Category: Fresh Customer Service


customer serviceI once consulted for a growing deli chain I will call Bon Appetit Café that decided to alter their menu offering in a particular market and include more premium sandwiches. Now let me remind you that the customers in this market were happy with a sandwich that consisted of meat, bread, cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, and no more than a half-serving of vegetables (perhaps a small lettuce leaf and a tomato slice). Nevertheless, someone made the decision to offer fewer traditional sandwiches and more gourmet sandwiches.

For example, one gourmet sandwich included Focacia bread, arugula, pesto, red onions, lettuce, tomato, roasted peppers, feta cheese, and cucumbers. I am still trying to figure out how someone thought this would satisfy customers who barely wanted lettuce and tomato on their sandwiches.

The Frontline Employees were told to talk up the new gourmet sandwiches and get customers to purchase them. You can only imagine the complaints that the Frontline Employees received from the customers, who overnight saw the disappearance of their “simple” sandwiches and the appearance of gourmet sandwiches that had names and ingredients that were foreign to them.

People had different perceptions of what the sandwiches would taste like. The names and ingredients didn’t meet the expectations of their taste buds. After all, I think they had never eaten many of these ingredients before.

When the Frontline Employees received the complaints, they felt a bit helpless and figured the easiest solution would be to issue a full refund and hope that would fulfill their requirement to make the customer happy.  In order to issue a full refund, they would have to call the manager over to issue the refund. In many cases, after receiving a refund, the customer was still going on about their disappointment in the new sandwich.  In many cases the customers just needed to vent, needed validation of their disappointment, and wanted to be heard.

I saw several problems here: The employees needed another method for making the customer happy besides just issuing a refund, the customer still wasn’t totally happy with a refund, the customer experience for both the complaining customer and the customer waiting to be served was diminished, the productivity of the Frontline Employees and the managers was diminished because an employee had to stop serving other customers to summon a manager and the manager was making a number of trips during the day to approve refunds, and the business was not offering samplings of the products so that customers could try the new sandwiches before they purchased them.

My task was to solve these identified problems.

One of my first recommendations was to assign levels of authority.  I recommended that senior Frontline Employees receive six “customer satisfaction dollars,” and that non-senior Frontline Employees receive five “customer satisfaction dollars.” If they could resolve a problem for under six dollars or five dollars (this would take care of the average customer’s purchase), as the case may have been, they were given the power to make it happen. The customer would sign off on a slip, minimizing the time a manager was disrupted. This kept customers, who still had their complaints validated and addressed, happy, and it kept operations moving.

The initial corporate response to the customer satisfaction dollar idea was, “The employees will abuse it; we shouldn’t give them that much power.” But documentation (employees had to turn in the receipt and a signed customer slip) kept employee abuse to a minimum, and customers were sufficiently wowed by the service they were getting to not try to take advantage of the program.

The first phrase out of an employee’s mouth was, “What can I do to make you happy,” and some customers said, “I just want a refund.”  Now the problem with just supplying a refund was that the customer might still be frustrated and not return. However, the employees also had the power to offer a one-dollar coupon that a customer could use on their next visit, and this “cherry on top” really impressed the guest.

Some customers said, “Oh, I just wanted to let you know what I thought.” In many of these cases, the employee would offer the one-dollar coupon and ask them to please give Bon Appetit Cafe another opportunity to make a sandwich that they would like. Frontline Employees were enabled to “make it right,” thus obtaining what I like to call “Make-It-Right Power,” and the customer satisfaction index increased. And now that Frontline Employees, who were previously powerless when a manager was busy or out, could help a customer who simply wanted to vent or have a minor problem resolved, the bottom line improved.

Make-It-Right Power puts the ability to deliver a World-Class customer service experience in the hands of the people who are best able to deliver it: The employees who interact with the customers, be it in person, on the phone, online chat/Instant Messaging, email, or snail mail. It’s about empowering and positioning employees to be able to instantly solve customer problems and view them as opportunities to Make-It-Right now for the customer.

 

 

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Relentless Focus is about a steady, persistent, unyielding, and committed focus on providing a World-Class customer service experience 24 hours a day, seven days a week by everyone in the organization. This focus doesn’t take a break or go on vacation, it is always present.

