistake; rectify it
Get a connection
In Saudi Arabia market, transaction marketing has been the most common approach to marketing for long time, with the recession now forcing the advantage of relationship marketing to the fore.
We are all coming to know the value of developing long term, loyal relationships with our customers. They buy more and refer more, help us develop the next generation of products and services, and they even help us keep our advertising costs in reason.
Are our customers (people external to our company that buy things from us) the only people we should be building long-term relationships with? No. The relationship strategy applies externally and internally as well.
What if we were to take the concept of Customer Care and extend it outward to our suppliers, customers, others and inward to our employees as well?
Our suppliers provide us with goods and services that we usually add value to and pass along to an internal or external customer. If we began thinking of our supplier as our business partner, one with whom we shared our dreams and visions of the future, one with whom we could achieve an ongoing, profitable, win/win relationship, we would be doing our customers a valuable service.
Examples of how companies serve their customer
Hold open house for customers
Send cards for special occasions
Visit the customer in person
Get to know customers personally
Say thanks orally, in writing, or by sending gifts of appreciation
Offer expert help in another area of the customer’s business
Conduct customer satisfaction surveys
Offer free goods or samples that will help
Use entertainment-lunches and dinner
Return phone calls promptly
Be easily accessible to the customer
Develop a newsletter for customers
Ask customers how they want to be served.
The database is the power behind the relationship marketing.
Database marketing is an organized collection of comprehensive data about individual customers, prospects, or suspect that is current, accessible, and actionable for marketing purpose such as lead generation, lead qualification, sale of a product or service, or maintenance of relationships.
Nowadays companies with different products are shifting their efforts from mass media to database marketing.
Blockbuster the massive entertainment company is using its database of 36 millions household and 2 million daily transaction to help its video rental customers select movies and steer them to other Blockbuster subsidiaries.
Companies that know their individual customers can customize their product, offer, message, shipment methods, payment methods and service to maximize customer appeal. And today companies have very powerful tools to gather the names, addresses, and other information about individual customers and prospects: the customer database.
A customer database is an organized collection of comprehensive data about individual customers or prospects that is current, accessible, and actionable for such marketing purpose.
Database marketing is the process of building, maintaining, and using customer database and other databases for the purpose of contacting and transacting.
Some companies confuse customer mailing list with a customer database. A customer mailing list is simply a set of names, addresses, and telephone numbers. A customer database contains much more information. The salesperson’s customer profile contains the product and services the customer has bought; past volumes and prices; key contact (and their age, birthdays, family members, hobbies, and favorite foods)
Owning a database does not guarantee a competitive edge; it is a marketing tool like any other. Only when the data is converted into information through analysis can any value be derived from it.
Database marketing can be used.
A customer driven exercise
Database marketing exists to ensure that a company is driven by its customers’ needs, not to drive the customer by the company needs. In order to identify these needs, the company must:
a.Identify its customers, and
b.Make direct communication with them
Asking for a response
Once communication is established, the customer can be asked to respond at various stages.
Using the database to benefit the customer
Data quality: recoding data accurately is vital. The database is only as good as the information it’s fed with.
Tracking a customer relationship
The database should contain information about; the type of outbound contact made with customers, and how they respond.
Using data to improve performance and service
Testing, when trying marketing technique, different approaches are tested
Companies today are moving their emphasis from transaction marketing to relationship marketing.
The customer development process
Suspect, everyone who might conceivably buy the product or service.
Prospect- the people who have a strong potential interest in the product and the ability to pay for it.
Disqualified Prospect, are those whom the company rejects because they have poor credit or would be unprofitable.
Qualified Prospect, the company hopes to convert many of its qualified Prospects into first-time customers and to then convert those first-time customers into repeat customers.
The company should acts to convert repeat customers into
Clients- people who buy only from the company in the relevant product categories.
The next challenge is to turn clients into Advocate- customers who praise the company and encourage others to buy from it.
And the ultimate challenge is to turn advocates into Partners- where the customer and the company work actively together.
