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How do you formulate a customer service strategy?

Author theturk
#1 | Posted: 7 Feb 2007 01:59 
I have been asked to write and present (for about 20 minutes) a customer service strategy for the company I work for, with a view to being appointed customer service manager.

What should definitely be in there? What should I avoid doing or saying? The company already has high customer satisfaction levels (96%), but surveys have indicated communication could be better, both internally and with customers. Based on this, what non-IT measures would you think could improve the situation?

Many thanks to all who take the time to read this, and to those who reply.

Author Serge Markovich
#2 | Posted: 7 Feb 2007 12:33 
Could you be a bit more specific? What exactly are those 4% not satisfied with? Name a couple of customer problems or complaints. Then suggest reasonable steps aimed at these problems resolution and build your entire strategy around them.

Best regards and good luck,
Serge Markovich
Customer Support Professional Blog

Author theturk
#3 | Posted: 8 Feb 2007 12:59 
Thanks Serge,

The main issue among the 4% is communication. I have decided to base the strategy around turning the 4% into satisfied customers and the 96% into delighted customers, with a goal of 100% customer delight.

I feel that good customer satisfaction is less than what is required nowadays to provide good customer service.

The strategy is based on the following priorities:

1. Consistent, accessible, relevant information from all channels - web, email, letter, telephone etc.

2. Providing a pro-active service

3. Adding value to the service

4. Building structures from the customer backwards

5. Providing methods for measuring customer service

6. Sustaining the strategy through review and revision

7. Giving ownership of customer service to the entire organisation

The criteria used to choose these priorities were: external customer service must benefit, internal customer service must benefit, profits must be maximised.

Do you think that's ok?

Author anagram100
#4 | Posted: 8 Feb 2007 15:25 
Looks good to me

People engagement is very important in customer service. After all those on the front line are speaking to the customers!

Author theturk
#5 | Posted: 9 Feb 2007 04:44 
Thanks anagram. The presentation is in just over 2 hours. Check back soon to hear how I did!

Author alethead74
#6 | Posted: 9 Feb 2007 12:55 
I would suggest talking to your 4% unsatisfied customers and find out what they mean by "communication" That is so broad. Maybe you could narrow it down by finding out the customers expectations. I wouldn't put all my focus on Customer Satisfaction. I would also find out what you can do to stream line processes and reduce cost and attrition in the Customer Service dept. While your ultimate goal is to please the customer your senior managers are looking at their bottom line. Good luck, let's us know how it goes.

Author theturk
#7 | Posted: 9 Feb 2007 15:45 
Went ok. The sales manager was there and he asked a lot of marketing questions which I wasn't prepared for. Three on the panel though. Maybe the other two were impressed!

Find out early in the week.

Author anagram100
#8 | Posted: 18 Feb 2007 13:44 
Any update Turk?

Author gidivony
#9 | Posted: 12 Mar 2007 14:12 
I am going for an interview tomorow for the position of customer services manager. what are some of the questions i should expect and how should they be answered? i need a feedback by tomorow morning. thank you

Author Iqbal
#10 | Posted: 12 Mar 2007 23:53 

This might be late in coming but I guess the most important aspect of any job is what do you bring to the party. What's your vision regarding customer experience and then how would you go about achieving that, what would be priority areas of focus.

They might take a more dow to earth view of the job and ask you specifics like how do you gauge customer satisfaction, how do you handle complaints, what are specfic measurement tools, etc.


Author gidivony
#11 | Posted: 13 Mar 2007 05:12 
thanks Iqbal. I will give the feedback after the interview.

Author ayaree
#12 | Posted: 1 Apr 2007 16:08 
OK , so we had an interesting trail of comments on a company's customer service strategy meeting and how that needed to be presented and bought into. And then we had a request for info on this thread on what might be come up in a job interview.

Are there updates to either of these interesting events?

Author noemi
#13 | Posted: 2 Apr 2007 03:05 
A good strategy you might want to consider is proactive customer handling, wherein you look ahead for the worst possible customer service-related problem that could arise in your organization. Then seek for all possible solutions, validate each one with the worst and best effect before zeroing on the best choice. This way, a lot of possible errors and cost could be avoided.

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 How do you formulate a customer service strategy?

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