In today’s hyper-competitive marketplace where your service is increasingly the only thing setting you apart from the competition, what could possibly be more important than ensuring that your team provides outstanding service customers will notice, pay a premium for, and share with others?
Jeff Mowatt, customer service strategist and author (“Becoming a Service Icon in 90 Minutes a Month,”) offers these:
5 Strategies that can help brokers, managers, and team leaders stand out:
- Practice empathy. Train agents to put themselves in clients’ shoes. Mowatt asks sales professionals to create a list of what they expect when they are clients themselves. Also, words matter: Compare a sentence such as, “I’ll have to check my schedule,” with “I’ll be happy to check my schedule for you.”
- Be selective about your team. If you have an agent whose negativity is souring your office culture, ask them to leave. How do your employees respond when a customer casually asks, “How are you?” If an employee uses this as a license to complain about how he or she feels (tired, busy, or ready for a break) it’s time for a chat or a training review. That employee needs to either, a) stop burdening customers with their problems, or b) consider working for the competition. That might sound harsh, but the last thing today’s harried customers need is to be forced to listen to the soul sucking lamentations of a service provider who over-shares.
- Catch them Being Good. That message was pasted on a banner at a daycare across from where I was working out. It was meant to remind the staff to pay attention when toddlers are doing the right things; not just correcting them when they misbehave. Similarly, managers foster better customer experiences by catching employees when they provide exceptional service. The key then is to show your appreciation and send a motivating message to others.
- Consider staging CAST© meetings. CAST© stands for a Customer Service Team Meeting. It’s where leaders and their teams talk about how to make the experience better for customers, employees, managers and other stakeholders. Mowatt encourages regular customer service team meetings, to go over customer service feedback and coaching moments, and brainstorm ways to improve buyers’ and sellers’ experiences.
- Reward service stars. Employees who have a vested financial interest in ensuring customers are happy over the long term take a different approach to service than those who are just waiting for a paycheck. At some point high-performing employees are going to want to create a more secure financial future. One of the most effective ways to involve them–literally–is to offer a financial reward to your star performers.
Source: Jeff Mowatt