Company must bear in mind that some customers will inevitably become inactive or drop out, for many reasons.
The company challenge is to reactivate dissatisfied customers through customer win-back strategies.
Customers have varying degrees of loyalty to brand, stores or entities.
Suppose there are five brands: A, B, C, D, and E. Buyers can be divided into four groups according to their brand loyalty status:
Hard core loyal: consumers who buy one brand all the time. Thus buying pattern of A, A, A, A, A, A.
Split loyal: consumers who are loyal two or three brands. The buying pattern A, A, B, B, A, B
Shitting loyal: consumers who shift from favoring one brand to another. The buying pattern A, A, A, B, B, B,
Switchers: consumers who show no loyalty to any brand. The buying patterns A, C, E, D.
Developing more loyal customers increase the company ‘s revenue.
How much should a company invest in customer relationship building, so that the costs do not exceed the gains?
We need to distinguish five different levels of company investment in customer relationship building:
Basic marketing, the salesperson simply sells the product.
Reactive marketing, the salesperson sells the product and encourages the customer to call if he or she has any questions, comments, or complaints.
Accountable marketing, the salesperson phones the customers a short time after the sale to check whether the product is meeting the customer expectations. The salesperson also asks the customer for any product or service improvement and any suggestion. This information help the company continuously its performance.
Proactive marketing, the company salesperson contacts the customer from time to time with suggestions about improved product uses or helpful new product.
Partnership marketing, the company works continuously with customer to discover ways to affect customer savings or help the customer perform better.
Marketing Tools Use to Build Strong Relationship
Adding Financial Benefit
Frequency marketing program (FMPs), design to provide rewards to customers who buy frequently and/or in substantial amount. Example, airlines free mileage program.
Club marketing program, club membership may be offered to bring customers close with each others and close to the company. Example, Lexus club in Jeddah.
Adding Social Benefits, the company personal work on increasing their social bound with customers to personalizing and individualizing their customer relationships.
Adding structural ties, the company may supply customers with special equipment or computer linkage that help customer manage their orders, payroll, inventory, and so on.
Customers versus clients
Customers may be nameless to the company; clients cannot be nameless
Customers are served as part of the mass or as part of larger segment; clients are served on an individual basis.
Customers are served by anyone who happens to be available; clients are served by the professional assigned to them.
Building Customer Satisfaction Through Quality, Service, and Value
If companies want to stay in the race, they have no choice but to adopt total quality management (TQM).
Total Quality Management is an organization-wide approach to continuously improving the quality of all the organization’s process, products, and services.
Quality is the totality of feature and characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs.
A company that satisfies most of the customers’ needs most of the time is called a quality company.
Assumptions that underline any total quality program.
Quality must be perceived by customers.
Quality must be reflected in every company activity, not just in company products.
Quality requires total employees commitment
Quality requires high-quality partners.
Quality can always be improved.
Quality requires high-quality partners.
Quality does not cost more.
Do things right the first time.
Quality is not inspected in, it must be design in.
A highly satisfied customer:
Stays loyal longer
Buys more as the company introduces new products and upgrading existing products
Talks favorably about the company and its products
Pays less attention to competing brands and advertising and is less sensitive to price
Offers product/service ideas to the company
Communicating with customers
In communication with customers, we consider a number of models of communication as they occur in the customer provider encounter. Communication skills are only part of the total picture of customer service. If customer service can be conceptualized as an iceberg the communication skills component is the most visible, but there are other component beneath the surface, such as technical skills, motivation, job and organizational design, and system backup.
Models of Human Communication
The Linear Model
A source encodes and sends a message
A receiver receives and decodes the message
Importance of feedback is ignored
The Interactional Model
A source encodes and sends a message
A receiver receives and decodes the message
The receiver then encodes feedback and sends it to source
The Transactional Model
Messages are processed simultaneously by communicators
Communicator X encodes/sends and receives/decodes a message & Communicator Y encodes/sends and receives/decodes the same message or a different message
Encoding and decoding may occur simultaneously
Types of Communication
Communication in Words
Communicating in writing, e.g., writing memos, letters, email, proposals, reports
Communicating orally, e.g., meeting, phone, speech, face-to-face
Communication without Words
Communicating using nonverbal cues, e.g., gestures, eye contact, touch, space, and physical movement.
