Who’s accountable?

While accounting and the like may very well be interesting, I promise this post is not about accounting.

I read this post the other day at Customers Are Always. A reader at the blog provided an interesting suggestion, which I have re-printed below (with some minor formatting change):

I have a pretty straight forward clear cut idea on how to improve customer service. 

Every business should create a web site that contains a database of numbers, and have each of their employees represented by their own individual set of numbers.  The computer will automatically print the numbers of the employee on the back of the receipt that they give you at the end of the transaction, whether it be a cashier, a food server, a bank clerk etc. 

On the back of the receipt, make note that (upon returning home) if the customer logs in to the site and rates the performance of their customer service agent that the customer will receive a discount or some type of incentive upon their next visit to the establishment.  With this being known to the employees, it will automatically prompt them to perform with a higher level of Professionalism and there should be a reward system set up for them as well. 

People just wish to feel appreciated, therefore treat your employees with respect and appreciation and they will in turn feel inclined to do likewise for your customers. 

Happy employees + Satisfied customers = Thriving Business; it all adds up!

Sounds like the three legged stool, eh? Actually, this suggestion is all about accountability. If there are a few buzz words that make for good customer service, accountability is definitely one of them (along with empathy, resolution, etc.).

When people are held accountable, they generally take more pride in their work. If someone does well, they can easily be recognized and rewarded. On the other hand, if someone does poorly, it’s very easy to find out who is responsible. Accountability is great for things like that.

The suggestion above is practical accountability. It is also a great way to collect feedback – good and bad. The incentive (discount, points, etc.) will hopefully ensure a higher return rate. If representatives are instructed to tell people about it, the return rate may be even higher.

This tackles a lot: give the customers an excellent way to provide feedback, make employees accountable, reward employees who do well, and work with employees who don’t do well.

To take it a step further, let customers do the survey using text messages, regular voice phone calls, IM, etc. The more ways (and the easier it is) for them to complete the survey, the more likely they will be to do it.

In short, great idea. Definitely worth looking into and if possible, doing.

One Response to “Who’s accountable?”

  1. Pete Aldin said:

    May 29, 07 at 2:32 am

    Great ideas