Chris Croft
Tips of the Month Archive

Customer Care Tip 10


As important as the product or service itself

A customer service quiz for you

Why customers leave

Giving your name

The value of a customer

Why be nice?

Being an unofficial mystery shopper

Finding ways to delight your customers

A process for keeping it going

The role of management in customer service

An idea for how to deal with bad service

Sorry managers, you might not like this one. Because wouldn't it be easy if you could get everyone who works for you to give out fantastic customer care (warm-fuzzy all the time, never cold-prickly) without any effort?

Well I'm sorry to say that even getting me in for a course will only be a start - it'll fade fast, and it's up to YOU to keep it going.

Here is a big horrible list of everything you've got to do. It'll take time, but it WILL pay for itself. Good luck....

1. Realise that it's important and requires some time and maybe even some money. In many cases it's as important to get your Customer Care right as it is to get the core task right.

2. Make sure everyone else knows that it's important.

3. Calculate the value of a customer over time, and publicise this.

4. Monitor performance.

5. Training - telephone procedures, dealing with difficult customers etc.

6. Make "customer care orientation" a factor in the recruitment of every new person, whatever their role.

7. Create procedures for all routine tasks affecting customers so they are done right every time.

8. Check that procedures are followed.

9. Constantly seek to improve the procedures.

10. View all complaints personally and show that you take them seriously.

11. If there is a problem with a customer, as well putting it right ask what is wrong with the system.

12. Ensure that customers are regularly surveyed, (also non-customers and ex-customers).

13. Make sure that good feedback from customers is publicised (especially if it is unsolicited).

14. Lead by example - take time with customers, and make a special effort with them. Demonstrate by your actions that you really do believe that if it's for a customer it's got to be right, exactly right, and it should be done as a priority too.

15. Get as many people to meet the customers as possible - even the 'back-room' staff need to understand how the customers think.

16. Behaviours come from attitudes which in turn come from management: giving empowerment and ownership are the best, possibly the only way, to get people to really care about customers. At the very least involvement and the giving of information (how much is this customer worth, what are they expecting etc) need to be done.

you can do it!

(final idea - if you're a manager of managers, why not delegate all this stuff and then just make sure that it's being done??)

Onwards and upwards


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