The Customer’s Style
Know your Customer’s Behavioral Style to Communicate with him/her effectively
The Customer’s Style (DISC)
The Demanding Customer (D) wants it now and doesn’t care about details.
The Influential Customer (I) wants to talk about their problems and stay happy.
The Steady Customer (S) wants to keep things as is with minimal change.
The Compliant Customer (C) wants as much detail to make a decision.
Why We Don’t Hear Others?
If you want to listen so you really hear what others say, make sure you’re NOT a:
Drifting off during a face-to-face conversation can lead to an embarrassing “What did you say?” or “Could you repeat that?”
If you refer everything you hear to your experience, you probably didn’t really hear what was said.
You’ll hear little or nothing as you think, “What is this person really thinking or feeling?”
Your mental tryouts for “Here’s what I’ll say next” tune out the speaker.
Some call this selective listening-hearing only what you want to hear.
When you get sidetracked assessing the messenger, you’re sure to miss the message
You hear what’s said but quickly belittle it or discount it. That puts you in the same class as the derailer
Agreeing with everything you hear just to be nice or to avoid conflict does not mean you’re a good listener
Changing the subject too quickly soon tells others you’re not interested in anything they have to say.
Stand or Sit with an Open Posture
Face the customer and look alert
Avoid closed posture: arms closed, turning away, bowing shoulders
Avoid aggressive posture: keeping hands on your hips
Analyze your Gestures
Open, expressive gestures will make the customer comfortable
Nervous gestures like cleaning your fingernails, drumming fingers, will discomfort the speaker
Avoid doodling, shuffling papers, examining objects think of your facial Expression
Avoid a deadpan, stony face
Look interested: raising/lowering eyebrows, smiling, nodding, maintain Eye Contact
Avoid the extremes: neither staring not looking away, up, down, or out of the window
Get close enough to the other person to indicate your concern and attention
Be sensitive to avoid moving too close
How to Better Communicate with Customers
Welcome the customer
Listen & Question
Know your stuff
Strive for solutions
Learn from experience
Know when to quit
Defusing a Difficult Situation
Apologize and assume responsibility
Cooling an Irate Customer
How to Answer the Phone
How to Put a Customer on Hold
How to Transfer a Call
How to Take a Message
How to End a Call
How to Answer the Phone
Pick up the phone within three rings
Greet the caller
Give your name
Ask the customer if you can help
Put it all together
How to Put a Customer on Hold
Ask customers if it’s okay to put them on hold
Wait for a response
Tell customers why they are being put on hold
Give a time frame
Thank the customer for holding
How to Transfer a Call
Explain why the caller is being transferred and to whom
Ask the customer if he/she minds being transferred
Make sure someone is there to pick up the call before you hang up
Tell the person to whom you are transferring the call the caller’s name and nature of the call.
How to Take a Message
Explain your co-worker’s absence in a positive light
Inform the caller of the availability of the target person before asking caller’s name
Give an estimated time of your co-worker’s return
Offer to help the caller yourself, take a message, or transfer to another party
How to End a Call
Repeat any action steps that will be taken
Ask the caller if you can do anything to help
Thank the customer for calling
Let the caller hang up first
Write down any important information
Winning Phone Communication
Win Phone communication through considering:
Pacing the Customer
Don’t sound monotonous, use inflections to show interest in what your saying and whatever is being said to you by the customer
Remember that your customer hears your greeting for the first time though you said it more than a hundred times that day
Polish your inflection by smiling while talking on the phone, practicing stressing sounds, changing breathing degrees, and exaggerating your tone
If a customer angry and speaking loudly, don’t yell back at the same volume
Behave professionally and speak at a lower volume, gradually bringing the customer’s volume down to yours
With a confused customer, speak a little louder to help him focus on and you control
You should pace the customer’s rate of speech
Match your customer’s rate of speech and intensity of feeling
Focus on similarities rather than difference to make customer feel at ease
Style of competitions
Companies can use two different styles of competition.
