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This post is one in a series designed to help SME businesses benchmark their business and create a best practice business improvement plan across all of their business processes.  You can find the links to the full series here.  
Image of sign with heart and words we love our customersAccording to the Customer 2020 Report, the customer experience has overtaken price and product as key brand differentiators.

If you deliver poor service, even if you charge low prices you will lose customers. If you deliver better than average customer service you will not only retain customers for longer, but will be able to charge more.

Best Practice Customer Service involves meeting your customers wherever they are, treating them with genuine care and respect, and building exceptional customer service standards into every engagement with every customer without exception.


How does your business measure up?

We have a clearly documented customer-centric customer service and support process which ensures the highest standards of customer satisfaction and retention.

  • Our approach to customer service reflects our core values and our brand identity and matches the expectations of our ideal clients
  • We include customer service performance indicators into the job description of every staff member, not only direct customer facing staff.
  • Our customer service policy is included in our induction and ongoing staff training, and is published where all staff can readily access it at all times.
  • We have clearly documented customer service policies and processes across all aspects of our business.
  • Our customer service policy is clearly articulated in our sales process and published where our clients can see it.
  • Our customer service policies and practices reflect our Brand Identity and match the expectations of our ideal clients.
  • Our commitment to our Brand Promise forms a key part of our Customer Service Policies and processes

A company culture approach to customer service.

Build the customer service principles below into your company culture and ensure that they are consistently applied by you and every employee in your company, every day that they’re on the job.

Feel free to add to the list – outstanding customer service is the easiest way to build competitive advantage.

 1. We have a customer bill of rights which is published where our clients and our team can easily access it. Every team member is empowered to deliver in accordance with customer rights.

2. We treat every customer like the only customer
3. We only ask once – Never ask a customer for the same data twice.
4. We under promise and over deliver and never make a promise to a customer that we can’t deliver.
5. We answer the phone promptly, knowing that if a customer has phoned it means they want to talk to a real live person.
6. We return calls and messages promptly, on the same half day if possible, certainly within 24 hours
7. We keep it simple -a confused customer is an unhappy customer.
8. We treat every complaint as an opportunity to solve a problem and build a relationship.
9. We don’t pass the buck – we stick with the client personally until the problem is solved.
10. We are proactive,  reaching out to the customer if there is a problem, or even just to keep them in the loop – don’t wait for them to come to us.
11. Every customer’s time is valuable – we respect it.
12. We make it easy for people to do business with us. If someone wants something different, we try our best to give it to them.

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