For the past few blogs, I have been focusing on the client’s perspective in terms of giving excellent customer service on each and every call. But I have been remiss in the single most important aspect of the overall customer service experience; the person answering the phones.
Without this person, there would be no customer experience. One cannot determine a level of satisfaction derived from an answering machine or an electronic recording. It takes people to make, or break, the customer experience. In past blogs, I have also mentioned what Sound Telecom strives to achieve for its goals to attain the highest level of customer service. This week, I will discuss how we make that a reality.
In our Mission, Vision and Value statement, we state “To provide our employees with opportunity, giving them voice to express their talent, passion and commitment to excellence”. But how is this accomplished? I take a multi-faceted approach to this endeavor.
- Make sure employees know that they are a person that we believe in and not just a number. We want all employees to know that they matter to the overall success and without them, this would not be possible.
- Give them all the necessary tools to be successful. This is in the form of equipment, training, supervision, resources and most of all the knowledge that they can think “outside the box”.
- Holding employees accountable for their actions. I am not referring to the disciplinary actions for not doing the job as we ask, although this is included, but following up with employees so they know that their efforts are not made in vain.
- Empowering employees to make the right decisions. The employees are the ones in direct contact each and every call with, so who better to empower to make the right decisions and adopt an atmosphere of caring?
- Reward employees for a job well done. All too often, we as managers’ focus on what went wrong instead of reaching out and making a big deal of what went right.
Like a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, an answering service is only as good as its worst employee. It is up to us, as managers, to promote an environment where the employee is not only noticed by us, but to make sure that their good work is noticed by all. If an environment is fostered with overachieving employees, it will become contagious.