1.One style has an external competitive focus. They try to meet or beat other companies. They set their standards in terms of being as good as or better than the competition. At a minimum, those with an external focus may equalize. Or they may differentiate-trying to be better than other organization.
2.The top organizations compete with themselves, always try to improve on their past experience.
When you compare yourself to other people, you either feels smug because you are better or frustrated because you are not as good.
Top organizations always ask themselves is this the best they can do with the resources they have?
Their employees always ask the following questions:
1.Did I bring my nest with me today?
2.Did I bring my best presentation with me, or did I leave something back at the office?
3.Is this the best I can do, or can I do better for the customers?
Top organizations believe in continuous growth and development. For them life is an ongoing process of developing into what they are capable of becoming.
Top organizations believe their best day is on horizon. Optimism fuels their engine.
Limits of benchmarking
Benchmarking –studying the best practices of other organizations and using them as a guide for improving their own practices.
Benchmarking has the potential to become an artificial ceiling for many companies.
General rules of business
Rule one: every employee is a salesperson
Everyone in the company sells something to someone. Bosses sell change to employee; employees sell new ideas to bosses and everyone sells to customers.
Do you accept that you are salesperson?
Rule two: not everyone believes rule one.
Some people have negative bias toward salespeople, so they do not want to think of themselves as salespeople.
Example, I will use a cue word, and like you to take note of the very first thing that pops into your mind. The cue word is salesman?
Rule three: not everyone behave according to rule one.
Employees who do not behave as if they are salespeople may behave in ways that are actually quite negative.
Transaction mentality or not my job mentality
Rule four: every employee has a customer
Every employee must have some type of customer to serve. This is easy if you work with the people we traditionally define as customer: those who buy and use your product, the people whose payment becomes your paycheck. We call them external customers.
But what about of the employee never has contact with an external customers? In this case, your role is to provide service to other in the company. These employees are your internal customers.
Examples of internal customers
The human resource staff serves everyone in the company. Their internal customers are other employees.
The credit department is the internal customer of the sales department
The sales force is the internal customer for product managers
‘”Customer satisfaction mirror employee satisfaction.
“Happy employees create happy customers”
“Customers receive value not just from the company’s product, but from its people as well”
Rule five: value-added customer service is not a spectator sport
Everyone in the company is involved in the customer service and accountable to create satisfied customers. Is not something that anyone in the company sit by idly and watch. Everyone must be actively involved.
Rule six: each team member affects the customer service
Any employee can either build the customer service or break it down-hurting or helping.
Ask yourself whether you’re building the company up or breaking it down?
Rule seven: we is greater than me
What the employees accomplish together is greater than the sum of the individual parts.
Rule eight: everyone must belong to something
One of the most fundamental yet dominant needs is the sense of belonging.
Do your customers feel that they are part of your company?
Do you make each of them feel like a vital member of your group?
Do they enjoy a sense of belonging, or do they feel isolated?
Embrace your customers. Make them feel a part of something, and genuinely welcome them into your company family.
What is your company experience?
Do all the employees in your organization view themselves as salespeople?
Does everyone behave as a salesperson?
Do your employees serve other employees (internal customers) with the same dignity and initiative they use in serving external customers?
Do your employees make customers feel as if they belong?
Ways to alienate customers
The company has a product-driven rather than customer-driven business philosophy.
Employees assume the customer does not want or need service.
The company or the employee has a philosophy that you cannot please everyone all the time anyway, so why try?
Company policy dictates that employees pursue new business to the exclusion of serving existing customers.
Employees do not know how to serve.