Many organizations are good at “kick-off celebrations.” Most customer service programs start off with a bang, with everyone being committed and poised to make them happen. But as the strategies start changing, new leaders come in, employees become disinterested and the focus shifts to something else, the initial great customer service program is tossed aside like a child’s old favorite toy.

Relentless Focus forces the organization to make an ongoing investment in providing a World-Class customer service experience by embedding it into the core business model. Every program, strategy, and initiative has an automatic space carved out for providing a World-Class customer service experience. Not providing this focus destroys the foundation of the operation and the goal of providing a great customer experience.

Because a World-Class customer service experience is the foundation of any successful operation, Relentless Focus on customer service predetermines the ultimate success of any operation. If the focus on customer service is lost, then employees begin to believe that the organization isn’t really committed to its customer service goals or any of its other programs, initiatives, or strategies.

How can you achieve Relentless Focus? Start by following these helpful hints:

  1. Post a plain and simple statement on the communal cork board (or employee blog, etc.) affirming the organization’s commitment to providing a World-Class customer service experience.

  2. Gain buy-in from every person and facet of the organization so that everyone knows they are accountable for providing a World-Class customer service experience 100 percent of the time.

  3. Train all employees on the best ways to maintain this focus while executing any task.

  4. New generations will enter the workplace, customer demands will change, and the competitive landscape will morph. It behooves the organization to constantly review the customer experience to ensure that it is competitive and still executable by the employees.

  5. Make the World-Class customer experience part of the corporate culture, goals, and strategies. Don’t turn it into some kind of “program of the month” that is forgotten the day the calendar changes over to the first of the next month.

While you are implementing Relentless Focus throughout your organization, remember this critical fact: It is impossible to deliver a World-Class customer service experience if people of the organization are working in “silos,” a concept synonymous with barriers that separate work teams, departments, and divisions.

Silos cause people who work for the same employer to compete against one another, often because a clear directive or strategy is not communicated. In silo-driven organizations, managers, department heads, and program managers care a great deal about their own little departments but are oblivious (sometimes purposefully) to other priorities that affect the greater good of the company as a whole. Unfortunately, these ignored priorities can include the most important one of all, providing a World-Class customer service experience.

The leadership team needs to clearly and explicitly communicate to every member of the organization that providing a World-Class customer service experience through Fresh Customer Service is the foundation of the business and is the responsibility of every member. It unequivocally comes before any silo competition.

The leadership team should understand that a mere statement of the need to provide a World-Class customer service experience will not guarantee success, especially if a silo mentality exists. The only way to successfully achieve outstanding customer service is by getting everyone involved and backing it wholeheartedly. Members of the workforce should exit their silos and abandon the silo mentality for the good of all the Frontline Employees and customers, and consequently, the bottom line. Why settle for a good quarter when Relentless Focus can help you realize a good quarter-century?

 

 

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How exactly do you implement and execute Fresh Customer Service? I have broken down the process into the following 6.5 simple and cost-effective steps.

Fresh Step 1, Side-by-Side Walking, involves walking a mile in the shoes of employees to understand what they do, how they do it, and how they experience their jobs. Side-By-Side Walking will help give you a real-world understanding of the environment your Frontline Employees operate in, and separate perceptions from actual activities and true problems. Side-By-Side Walking is the foundation for understanding where your organization is at the moment, the gaps that exist, what is working and what needs improvement.

Best of all, Side-by-Side Walking only requires you, the corporate manager or executive, to take one day of your schedule and devote it to going through all the activities your Frontline Employees go through, from pre-shift preparation to post-shift cleanup and closeout. Far more than a site visit, it’s a true immersion into your Frontline Employees’ daily lives and routines. As far as the cost is concerned, how much gas will you use traveling to your nearest frontline unit?

Fresh Step 2, Smart Tasking, clearly defines the critical tasks/processes that support the customer service offering and the deadlines by which they must be completed. The most important factor is completing the necessary tasks/processes without impeding the delivery of a World-Class customer service experience to the customer. Smart Tasking creates a harmonized balance between completing the tasks/processes and delivering a World-Class customer service experience.

