26 March 2015

Employee attitude can create a stellar customer experience

One of the great things about commenting on customer service is the day you get to tell a story about the little things that, in reality, go to create a truly spectacular customer service experience.

Leading management author, Ken Blanchard, has written extensively [1] about how customer service employees make the difference in providing an exceptional customer experience.

Ken’s experiences tell us that satisfied customers aren’t enough – we should look to create experiences that make “raving fans” of our organisation.

Today, I’m a raving fan of Upper Hutt City Council in New Zealand for the simple, dedicated actions taken – well above and beyond the call of duty - by their website administrator, Maria. It’s a story that I think should be mandatory reading for every customer service advisor who works on an e-mail response team anywhere on the planet.

Proof positive, just like my previous article on FedEx, how simple, thoughtful and committed belief from one customer-facing employee creates a genuinely exceptional customer experience enhancing an organisation’s brand.

6 March 2015

Raising the standard for complaints - what's new in ISO 10002:2014?

"Standards, Jason; standards.”  That phrase is permanently emblazoned in my sub-conscious thanks to my mother and I’ll wager there’s a fair few readers out there with similar parental advice at the forefront of their mind now that I’ve mentioned it.

From the day we’re old enough to understand that a knife and fork aren’t for decoration on the dinner table, we’re taught the difference that setting and achieving high standards makes in all aspects of life.

Granted, if you suffer from the same mildly obsessive-compulsive twitch as I do when faced with an incorrectly placed apostrophe, this can sometimes seem like more of a curse than a blessing.

However, in business – and especially in customer service – standards mean everything. We’re always hearing about the latest in ‘best practice’ and I’ve never been to a corporate event that featured “Striving for mediocrity” as a motivational slogan.

So how do standards – and in particular the newly revised International Standard for Complaints Management, ISO 10002 - help those responsible for delivering excellence in customer service?