Employees do not have time to serve
Employees lack confidence in the product, company, and themselves.
Employees need a clear sense of the values a business is built on. Your job as manager to articulate clearly those values that define your culture. When employees understand the things companies’ value, their mission is clear.
Imagine what would be like to work for an organization built around these values:
Integrity; signal honesty in every transaction
Service to others; means working as a team for the customer
Excellence in everything we do; service to our customer, product development, quality control, and all the rest
Respect for people; are the way management treats employees, the way employees treat customers.
Austerity; is the waste not, principal in all that we do. It is time management, investing for the future, and so on.
Develop the attitude of gratitude
The attitude of gratitude is the gut-level passion employees feel about serving the customer. (Life is a lot like a mirror).
If the desire to serve is in place, the behavior is free. Desire drives action
Proactive means anticipating and taking the initiative, being a self-starter, not waiting for something to happen. Compare this with reactive, which means waiting for something to happen, then responding afterward. When you anticipate and act this is vital to customer service because you can avoid many crises by developing a more proactive mind-set.
Proactive mind set involve
Taking the initiative to resolve issue before they become problem
Being proactive demonstrates concern for the customer and avoids more serious consequences of a problem growing out of control.
Proactive means never having to say you are sorry to the customer
Investing in people
Finding the right people for a Customer Care function has become the number one challenge for many Customer Care professionals. Once those positions are filled, the challenge becomes creating a work environment that will motivate your Customer Care reps to stay and to excel.
Career pathing as a retention tool in today’s customer service organization
The job of the Customer Service Representative (CSR) has traditionally been regarded as a dead end position, offering little in the way of career opportunity. Career pathing programs generate employee loyalty by enabling an employer to map CSR career development for the medium to long term.
Hiring and training the right individuals for your customer service organization are not enough to guarantee that your customers will receive quality service and support.
You must create a work environment that fosters quality instead of suppressing it.
Developing a management structure that is geared toward the customer
Putting the right tools in the hands of your employees
Empowering employees throughout the organization
Developing and using customer feedback mechanisms
Traditional organizational Chart versus customer oriented company organization chart.
New model of the design of organization and the jobs within them began to emerge. Such design has a critical impact upon the motivation (or demotivation) of people who work in organizations. The traditional organization was a tall pyramid (figure 3a). Decision-makers were safely enthroned at the top, and were many levels of decision making between the top and the bottom layers. Some theorist began to suggest some problems with this type of structure.
The new organization structure as being an inverted or upside down one (figure 3.b). In this organization, the primary focus is upon the customer, and then the front line staff, rather than upon the high status decision-makers.
There is no doubt that in many companies, the employees in operations are wasted as a resource and, even worse, neglected by the system in terms of adequate training and incentives. This is a serious error, particularly when operations are the customer-facing facet of a company.
For a company to be truly customer-focused, every employee must be trained, empowered and responsible for responding to customers. Without a focus on satisfying customers, employees tend to respond to customer complaints with “It’s not my job!” As a result, customers are transferred, referred and deferred.
Things should be considered.
Developing a management structure that is geared toward the customer
Putting the right tools in the hands of your employees
Empowering employees throughout the organization
Developing and using customer feedback mechanisms
The hidden potential
The impetus must come from top management
The physical separation of top management from the shop floor has resulted in virtual invisibility of customer facing staff. Operation recruitment is often left to a junior member of the management team. Some managers are afraid of their employees and manage them in a military fashion in order to control.
Ensure employees understand why their individual input is important
Aim to stretch employees a little, not restrict them
Consider automation where possible to allow employees to spend more time on customers requiring help (example Banks, Airlines)
Train employees to see customers as people, not process
Address employees needs so that they are free to address customer needs
Managing your employees
Aim to recruit employees who are open minded about different types of people
Training should be on-going and provide constant reinforcement to the idea of caring for customers
The working environment should be designed to allow staff to carry out their roles with maximum efficiency
Do reward employees for caring for customers.