To effect Smart Tasking in your organization, simply keep a careful eye on the frontline tasks your employees perform, the order in which they prioritize them, and periodically review them to ensure that they are appropriate and add value to the customer experience. Actively involve the Frontline Employees in Smart Tasking and encourage them to speak up when they find themselves performing tasks that are inefficient, ineffective, or just plain unnecessary.

What is the cost of having both on-site frontline managers and off-site corporate managers take the time to carefully monitor frontline tasks and priorities, while providing Frontline Employees an active voice in determining how to set their priorities? Virtually none. Whatever time you may “lose” in careful observation and review will more than pay for itself in higher levels of employee efficiency, customer satisfaction, and corporate profits.

Click here to read the full article.

 

For leadership coachingprofessional development training, customer service trainingcustomer service tips, college success tips, or to learn how to build a personal brand, how to improve customer service, or  how to succeed in college, contact Michael D Brown, a premier leadership speaker, customer service speaker, and college motivational speaker at http://www.myfreshbrand.com, http://www.freshcustomerservice.com, or http://www.52collegesuccesstips.com.

 

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For some reason I think I have “tell me about your company” written on my forehead.  Soon after I meet people and tell them what I do for a living, they feel compelled to pour their souls out to me about their jobs or businesses. I’m not sure if it’s a method of crying out for help or if my demeanor is too serious for talk about the weather or what one ate for lunch. Be that as it may, I am glad people feel comfortable telling me their stories—it makes for great book-writing material.

Some time ago, I was working out in the gym alongside a guy who appeared to be in the same predicament as I. Namely, deciding whether to just stare at the weights and hope that they lifted themselves out of the cradle, pick up the weights and start working out, or go to the store and have a low-fat doughnut.

This guy, who was named Kelvin, seemed to be in his mid-twenties. After finally picking up the weights and completing a few sets, Kelvin started to ask the gym ego question, “How much can you lift?”

Not your average gym rat, my reply was: “So where do you work?”

Kelvin told me he worked at a very well-known home do-it-yourself (DIY) store that I’ll call “House Headquarters.” I didn’t hesitate to mention to Kelvin that I thought House Headquarters’ customer service had gone downhill in recent years and their chief competitor had become much better at customer service than they.

“I agree, our customer service is shabby,” Kelvin said, exhaling mightily while 75-pound dumbbells slammed to the gym’s cushioned floor. “I’ll tell you a story.

“I was recently working with a customer who became extremely upset with us. This customer purchased a brand name, side-by-side, built-in refrigerator for almost $8,000. Once it was delivered, he called back, stating that the install had a gap in between the walls and the refrigerator of about three inches, whereas the model in the store was flush together. He was right. This refrigerator has a true built-in appearance and looks very flush with the wall in the store. I told him I’d look into it.

“So I called the regional installation supervisor, and he said he would check out the situation,” Kelvin said, his arms shaking from the heavy dumbbell. (There goes my gym ego again.) “You know, we always have problems and complaints with this installer, but we still have to use them because they’re our national contractor. I don’t know what’s going to happen with this customer, but I feel really badly for him.

“I sent the installer back out on Saturday,” Kelvin continued. “But I won’t be able to get back with the customer until Monday because I have to see what the regional installation supervisor, who doesn’t work on weekends, says. The customer sent me pictures of the install, and it is really bad. I just don’t know why we keep using this installer. We’ve all gotten complaints about this particular installation company.”

The lesson here: The entire organization needs to be focused on providing a World-Class customer service experience. I would think that someone should have been in contact with this customer throughout the weekend to ensure that his problem was solved. House Headquarters likely does a large chunk of their business on the weekend, as this is when people are doing home projects. This type of weekend service is even more important for a customer who has just spent a lot of money with the company.

The quicker you solve the problem, the greater the opportunity for making the customer happy and keeping him or her coming back. If the front line is not empowered or it does not have immediate access to someone who is empowered (as in Kelvin’s case) to provide an instant solution to the problem, the problem will remain with the customer longer and fester into something greater and cause him or her to be even more dissatisfied with the experience.

Question: Is this just an isolated incident for House Headquarters, or is my view and the employee’s view true, that their customer service is substandard? Is it really impossible for Kelvin or his colleagues to provide a good customer experience with an incompetent contractor? A review by the leadership team is in order.

