Creative Customer Service

I noticed this article (Customer Hall of Shame), and it got me thinking about why some companies have such terrible reputations for customer service.   To me it seems that many companies get so caught up in following the correct policies and procedures that employees’ ability to creatively solve customer services issues has been taken away.

There are a few industries that immediately come to mind for me with this: fast food, retail, hospitality, and even insurance.

To me, customer service is about doing whatever needs to be done to make the customer happy by figuring out a way to solve his or her problem, whatever it may be.   You shouldn’t be constrained by strict policies and procedures, but rather you should be able to find creative solutions that conform to the mission of the company.

There are steps, though, to implementing this type of culture:

  1. You must have a clearly defined company mission that is understood by every employee. 
  2. You must teach your employee to think big picture.   Think of the customer loyalty you create when, instead of saying “no,” you try and find a solution.
  3. You must hire the right employees.   Some employees just don’t care about solving problems or helping customers.
  4. You must consistently train your staff.  Without regular training, it’s easy for the staff to forget or revert to the “easy way” of telling clients “no.”

By implementing these items above, I truly feel your customers will be more loyal to your company and willing to refer others as well.