4-Step Goal-Setting for Customer Service Excellence
The best businesses strive to improve customer service on a daily basis on both an individual and departmental basis. Unfortunately, some try to do it without a clear customer service strategy and implementation plan. That makes it impossible to maintain meaningful relationships with their valued customers, or create strong relationships with new ones. To advance current customer service practices, business leaders must define two sets of goals. First for the entire company, and then individual representatives to better serve their clientele.
Here are four steps to follow for setting the kinds of goals your organization needs to achieve top-notch customer service:
Focus on the department first
To set goals for customer service performance, management needs to first gather and analyze data on the company’s client relationships. Seeing how the service department performs, in terms of calls answered per hour or queries resolved each week, will give leaders insight into where the team can improve. Setting team goals requires knowing these specific data points so practical decisions can be made.
Help individuals set goals
Once organizational goals are defined, managers and supervisors should observe their customer service group in action. Then, zero in on the individual, helping them create a set of goals based on their skills and ambitions. It’s important to remember that individual goals must ultimately tie in to helping the company reach its goals.
Your customer service representatives will all have weak points in their skill sets. Here, the supervisor assists the employee with deciding what training the individual needs to strengthen weaknesses. It’s also here that supervisors define the metrics required to measure improvement for the employee and clarify what they need to do. Finally, add timelines, check-ins and deadlines for finishing the training, so the employee knows when he or she must get it done.
Setting client-specific goals
Trust is fundamental to every good buyer-seller relationship and customers trust you to have effective disaster recovery and customer service action plans in place. These will handle any security breach, recall or widely publicized event that directly impacts customers. Communication during a tense time or regarding a popular issue is crucial to maintaining trust and keeping customers from going elsewhere. Creating a disaster recovery or customer service action plan should be a priority if businesses don’t already have them in place.
Ask for feedback
It’s imperative that your company leadership encourage feedback from both customers and employees, the parties directly impacted by the service standards. Customers especially can offer great insight into a client services department. Similarly, employees have a front row seat to customer care seeing the effects of new policies, procedures and tactics first-hand. Use relevant information to enhance your current system, and discover the best way to help the team meet current goals. Then, set more challenging ones to propel the company further. Again, the key to successful customer relationships is the drive to always improve.