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Jan 15, 2016
Leon Frank

Most companies have mediocre customer service. In fact, for most, customer service is accidental. Few managers have invested any effort in designing the process by which clients interact with their com-pany. Think of this the next time you plow your way through an interminable phone tree while screaming “Operator” into the receiver: That system was not designed by someone who wanted every interaction with their company to be positive.
There are several ways to convert your customer service from middling to mind-blowing. They all start with a commitment to make your cus-tomer service the best on the planet. Once you have made the commit-ment, here are the steps to follow:

  • Announce to the entire team that “good” isn’t good enough. Make it a team objective to make your customer service extraordinary. Challenge staff to come up with ways to take customer service over the top.
  • Shop yourself. Hire an outside firm, you’ll never regret the cost. Have them evaluate everything from the receptionist, to the service depart-ment. Do your staff sound embalmed when they answer the phone?
  • Shop the competition. Compare yourself to your competitors.
  • Survey your clients. Again, hire a firm to do this, you’ll get much better answers when clients talk to an outsider.
  • Get out of the box. Stop thinking the challenge is simply doing the things you are already doing better. Get creative and explore ways to be truly outstanding in the client’s mind.
  • Make doing business with you fun. Find ways for every interaction with you to leave clients smiling.It’s an ongoing challenge. Have your staff come up with one new way to improve customer service every month.
  • Customer service is the primary differentiating factor between you and your competition. You each sell the same products, provide the same services. Most companies deliver mediocre customer service and hope the competition delivers a level of customer service that is just as bad. That way, no one has a competitive advantage.
  • Create your own competitive advantage by making every interaction with you an outstanding event. By ramping up your customer service beyond everyone’s expectations, you’ll not only stand out from your competition, you’ll set the standard for excellence in your industry and find business coming through your door on a steady basis.

Editor’s note: it was with great sadness that we note the passing of Leon Frank, one of our favorite columnists and successful entrepreneurs, in March of this year.