Do you have high expectations for your employee’s interactions with customers? You should. Exceptional customer service leads to higher sales and loyal buyers. Providing exceptional service isn’t always easy.
You might not always be able to control the customer’s treatment of your employees, but there are other things you can embrace to enable your team to provide better service. Here are five fixable challenges that could help you boost your customer service levels.
1. Poor Training
In theory, customer service is essentially relating to the customer and doing what it takes to keep her happy. But there’s more that goes into it. Employees are often unsure of what they can do within company guidelines and the options available to resolve customer concerns.
With proper training, you can set your team up to offer better service. Give them flexibility and let them know their options so when they’re faced with a customer concern, they’re able to resolve it quickly.
2. Lack of Appreciation
It’s not a secret that if an employee doesn’t feel appreciated, she won’t work as hard. Your team wants to know that their efforts are paying off. If they don’t, their frustration could spill out in front of the customer, which could damage your business’s overall reputation.
Adopt an employee appreciation program to keep your team feeling like their hard work is getting noticed.
3. Non-Flexible Hours
Away from work, your employees have commitments to their family, friends, school schedules, or maybe even other employers. As commitments arise, they might need to adjust their work schedule to balance their job and the rest of their life.
If you make your hours flexible, your employees will have less stress lingering in the back of their minds. When they’re on the job, they can focus on serving your customers.
4. Inadequate Staffing
When your team is pulled in all different directions, their skin can wear thin. If you don’t have enough people on the job to meet the customer’s demands, the customer will notice. It’ll be harder for your customers to get help and when they do, the service levels might be sub par.
We suggest making your schedule far in advance anticipating staffing needs for the holiday season or busy periods. Some people might need to switch shifts but by giving your team the power to do that, you can stay well staffed without having to deal with administrative headaches.
5. Employee Relationships
We’re not talking about romantic relationships here, although those can also create tension in the workplace too. We’re talking about how employees work together to get the job done. If there’s contention among your team, chances are, your customers will feel it.
When you have different personalities and work styles meshed together, there’s opportunity for people to clash. Staying aware of these differing personalities and trying to schedule people on different shifts or in different departments can help.
Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007 and again in 2010, 2013 and 2014.