In today's highly competitive business landscape, customer service can often be the differentiating factor between you and your competitors. Providing great customer service improves the experience for your customers and benefits your business in several ways. For this reason, it’s more important than ever before to ensure you are delivering excellent customer service to every customer who interacts with your business.
Developing customer service standards is an effective way to ensure you’re meeting high customer expectations and maximising commercial performance. In this post, we have explored why customer service standards are indispensable for any business wanting to thrive and suggested some popular standards to introduce.
What are Customer Service Standards?
Customer service standards are essentially a set of guidelines and expectations that a business puts in place to make sure it delivers a high level of service. These standards outline things such as how employees should interact with customers, solve problems and represent the company. Ideally, to ensure uniformity and consistency, customer service standards should cover every aspect of the customer journey.
In essence, these standards are a blueprint for creating customer experiences that meet or exceed expectations. They are critical when training employees and provide teams with a clear understanding of what’s required of them when interacting with customers.
The Benefits of Customer Service Standards
Having a set of customer service standards provides several benefits, the most notable being the uniformity and reliability of customer interactions. This consistency in service creates a more trustworthy brand image, as customers will know what they can expect whether they’re engaging in a phone call, an in-person meeting or an email. This can result in enhanced customer satisfaction, time and time again.
Satisfied customers are more likely to become repeat customers, choosing your business over other competitors. Not to mention, they’re also more inclined to recommend your services or products to other people. Word-of-mouth marketing remains incredibly effective in getting customers through the door, enabling you to turn them into loyal customers.
In addition to boosting customer satisfaction, these standards become a roadmap for employees, guiding them through the problem-solving process. Having clearly outlined procedures ensures they are equipped to handle customer concerns efficiently. This operational efficiency is not just beneficial for customers wanting timely resolutions, it also allows your business to operate more smoothly, enhancing overall productivity.
5 Customer Service Standards
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to customer service standards and several factors will impact which standards are best for your business. At Performance in People, we provide a consultancy service and can help you develop customer service standards that take into account everything from the current level of service to the economic climate.
Some common customer service standards include the following;
Response Times - Commit to a standard time within which customer queries or complaints will be acknowledged and addressed. For instance, emails should be replied to within 24 hours and phone call wait times should be under 5 minutes.
Professionalism - Ensure that every employee interacts with customers in a professional and respectful manner. This includes using polite language, actively listening to customer concerns and providing informed and helpful responses.
Transparency - Keep customers informed throughout every stage of their journey. Whether it's providing tracking details for an order or being upfront about delays, transparency is key to building trust.
Personalisation - Make each customer feel valued by tailoring services or products to their specific needs. This can be as simple as addressing customers by their first name or as complex as offering product recommendations based on purchasing history.
Follow-Up - After a query has been resolved or a purchase has been made, always follow up to ensure customer satisfaction. This not only shows that you care but also provides an opportunity for feedback that can be used to improve future interactions.
Developing Customer Service Standards
All in all, customer service standards aren’t just an optional extra for businesses looking to improve customer relationships but an essential part of any successful business strategy. They enhance consistency and, in turn, customer satisfaction and customer retention. No matter what products or services you provide, keeping your customers happy is always a top priority.
To get some assistance with your customer service standards, contact our team at Performance in People today. We can help you develop standards that meet your objectives and align with customer expectations. In addition to helping you decide on good customer service standards, we can support you with the rollout of any new standards, ensuring they’re effective. We can even provide ongoing measurement and development if required.
Contact us today by completing the enquiry form on our website and we will get back to you as soon as possible, which is one of our own customer service standards.