An Executive’s (Quick) Guide to Customer Service

This post is also called Five W’s of Customer Service (for Executives). However, I like the above mentioned title more and think it is more appropriate.

I don’t talk about it too much, but a big issue with customer service is that management, particularly non-customer service executives can’t quite embrace the concept. I’ve talked about the Five W’s of Success Through Customer Service, but it wasn’t specific to executives.

This is an executive friendly version of the Five W’s of Customer Service – they should print it out and hang it up on their wall. I will post a PDF version of it later today or tomorrow.

Who: A commitment to customer service needs to start at the top. You need to influence your employees, co-workers, partners, and suppliers to provide great customer service to everyone they interact with. It is your reasonability as a company leader to help guide the company in the right direction and ensure people focus on the right things. In this case, it is a commitment to and a focus on customer service.

What: What is the customer service standard in your industry? Think about the answer to that question and then, step it up a notch. Customer service is defined as providing product or service support to potential or existing customers. However, you need to take it a step further: make a customer’s day when they interact with your company, give them a reason to refer others to your company, and go the extra mile whenever possible.

Why: Beside the why not answer? The more objective answer is that with better customer service, you will see improved customer satisfaction, which more than likely will lead to: fewer complaints, happier and more productive employees, more repeat business, increased referrals, better reviews of company products and services, and so much more.

Where: Everywhere. Great customer service cannot be limited to one store, or just over email support – it has to be everywhere. Consistently high quality customer service needs to be provided over every medium and at every place you interact with customers.

When: Do not let customer service be another phase or project of the month at your company. Make customer service a permanent and ongoing commitment and focus. Whenever you interact with customers, you need to provide great customer service.

How: Hire people with experience in customer service that can help make a difference and learn as much as you can about the subject: read articles, read books, read blogs, ask others about what they do, and pay attention to customer service. Most of all, stay focused and keep working. Doing all these things can make a difference in your customer service and subsequently, your business as a whole.

The hardest part of customer service is sticking with it. You need to stay focused on the goal (great customer service all the time) and always keep working to improve. If you can do that, sooner or later, you will see that your company will provide great customer service and subsequently, the business results will also improve.

3 Responses to “An Executive’s (Quick) Guide to Customer Service”

  1. Meikah said:

    Nov 22, 06 at 3:21 am

    Great discussion, Doug! Valid views and practical advice. I agree that customer service philosophy must pervade the whole organization, and must be practiced for as long as the business is alive and well. 🙂

  2. Service Untitled » An Executive’s (Quick) Guide to Customer Service: PDF Version - customer service and customer service experience blog said:

    Nov 22, 06 at 9:25 pm

    […] As promised, here is the free download of the PDF version (with an expanded introduction and some other extra information) of the Executive’s Quick Guide to Customer Service. […]

  3. Successful Blog - SOB Business Cafe 11-24-06 said:

    Nov 24, 06 at 1:28 pm

    […] Service Untitled is serving executives who want to focus on customers. […]