Kelvin seems to have been focused on delivering a good customer experience—his heart was indeed as big as the biceps that we both aspired to have after working out (yes, I am still aspiring as I sit here explaining Fresh Customer Service). However, the weekend unavailability of the regional installation supervisor made it impossible to deliver a World-Class customer service experience.

The regional installation supervisor’s availability—or a designee’s—would have provided Kelvin with the important missing link needed to deliver an instant solution to the customer’s problem (remember this is the foundation of Fresh Customer Service—solving the problem now, making it right now for the customer).

In addition, the person in charge of the independent contractors appears to have not responded to the negative feedback voiced by both customers and Frontline Employees. After all, it seems that this shoddy contractor is the root cause of current and previous problems.

 

For leadership coachingprofessional development training, customer service trainingcustomer service tips, college success tips, or to learn how to build a personal brand, how to improve customer service, or  how to succeed in college, contact Michael D Brown, a premier leadership speaker, customer service speaker, and college motivational speaker at http://www.myfreshbrand.com, http://www.freshcustomerservice.com, or http://www.52collegesuccesstips.com.

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You have probably heard the phrase, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” more times than you can count. Apples are natural, healthy, and best of all, cheap. If you aren’t eating an apple a day to maintain your health, presumably the cost isn’t what’s keeping you from doing so.

For the same amount of money that you would invest in that daily apple to ensure your physical health, you can also fund a strategy that will ensure the health of your frontline customer service operation. I call this strategy “Fresh Customer Service.”

Fresh Customer Service demystifies the process of attracting loyal, happy customers who return again and again and recommend your business to their friends and families. This type of customer reaction, what some may consider as a minor detail, can actually tip the scales and prove the difference between a prosperous organization and a bankrupt organization. So what’s the secret? The Frontline Employee.

Click here to read the full article.

 

For leadership coachingprofessional development training, customer service trainingcustomer service tips, college success tips, or to learn how to build a personal brand, how to improve customer service, or  how to succeed in college, contact Michael D Brown, a premier leadership speaker, customer service speaker, and college motivational speaker at http://www.myfreshbrand.com, http://www.freshcustomerservice.com, or http://www.52collegesuccesstips.com.

excellentcustomerservice

 

“Make the customer number one.” Customer service experts have been chanting variations of this mantra since one caveman paid another caveman three clamshells for the skin of a sabertooth tiger. Okay, as far as we know cavemen didn’t chant mantras, but you get my point. The vast majority of customer service strategies use the idea of making your customer your top priority as their cornerstone.

Since most customer service strategies are partially or wholly based on making the customer number one, then obviously customer service levels must be at an all-time high, right? Everywhere you go, people are raving about how great their daily customer service experiences are, and customer satisfaction polls back this affirmation up with hard data.

I’ll give you a moment to stop laughing before I continue. Hopefully you didn’t snort any of your morning coffee out your nose. We all realize that in far too many cases, the one word that best sums up the state of customer service today is “disaster.” Lines are long, information is scarce, products are out of place or out of stock, and no two employees have the same answer to the same question. If today’s public-serving organizations really are making the customer number one, they have a funny way of demonstrating it.

Ironically, customer service levels are declining as competition for customer loyalty is increasing. In this age of chain expansion, a customer can find your services duplicated or your products cheaper on the next block. The one way you can differentiate yourself in a sea of similar competition is by offering a world-class customer service experience. This will never happen if you use the same stale, outdated, failed approach to customer service that you and your competitors have always used before. Namely, the “making the customer number one” approach.

The business world needs a makeover. A new perspective. A fresh approach that I like to call “Fresh Customer Service.” Fresh Customer Service demystifies the process of attracting loyal, happy customers who return again and again and recommend your business to their friends and families. This type of customer reaction, what some may consider as a minor detail, can actually tip the scales and prove the difference between a prosperous organization and a bankrupt organization. So what’s the secret? The Frontline Employee.

This idea is the key to unlocking sustained long-term success in whatever area of service or production your organization offers. Throughout your organization’s entire process of selling, serving, marketing, cleaning — you name it — the only way you can hope to deliver a world-class customer service experience is by listening to, equipping, empowering, involving, and valuing the feedback and expertise your Frontline Employees can offer.

Click here to read the full article.

