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WANTED: Customer Service Champs

It’s interesting to me that every time I read articles and newsletters about leadership, I find references to how true leaders treat their employees with respect and dignity, value their opinions, and ask for their feedback. When we feel treated fairly, we are better disposed towards others. A company culture spills onto the experience you have of its customer service.

It’s interesting to me that every time I read articles and newsletters about leadership, I find references to how true leaders treat their employees with respect and dignity, value their opinions, and ask for their feedback. When we feel treated fairly, we are better disposed towards others. A company culture spills onto the experience you have of its customer service.

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When the whole organization stands behind the people who have direct contact with customers, you can tell the difference. Two of the companies I wrote about in previous posts, ING Direct and the risk management consulting firm, are examples of organizations that stand behind their promise to customers. Other organizations sort of get it, but fail to recognize when they have a good deal going.

How do you recognize a good deal when you have it?

She is that customer service rep who will bug you in the hallway and follow you into your office until you give her an answer. That might be quite annoying at times, but remember: she is representing your customer. She has promised to get back to them with an answer and she will. Period. And, by they way, be prepared to negotiate with her because she’ll do her best to get what the customer wants.

She is a customer service champ. Do you want to hire her? Here are her characteristics:

– She has specific ideas of how to improve internal processes to provide a faster response to your customers.

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– She can describe to you in detail what good service means to your customers.

– She can enroll everyone in the organization to help her provide your customers with a superior experience.

What do you need to do to find her inside your organization? Look for the one who shows commitment, creativity, and listening skills — now go ahead and reward her. Note that I wrote commitment, and that is very different from compliance. And remember I wrote she might already be in your employ, yet you failed to recognize it.

Do you know how many orders companies lose because their calls are passed around from person to person, from department to department? That’s what I thought. Now if you really think you want a customer service champ, look inside first. If you cannot find her, ask yourself how you reward and recognize those who go whole hog for customers.

Valeria Maltoni • Conversation Agent • Philadelphia, PA • ConversationAgent@gmail.comwww.conversationagent.com

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