Customer satisfaction management
It is imperative that the business as a whole changes all its processes for customer satisfaction management to work and for the company to be truly customer focused. Many organization have tried to become customer focused without first changing policies that affect operations and customer service – all these attempts at customer focus have met with failure.
- Difference in traditional management and customer focused management – traditionally mangers have been pre-occupied with corporate goals – whether this is meeting the sales target or profitability benchmark that are internally focused objectives. Compare this against a customer-focused manager who is led and empowered by a vision. This vision is based on quality and results.
- A traditional manager is largely reactive – and makes decisions as a solution to problems. But the customer focused manager responds proactively to improve customer service by sensing customer requirements.
- The traditional manager will seek either directly or indirectly to limit other peoples participation. Typically meetings of managers exclude other people or at least they do not include enough people of the buy-in on the decision.
- The customer-focused manager has to involve all people, gather opinions, thoughts, ideas and feedback from all levels within the organization.
- The reward/remuneration system in the organization should recognize the efforts made by employees to serve the customer efficiently and effectively.
- Delegation is essential for customer relationship management since every officer of the company should be ready to make decision quickly and efficiently to meet the requirements of the customer.
- The customer-focused manager has to always lead by example and show the way in boosting customer service levels.
Checklist – to manage people to deliver world-class customer satisfaction
1. Listen to others – no matter their experience or expertise listen without judging – every opinion is valid when it comes to the customer.
2. Recognize good performance – Use praise more frequently and sincerely than you have ever done in the past.
3. Always be positive – or at least don’t say anything negative since this has de-motivational impact and affects customer service levels. This is especially true in meetings because positive energy plays a key role boosting customer service.
4. Always be fair and honest – this is important since all who work under you will also mirror this behaviours. One thing that demotivates people is when the manager has favourites.
5. Share your concerns – Whilst you need to be decisive and confident in leading a customer service team there is much to be gained by sharing your hopes and concerns.
6. Become a teacher – Instead of finding fault, managing by exception and finding out where people are going wrong help people to become twice as good as they are now. This will bring in rich dividends in the form of customer service and very satisfied employees.
7. Kiesin is a Japanese word that has no English equivalent (although is should!) – it roughly approximates to continuous and never-ending improvement. The Japanese philosophy is to do a thousand things one percent better than to do one thing a thousand times better.
8. Develop yourself – this is the one way that you can be sure that others will develop themselves – since all followers tend to emulate their leaders – so lead by example.
9. Only do the most important things – how do you know that you are doing the most important thing – “ask yourself if what you are doing directly or indirectly increasing the number and the quality of the customers the organization have?”