 

For leadership coachingprofessional development training, customer service trainingcustomer service tips, college success tips, or to learn how to build a personal brand, how to improve customer service, or  how to succeed in college, contact Michael D Brown, a premier leadership speaker, customer service speaker, and college motivational speaker at http://www.myfreshbrand.com, http://www.freshcustomerservice.com, or http://www.52collegesuccesstips.com.

Michael D. Brown developed a customer service process (6.5 Fresh Steps to World-Class Customer Service) that during the past 15 years has been credited with reengineering and enhancing the customer service strategy and experience for a number of small, mid-sized and Fortune 500 companies, including Marriott, Macaroni Grill, U.S. Army, Wendy’s, Omni Hotels, Houston Rockets, Capital One, Wells Fargo, Greater Houston Partnership, Jason’s Deli, Amoco Oil Company, ARCO Oil Company, Murphy Oil USA—The Wal-Mart Project, British Petroleum, and a number of colleges and universities. Michael was ranked in the top 5 percent among high-performing leaders and coaches in leading Global Fortune 500 companies. He is a globally recognized authority on customer service leadership for developing this customer service strategy that delivers to the frontline and three levels up in the user’s organization. This work was later turned into the best-selling book Fresh Customer Service—Treat the employee as #1 and the customer as #2 and you will get customers for life. He is also the author of Fresh Passion – Get A Brand or Die A Generic.

Michael’s success story is even more impressive considering his humble roots. Growing up as one of 10 siblings with a widowed mother in Holmes County, Mississippi, statistically among the poorest counties in the United States, Michael early on resolved to break the cycle of poverty and dead-end jobs that plagued so many of his friends, neighbors, and relatives. Starting with a job as a low-paid handyman and housecleaner for a verbally, mentally, and physically abusive boss at the age of nine, Michael quickly learned the importance of satisfying the customer and always doing the best possible job and having a brand of excellence, regardless of the circumstances.

He went from been supported by welfare to starting his own highly profitable candy-selling business (generating about $40 a day and quickly blossoming into a $300 to $400 a day business) in high school to support himself and the family, and then he worked his way through Jackson State University with a job as a cook at a fast-food restaurant, where he cut the average wait time at the drive-through window almost in half, achieve record sales, and received multiple raises within six months—but was not initially allowed to work directly with customers in the front of the house because of the “unwritten” rules. Despite this action, Michael continued to deliver greater results than all of his co-workers and stayed focused on delivering excellent results. After months of begging to work in the front of the restaurant, he was given a “trial shift,” which turned into a night of customers raving about his superior customer service and leaving over a dozen positive comment cards.

After graduating, Michael, who holds a BBA in management and an MBA in global management from Jackson State, embarked on a highly successful executive career where he consistently boosted profits and employee morale at companies in the hotel, food and beverage, oil and gas, and retail industries. It is this unique perspective and know-how gleaned from his upbringing that makes Michael a sought after speaker, career and management consultant, and the leading authority on delivering fresh results.

With a track record of delivering double-digit top- and bottom-line growth to his clients, Michael is able to take a problem and look at it five to seven levels deep, allowing the delivery of strategies and solutions that are detailed, yet simple, and impactful while focusing on the overall strategies and sustainability of the achieved growth. He has a unique ability to break down the complex strategies and processes into a simple and executable strategy that can be delivered with passion and conviction by the frontline at every step of the value chain.

Michael’s expertise in revamping how companies provide world-class customer service and establish a market-leading brand has led him to assisting individuals in creating personal brands that allow them to achieve otherwise unattainable levels of personal and professional success. He is recognized for this best-in-class coaching strategy that yields consistent results.

Michael has motivated and helped thousands of entrepreneurs, military personnel, individuals, college students, graduates, small business owners, and entrepreneurs move from a stage of generic mediocrity to an exciting place where they become successful personal brands that yields exponential personal economic and professional success. His signature work Fresh Passion: Get a Brand or Die a Generic is the catalyst for helping individuals make the transformation and achieving world-class success.

Michael’s ultimate message is this: Without a personal brand, you don’t have a career—you only have a job. When you are a “generic” individual, there is only so far you can go in a given job, and it’s only a matter of time before you’re replaced. If you develop a dynamic personal brand, however, you differentiate yourself from your competitors and become a force to be reckoned with. Nothing will keep you from personal, economic, and professional success.