Identify employees by name
Setting objectives and measuring performance
Being nice to people is just 20% of providing good customer service. The important part is designing systems that allow you to do the job right first time.
No company can run successfully without:
2.A method to measure whether they are being met.
Before preparation any customer service program, companies must make sure that the objectives are SMART:
Accounting for performance
Formally allocate tasks, and goals
Using a formal planning period, such as a quarterly meeting, decide what needs to be done and make a commitment to meeting needs within a specified time frame.
Ask staff to achieve those goals
Once tasks have been set and responsibility for them allocated to individuals, it is important to provide a structure on which to judge employees success in performing them.
One company set their standards to be as follow;
Courtesy- consideration for customer, their property, cleanliness, honesty
Competence knowledge and skill of contact/support staff
Service reliability, accuracy, good records, performing service at the designated time to publish standards
Security -physical and financial safety, confidence
Credibility-trustworthiness, believability, honesty, strength of company name, personal charter
Process- easy, reasonable, waiting time, convenient opening hours
Understanding-the customer needs, giving attention and recognition
Communication-explaining the service, its cost, and how problems are handled
Responsiveness-speed, updating the customer on progress, given prompt service
Tangibles, physical service facilities, uniform, documentation
Provide task motivation; ensure that employees know;
a.What the task are
b.Why they are necessary
c.The consequence of not doing them
Define the process
Complaints naturally vary, but general procedures should be devised. The following points should be considered:
Let the customer express his/or her emotions
Educate employee handling complaints to cope with their own emotions by training them to empathies with the customer’s viewpoint
Gather the information necessary to rectify the complaint accurately and, at all cost, politely
Recognize that many complaints actually identify a customer in need. Use the situation to deepen the relationship
Tell the customer how you will go about resolving their complaint, and who will be handling it.
Keep the customer informed of any progress and, of course, the solution
Keep records of complaints and complainers.
Justifying customer care
The manager may feel justified to comment that staffs are spending too long on caring for customers and not getting through the work. How are employees meant to both uphold their service standards and get through a huge queue of customers quickly?
Every customer is our guest
Greet the customer
Acknowledge customer immediately
Stand and show respect
Smile to show friendless
Introduce self and use customer’s name
Establish eye contact
Offer assistant by saying “ may I help you”
Offer the customer a seat
Understand the customer feeling
Ask question to probe and clarify
Rephrase so that understanding occurs
Maintain a friendly tone of voice
Empathize with customer:
Put yourself into the customer’s shoes
If the customer complain, seek out something to agree with
Demonstrate genuine concern
Solve the customer’s needs yourself
Offer additional support, if needed
Thank the customer
Offer business card
Thank the customer
Invite the customer back
Remember, every customer is a GUEST. Be a professional at all times in appearance and dress. Always keep your work area neat. Be cautious not to eat, smoke, or chew gum in front of the customer because to the customer, YOU ARE THE COPMANY.
A customer service is no longer a department, it is a culture cultivated throughout the organization. Everyone is a customer service representative.
Trends in customer service
There is a revolution going on right now. The phenomenon of interactivity, both in the technological and managerial sense, is the heart of this revaluation. Interactivity promises to not only redefine what we mean by the term customer service but to revolutionize the service delivery system. The interactive technologies foresee a bright future in customer service. They envision numerous possibilities. Some are evident today; others are just over the horizon.
Interactivity will be used primarily as a means of cost cutting, e.g., computerized ordering and complaint handling. Establishing a presence on the Internet is one example of how company can utilize new technologies to interact with customers. Such as a presence in cyberspace is available to any company regardless of budget limitations. It is a level playing field. This presence can be as low as an e-mail address or as elaborate as a full multimedia homepage.
With customer expectations at an all time high, changes in technology and the increased use of the Internet, companies must find new and better ways to build customer relationships in order to stay competitive.
