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Customer Service

Customer Service

How to win the commitment of staff

Imagine the following scenario:
You have been promoted to the position of Customer Service Manager. Good news!

But you find you have inherited a department that provides poor customer service! The staff are demotivated, and more interested in their pay packet than providing excellent customer service (and the organisation's pay structure inhibits you from providing any performance-based financial reward).

Various things have been tried in the past. They have had customer service training, for example, and their jobs are clearly defined, but all the surveys undertaken show that they have had very little impact.

What do you do?

Customer Service Architects

To improve customer service in this scenario you need to concentrate on developing motivation.

The most powerful motivators are not monetary. They include a variety of things, such as:

Not all of these are of the same importance for each individual - different people are motivated by different things. This is of particular relevance when deciding how to tackle the issue, because there are (broadly speaking) two approaches:
  1. developing a standard approach
  2. enabling staff to develop their own approach
The problem with option (1) is that it often presumes that employees have a particular type of motivation. If they do, then the approach you introduce will work. But if they don't then your standard approach will not win their commitment (at most you will gain 'compliance' with your appraoch which, in a customer service environment, is just not good enough). Proponents of this option may argue that a standard approach is required to achieve quality - but if supposed "quality" is achieved at the expense of staff commitment, then the level of customer service will be poor.

The value of option (2) - which enables staff to become the architects of their own customer service - is that staff can incorporate the things that motivate them in to that approach. You need standards as well - but if staff are involved in the development of those standards then then are much more likely to be committed to them.

Customer Service Workshops

Staff can become architects of the customer service through a workshop-based approach. Take your team offsite for a couple of days, and take them through a syndicate-based process where they: This approach gives staff: These are the essential components for winning commitment of staff to better customer service.

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