 

For leadership coachingprofessional development training, customer service trainingcustomer service tips, college success tips, or to learn how to build a personal brand, how to improve customer service, or  how to succeed in college, contact Michael D Brown, a premier leadership speaker, customer service speaker, and college motivational speaker at http://www.myfreshbrand.com, http://www.freshcustomerservice.com, or http://www.52collegesuccesstips.com.

 

You likely recently heard the horrific story of a nurse who was “following company policy” to not offer medical attention to a dying women at a California retirement home.  Policy it might be – but certainly worth a swift and through review by Glenwood Gardens and should serve as a wake up call for the industry. We need sensible policies in place that protects the health and welfare of the patients and prevents them from dying. We also need to empower and equip our frontline (nurses, janitors, aides, etc.) with the processes and procedures to deliver a world-class patient experience. I am sure we will discover that not been able to deliver CPR is the tip of the nightmare – as the frontline hands are likely tied and are prevented from delivering in other areas that could benefit the patient.

Fresh Customer Service’ Offers Healthcare Global Readers With 6.5 Fresh Steps that Will Deliver A World-Class Patient Experience.

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Fresh Step 1: Side-by-Side Walking

This involves walking a mile in the shoes of employees to understand what they do, how they do it, and how they experience their jobs. Side-by-Side Walking will help give you a real-world understanding of the environment your frontline employees operate in, and separate perceptions from actual activities and true problems. Side-by-Side Walking is the foundation for understanding where your organization is at the moment, the gaps that exist, what is working and what needs improvement.

Best of all, Side-by-Side Walking only requires you, the corporate manager or executive, to take one day of your schedule and devote it to going through all the activities your frontline employees go through, from pre-shift preparation to post-shift cleanup and closeout. Far more than a site visit, it’s a true immersion into your frontline employees’ daily lives and routines.

Fresh Step 2: Smart Tasking

This clearly defines the critical tasks and processes that support the customer service offering and the deadlines by which they must be completed. The most important factor is completing the necessary tasks and processes without impeding the delivery of a world-class customer service experience to the patient. Smart Tasking creates a harmonized balance between completing the tasks/processes and delivering a world-class patient experience.

Click here to read the full article.

 

For leadership coachingprofessional development training, customer service trainingcustomer service tips, college success tips, or to learn how to build a personal brand, how to improve customer service, or  how to succeed in college, contact Michael D Brown, a premier leadership speaker, customer service speaker, and college motivational speaker at http://www.myfreshbrand.com, http://www.freshcustomerservice.com, or http://www.52collegesuccesstips.com.

apple

 

You have probably heard the phrase, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” more times than you can count. Apples are natural, healthy, and best of all, cheap. If you aren’t eating an apple a day to maintain your health, presumably the cost isn’t what’s keeping you from doing so.

For the same amount of money that you would invest in that daily apple to ensure your physical health, you can also fund a strategy that will ensure the health of your frontline customer service operation. I call this strategy “Fresh Customer Service.”

Fresh Customer Service demystifies the process of attracting loyal, happy customers who return again and again and recommend your business to their friends and families. This type of customer reaction, what some may consider as a minor detail, can actually tip the scales and prove the difference between a prosperous organization and a bankrupt organization. So what’s the secret? The Frontline Employee.

Throughout your organization’s entire process of selling, serving, marketing, cleaning—you name it—the only way you can hope to deliver a World-Class customer service experience is by listening to, equipping, empowering, involving, and valuing the feedback and expertise your Frontline Employees can offer.

How exactly do you implement and execute Fresh Customer Service? I have broken down the process into the following 6.5 simple and cost-effective steps.

The First Steps: Fresh Understanding

Fresh Step 1, Side-by-Side Walking, involves walking a mile in the shoes of employees to understand what they do, how they do it, and how they experience their jobs. Side-By-Side Walking will help give you a real-world understanding of the environment your Frontline Employees operate in, and separate perceptions from actual activities and true problems. Side-By-Side Walking is the foundation for understanding where your organization is at the moment, the gaps that exist, what is working and what needs improvement.