I give this course to address the issue that most companies live with; customer care and improving customer service. This short course is more about philosophy and ideas than techniques. I hope it makes think about customer service. I hope that customer service to be attitude within the organization. Once you go back to your company I hope you review how you look at your customers. Are your customers valuable to your company? Are they vital to your successful future? If the answer yes, then you must develop a passion for satisfying customers to exceed their expectations. I would to conclude this short course with what Carl Sewell recommend in his book customer for life. He lists many commandments of customer service. Here are some of them.
1.Bring ‘em back alive, ask customer what they want and give them again and again
2.System, not smile, saying please and thank you doesn’t insure you will do the job right the first time, every time. Only system guarantee you that
3.Under promise, over deliver, customer expects you to keep your word. Exceed it.
4.When the customer asks, the answer is always yes
5.Fire your inspectors and consumer relations department, every employee who deals with clients must have the authority to handle complaints
6.No complaints? Something’s wrong. Encourage customer to tell you what you are doing wrong
8.Salaries are unfair, pay people like partners
Good luck and happy serving.
Exercise one/ leader service provider
How would you characterize your company?
Are there areas in which you are the leader in customer services?
What do you need to do to become a leader in customer services?
Exercise 2: Worst Buyer Scenario
Think about a recent situation in which you were the customer and received less than what you would call full-quality service or treatment. Describe it and be prepared to discuss it.
What was the one thing did the person do or say that really frustrated you?
How could this person have salvaged your business and your feelings?
Exercise 3: Best Buyer Scenario
Think of a recent situation in which you were the customer and received more than full-quality service or treatment. Describe it and be prepared to discuss it.
What was the one thing did the person do or say that really appealed you?
What did this person do that made you come back again?
Exercise four/ danger signal
Please list things, both inside and outside your organization, that signal to you that you are not delivering the type of service your customer want and deserve.
Exercise five/ corporate value
Please list the values you see practiced and/ or stated in your company. (the purpose of this exercise is to help you develop a better understanding of your company’s culture-what your company stands for.)
Exercise six/ customer rights
What do your customers have a right to expect from your company?
How can you use this list of rights?
Exercise seven/ obstacles to good customer services
What are some of the barriers or obstacles that prevent you and your company from delivering better service?
How can you overcome these obstacles?
Exercise eight/ internal customer service
Who are your internal customers?
What can you do better serve your internal customers?
How will this benefit your company?
Exercise nine/ customer service employee of the year
You have been appointed chairman of a committee to present an award: the customer service employee of the year. What guidelines or criteria will use as the basis for selecting the winner?
Sharing experience session
Working in small groups, participants will identify key issues of common concern and then discuss them openly in a true learning environment. Discussions will center on how each delegate is dealing with these key issues, with a focus on Best Practices which address continuous improvement, cost containment and return on investment. Examples of discussion topics include
Vision and mission
Business and customer needs
Automation and self-service
I hope participants will leave this session with a wide variety of new experiences and new ideas on key issues trained in group process and facilitation.
Test your company’s service level
Answer each question “yes” or “no”
Do you view customer’s questions and visits as interruptions?
Are you difficult for customers to contact?
Do you routinely ask customers, “how are we performing for you”?
Do you employees, peers, and management like your customers?
Do you feel it is too costly to serve customers?
Do you thank every customer for his or her business?
Have you ever said, “we are the only game in town? We do not need to serve”?
Is it important to serve customers in good times as well as bad times?
Will you open a closed store or office to help a customer?
Do you get all the repeat business you should?
Have you said, “if they would just leave me alone, I know I could get my job done”?
Is customer satisfaction a guiding principle in your business?
How do You Do?
To score your response give yourself one point for each “yes” response to questions 3,4,6,8,9,10 and 12. For each “no” response to questions 1,2,5,7 and 11, give yourself one point.
IF YOU SCORED
10 to 12 points
Offers great customer service
7 to 9 points
6 or less
In deep trouble
Do you know what percentage of your customers you keep each year?
Do you know what percentage of your customers you lose each year?
Do you know the top three reasons your customers’ leave?
