Every Company now appreciates the need for Customer service excellence, and the importance of this in achieving Customer loyalty. But how do you ensure that your Customer Service personnel will achieve excellence in every interaction with their Customers?

The Foundation Building Blocks
The foundation building block for any employee in any role is, do I know what is expected of me? With the Customer Service Representative, it is no different. They must know –
1. Their Role with their Customers
2. Their goals on each call
3. When they have been successful
4. When they have NOT been successful
5. What is expected each day
6. What is expected each week
The first of these, their role with their Customers, is the most critical to success.

The Role Description Drives the Behaviour
The internal role description, what the CSR believes is their role, will drive their focus and behaviour in each interaction. It is really important, therefore, to give this role description a great deal of thought. It is critical also that the Supervisor or Manager is reinforcing their purpose with Customers at frequent intervals.

Take the example of a Customer who asks a question from a service representative. The Customer asks for an explanation of the difference between two similar products. The CSR responds by reading the details they have on their computer. The Customer has read these on the internet, but does not understand what they mean. In response to this, the CSR merely repeats the information again.

This CSR obviously believes that his role is to be nice and to read from the Computer really nicely. That is the representatives believe, and they are doing this successfully. To improve this CSR, the first step is to change this internal role description.

Examples of Role Descriptions
Since the role description will drive the behaviour of the Customer Service Representative, it is important to give the role description a great deal of thought.

The following are some examples role descriptions, with the implications of each:
1. To be nice, to understand the Customer’s query, and to answer it to their satisfaction. This description will encourage the CSR to listen more to Customers and to work with the Customer to ensure a successful outcome.

2. To ensure the Customer will buy the right product for them and to do this in a way that will keep our Customers coming back. This role purpose will drive the Customer service team to learn more about their Customers, and also about their products. It will also encourage the CSR to want to deliver that excellent experience that will bring Customer coming back.

3. To build long term positive relationships with our Customers so that we can ensure that they are buying the right product for them and that they will want to buy from us before any other Company. Now you are adding the element of relationship building, which involves a new focus and the use of different skills in each interaction. It also requires recording information on each Customer contact and learning more about each Customer’s needs.

4. To use effective focus, skills, competencies and systems to make it easy for our Customers to buy from us and to build long term relationships so that they WANT to buy from us first. A Customer Service Team with this role description will be encouraged to discuss and share information, skills and techniques with their Customers. They will work at continuously improving their skills and systems.

The core foundation of a precise role description will give your Customer Service Representatives firm groundwork on which to build. To ensure that the Team internalises this description, it is necessary to:
• Reinforce the key messages frequently
• Listen to calls
• Give feedback on performance, both positive and corrective
• Praise good attitudes, excellent use of skills and actions that demonstrate service excellence

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