Information Technology – are your computers and communications systems capable of giving you the information and analysis you need? How do you use email – is it helping or hindering your business and the quality of service you give to your customers? What internet presence and processes do you need? How should your voice and data systems work together? What systems need to be available to mobile staff? What customer relationship management (CRM) systems should you have? How should you consider all these issues to see the needs and opportunities? IT and communications systems increasingly offer marketing and competitive advantage to businesses in all sectors – make sure you know hat IT can do for you and for your customers.
Premises – Review your premises and sites in light of your customer service, distribution, and customer relationship requirements. Pay particular attention anywhere in your organization that your customers visit – the impression and service you give here is critical.
Reporting systems – If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it, and where finance and business performance is concerned this is certainly true. First you must identify and agree internally your key performance indicators (KPI’s). Identify every aspect of your service or performance that is important – then you need to be able to measure it and report on it, and where people are involved in performing to certain standards then the standards and the reporting needs to be transparent to them also.
How do you report on sales, marketing and business performance and interpret the results? Who needs to know? Who needs to capture the data?
Communications and ongoing customer feedback are essential
Having an open dialogue with your customers is vital. There’s a double benefit to your business in ensuring this happens:
You nip problems in the bud and stay aware of how you’re performing.
Your customers feel better about the service you provide as a result of the communications, or from the fact that the channel is open even if they don’t use it – it’s human nature.
Try to devise a standard feedback form. It can double as a promotional tool as well if it’s made available on a wider scale. The form can carry details of your mission statement, service offer and your customer service charter.
Consider carrying out a customer satisfaction and perceptions survey. There are many ways to do this on a small or large scale, and valuable feedback is always obtained from customer survey exercises.
It is imperative that all complaints are captured in order to:
-Put at ease and give explanation or reassurance to the person’s complaining.
-Reduce the chances of them complaining to someone else.
-Monitor exactly how many dissatisfied customers you have and what the causes are, and that’s even more important if you’re failing to deliver your mission statement or service offer!
-Take appropriate corrective action to prevent a re-occurrence.