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Customer Service

6 steps to Customer Relationship Management

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Developing, Motivating and Managing your People

Even though you have hired the right people, there is still a need to orient them into the organisation's customer relationship culture and define key communication skills. In Call Centers and Technical Support departments, there is a tendency to rely on technical/functional skills and neglect interpersonal skills development. This can result in providing acceptable material service, the more tangible aspect, yet unacceptable personal service, the competitive differentiator.

Therefore to build a customer relationship culture, it is important to:

Establishing Effective Service Delivery Processes

Effective processes and procedures provide the foundation for smoothing or inhibiting the material service element of the customer interaction. Efficient service delivery systems appear transparent to the customer. Poor systems create those 'speed bumps' that necessitate personal intervention in order to satisfy the customer requirements.

The critical elements in ensuring a positive material customer experience are:

Building in Continuous Improvement

No matter how effective the service delivery processes, or well-trained the service deliverers, things go wrong. Products have faults. Customers get frustrated. Things slip through the cracks. The organisations that are built around managing the customer experience are able to resolve these issues effectively. This process known as "recovery" is an important differentiator in building customer loyalty.

In order to recover effectively, it is necessary to:

Ensuring Managers are the Key Change-Agents

As consultants, we observe that senior management often has the vision, intention and commitment to introduce a comprehensive customer relationship management system. The "make or break" element is in involving middle management in the change process, and empowering them to be the key change-agents.

To do this, it is important to:

Conclusion

As you can see, in order to deliver outstanding service, it is essential to build a customer relationship focused culture. This can take up to two years and can involve changing the way the company operates in all aspects of service delivery. The time investment can be high, but the pay-off can be enormous building long-term customer loyalty and helping to ensure business profitability.

For more information, contact Susan and Derek Nash.

(c) 2005 Susan and Derek Nash
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©2013 Team Technology. Further articles/resources that may be of interest include: Personality Test, Personality Type Descriptions, Myers Briggs overview, The Basics of Team Building, What Career is Right for Me?, and Career ideas.