There is no magic formula for excellent service that will ensure customer loyalty across the board. However, one formula is unequivocally true: in today's over-saturated and extremely competitive marketplace, failing to make excellent customer service a foremost priority will drive potential patrons to the competition.
Understanding this rule of thumb, New York Times bestselling author Harvey Mackay recently wrote an article for Inc.com that recounts a series of surefire service tips provided by John Tschohl, president of Service Quality Institute to building a service-driven corporate culture.
And as repeatedly emphasized on this blog, one of the best ways to deploy these tips is through a partnership with an adaptable, third-party answering service.
For example, the first strategy outlined in the article is understanding that regardless of what product or service is being offered, officials must understand they are really in the service industry. Considering that this is the primary reason for an answering service's existence, a strategic partnership already makes sense.
One of the most important suggestions in the article though is getting rid of "stupid" policies, procedures and systems. As Mackay writes, "You could have the nicest people in the world, but you could have stupid hours, stupid rules and stupid procedures that are making life miserable for your customers. And they won't come back."
With an answering service, none of these obstacles are ever an issue. These professionals maintain availability around the clock and guarantee that every inquiry or order that comes in is processed by a friendly and knowledgeable service representative. Moreover, while competitors may only maintain availability over the phone or e-mail, an answering service can facilitate consumer correspondences through text message or a chat widget on the client's website.
And because these professionals are paid only for those times that they are actually assisting customers, an answering service can successfully fulfill the last of Mackey's tips: being able to measure your customer service results financially.