Do you know what your customers’ number 1 expectation is?
In the last three months have you personally contacted at least ten former customers to find out why they quit you?
Do you understand what the lifetime value of your customer is?
Do you have written customer service quality standards?
Do you articulate your customer service quality standards in understandable and measurable terms to employees and customers?
In the last six months have you checked to see if any of your customers’ expectations have changed?
Do you know how many members of your staff serve internal vs. external customers?
Are any of your customer service performance standards tied in with incentive programs?
Is everyone in the organization required to take a minimum number of hours of Customer Care training programs annually?
How’d You Do?
Score one point for each “yes” answered
IF YOU SCORED
A CSQ Legend
10 – 11
A CSQ Star
7 – 9
Less than average
In the penalty box
If your Customer Sensitivity Quotient is less than 10, perhaps your customers aren’t getting the service they deserve.
Customer Services Audit
A. Identify customer service activities
1. What specific customer service activities does your company currently provide?
Product related activities: repair, maintenance and technical support
Pricing related activities: credit, financing, billing
Distribution related activities: delivery, installation, location
Promotion related activities; customer service phone lines, complain handling.
2. Are these customer service provided by our company or by outside contractors? If outside contractors provide these services, how are they performing?
3. What customer service activities do customers want or need?
B. Review standards procedures for each activity
1. Do written procedures (manuals) exist for each activity? If so, are these procedures (manuals) up to date?
2. What oral or unwritten procedures exist for each activity? Should these procedures be included in the written procedures or should be eliminated/
3. Do customer service personal regularly interact with other functions to establish standards procedures for each activity?
C. Identify performance goals by customer service activity
1. What specific, quantitative goals exist for each activity?
2. What qualitative goals exist foe each activity?
3. How each activity contribute to customer satisfaction within each marketing element (i.e. product, pricing, promotion and distribution)
4. How does each activity contribute to long run success of the company?
D. Specify performance measures by customer service activity/
1. What are the internal, profit based measures of each activity/
2. What are the internal, time-based measures for each activity?
3. How is performance monitored and evaluated internally by management?
4. How is performance monitored and evaluated externally by customers?
E. Review and evaluate customer service personal?
1. Are the company’s current recruiting, selection, and retention efforts consistent with the customer service requirement established by customers?
2. What is the nature and content of our employee training activities? Are these activities consistent with the customer service requirements established by customers?
3. How are customer service personal supervised, evaluated and reward? Are these procedures consistent with customers’ requirement?
4. What effect do employee evaluation and reward policies have on employee attitudes, satisfaction, and motivation?
F. Identify and evaluate customer service support systems
1. Are the quality and accuracy of our customer service materials consistent with the image of our company and its product (examples, instruction manuals, brochures, form letters, etc)
2. Are the quality and appearance of your physical facilities consistent with the image of our company and its products? (Examples, office, furnishing, layout, etc)
3. Are the quality and appearance of our customer service equipment consistent with the image of our company and its product? (Example, repair tools, telephone, computers, delivery vehicles, etc.)
4. Are the record keeping systems accurate? Is the information always ready available when it is needed? What technology could be acquired to enhance our record keeping abilities (Examples, bar code scanner, portable computers)?
Source: Christopher H. Lovelock, Services Marketing, Second edition.
Your personal action plan
After finishing this short course, please list four things you plan to do in order to deliver better customer service-to internal and external customers.
This is my pledge to deliver better customer service to create more satisfied customers. In my way I’m making a difference in my company.
Reilly. Tom, “Value-Added Customer Service”, the employee’s guide for creating satisfied customers, 1996, Contemporary Books.
Forrest, E and Mizerski, R, “Interactive Marketing”, 1996, NTC.
Pride. W and Ferrell . O “ Marketing Concept and strategies”, 1997. Houghton Mufflin.
Kotler, Philip, “Marketing Management”, 1997, Prentice Hall.
Eunson, Baden, “Commuincation With Customers”, 1995. WILEY.