Today, most businesses are using the Internet to compete on an international basis, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This means that technology is now a major part of the sales process, and more important, your customer-service activities. But you cannot provide top-level customer service with technology alone.
People are sick of dealing with call-centers, being on hold for a long time listening to lame music and trying to get their questions answered via online chat centers or from technicians who don’t know what they are talking about. With this in mind…
How well does your technology combine with the human touch?
If you want to provide excellent service to your customers around the clock, it’s essential to get your technology team working with your customer-service people. Here are a few questions to help you accomplish this:
1. Who’s on your team right now?
Start at the beginning. Make sure you have employees who care about your brand and want to learn as much as possible about your customers. Hire positive people who are willing to work with others to reach company goals. And if you already have some negative players on board, it’s time to talk to them about their attitude… or get rid of them fast. It only takes one bad egg to bring down an entire department, or company. (At Rich Dad, all of our new employees take the Kolbe Index so we know where they’ll exceed most in the company.)
2. Who does what?
Be sure your employees understand roles and responsibilities. If possible, write it down and distribute the information. This way, everyone will know who does what, and you’ll avoid unnecessary questions and conflicts about responsibilities.
3. Are you meeting regularly?
If your teams are not getting together on a regular basis, it’s time to schedule monthly meetings. Your tech people and your customer-service teams should feel comfortable working with each other and asking questions. By discussing issues, goals and ideas, you’ll be able to provide better, faster service. And more important, your employees will develop a level of trust and create better working relationships that will help the company culture as a whole.
4. What’s going on?
Once you have your technology and customer-service processes in place, be sure to monitor and analyze activities. What’s working and what isn’t? Get regular reports on results, issues, questions, comments, and more. Then, your teams can discuss this information at their monthly meetings to resolve issues before they become major problems and celebrate the activities that are working well.
5. Are you covered?
Today’s customers will look at your entire company. They will seek information online, via phone and in-person. Are you ready to help them?
Be sure to integrate all of your communications so that your team members provide the best service possible… no matter how customers approach your business.
6. What tools are you using?
Customer-service technology is constantly changing so make sure your team members are aware of the latest trends, software updates, viruses, and more. In addition, confirm that all of your technologies are up-to-date, backed up and in good working order. Customers don’t have a lot of patience, and it would be a shame to lose sales due to a Web page error, a bad e-mail process, privacy issues, or some other, technological glitch that could have been avoided.
Excel at Customer Service.
Providing the best customer-service process possible involves a combination of good technology and the human touch. Once you have the right people on your teams, open the lines of communication, monitor results and make changes as necessary.
By updating your customer-service processes regularly, you’ll improve employee relationships and create a more trusting and creative work-environment. But more important, you’ll be able to exceed at customer service and increase sales.
Robert LeCount is The Rich Dad Company’s Director of Information Technology. Based on Robert Kiyosaki’s best-selling book, “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” The Rich Dad Company uses innovative technology to offer a new way to think about money and investing. For more information, please write to Robert below or at www.richdad.com.