Best of all, Side-by-Side Walking only requires you, the corporate manager or executive, to take one day of your schedule and devote it to going through all the activities your Frontline Employees go through, from pre-shift preparation to post-shift cleanup and closeout. Far more than a site visit, it’s a true immersion into your Frontline Employees’ daily lives and routines. As far as the cost is concerned, how much gas will you use traveling to your nearest frontline unit?

Fresh Step 2, Smart Tasking, clearly defines the critical tasks/processes that support the customer service offering and the deadlines by which they must be completed. The most important factor is completing the necessary tasks/processes without impeding the delivery of a World-Class customer service experience to the customer. Smart Tasking creates a harmonized balance between completing the tasks/processes and delivering a World-Class customer service experience.

To effect Smart Tasking in your organization, simply keep a careful eye on the frontline tasks your employees perform, the order in which they prioritize them, and periodically review them to ensure that they are appropriate and add value to the customer experience. Actively involve the Frontline Employees in Smart Tasking and encourage them to speak up when they find themselves performing tasks that are inefficient, ineffective, or just plain unnecessary.

What is the cost of having both on-site frontline managers and off-site corporate managers take the time to carefully monitor frontline tasks and priorities, while providing Frontline Employees an active voice in determining how to set their priorities? Virtually none. Whatever time you may “lose” in careful observation and review will more than pay for itself in higher levels of employee efficiency, customer satisfaction, and corporate profits.

The Middle Steps: Fresh Empowerment

Fresh Step 3, Make-It-Right Power, instills both the responsibility and the authority to resolve customer complaints and issues in the Frontline Employees who are most able to satisfy the customer at any point in time.

Make-It-Right Power puts the ability to deliver a World-Class customer service experience in the hands of the people who are best able to deliver it: The employees who interact with the customers. It’s about empowering and positioning employees to be able to instantly solve customer problems and view them as opportunities to Make-It-Right now for the customer.

Make-It-Right Power delivers both the responsibility and the prescribed authority to the employees to transform a customer’s bad experience into a positive one, or in the best case scenario, one that can proactively hedge off the situation as a result of prescribed Make-It-Right Power before it even festers into a bad experience.

The costs of giving your Frontline Employees Make-It-Right Power are also low. For example, you may want to authorize employees to offer refunds or coupons good for future purchases, with higher-level employees enabled to authorize larger amounts of money or credit. Whatever the upfront costs of giving a few dollars back to a customer who had a negative experience, they will pay for themselves down the road when that satisfied customer keeps coming back and making full-fledged purchases!

Click here to read the full article.

 

For leadership coachingprofessional development training, customer service trainingcustomer service tips, college success tips, or to learn how to build a personal brand, how to improve customer service, or  how to succeed in college, contact Michael D Brown, a premier leadership speaker, customer service speaker, and college motivational speaker at http://www.myfreshbrand.com, http://www.freshcustomerservice.com, or http://www.52collegesuccesstips.com.

It goes against all you were taught in business school and many of the books you’ve read and it’s the key to turning customers into loyal customers.

Not only will they faithfully return to you, they will become brand ambassadors who spread the word about your products and services far and wide. Fresh Customer Service proves that if you treat your employees with respect and kindness, if you motivate and equip them with the tools they need to do their job, and if treat them like they are #1, they, in turn, will unleash a passion to serve your customers like they have never been treated before.

Your employees will offer a World-Class Customer Service Experience to everyone who enters your place of business.

Implement the 6.5 Steps of Fresh Customer Service ® in your organization and see how fully engaged, totally committed employees result in return customers who spend their money on your products and services again and again. Not only does this increase retention and sales-it also means a bottom line that reflects sustained and profitable results

Get the 6.5 Fresh Steps to World-Class Customer Service:

Side-by-Side Walking
Smart Tasking
Make-it-Right Power
The What-if-Arsenal
Bubble-Up Innovation
Relentless Focus
Just Make it Happen!

 

For leadership coachingprofessional development training, customer service trainingcustomer service tips, college success tips, or to learn how to build a personal brand, how to improve customer service, or  how to succeed in college, contact Michael D Brown, a premier leadership speaker, customer service speaker, and college motivational speaker at http://www.myfreshbrand.com, http://www.freshcustomerservice.com, or http://www.52collegesuccesstips.com.