Do You Have FIRE In Your Customer Service Program?
It seems like everyone in business today is talking about the importance of providing and measuring a great customer service program. However, for many organizations, customer service gets more lip service than execution.
What does it take to have a good customer service program?
Above all, a successful customer service program requires the same focus and commitment needed for success in business or life in general. The first attribute for a successful customer service program is a positive company culture. That will support all other behaviours and skills required. Without the right culture, all other actions are superficial at best.
Every company should have a culture of FIRE to have a sustainable and successful customer service program. FIRE is an acronym for Fairness, Integrity, Responsibility and Empathy.
Few customers are genuinely out to get “something for nothing.” When you deal fairly with people, they tend to respond by reciprocating. Dealing fairly with customers is a key element for repeat and ongoing business.
Integrity is defined as consistently following your stated values and guidelines. Ensure that your team does the utmost to maintain alignment and congruency between their words and actions. It’s like that old saying, “Say what you mean and do what you say.”
This refers to taking responsibility for one’s own actions and the actions of the company or organization to the greatest extent possible. Whenever interacting with those representing your company or organization your team will conduct themselves based on the example you set.
Work to fully understand the perspectives of your customers. Not that you have to agree with and concede every request by any means. But seek to fully understand. As Saint Francis said almost 1,000 years ago, “Seek first to understand rather than to be understood.” If you fully understand your customer, their expectations and needs, you will be in a much better position to fulfill them beyond their expectations.
Quality customer service is crucial to building and maintaining a profitable business. It will help you endure the competitive forces who try to beat you on price. Build your customer service foundation on a culture of FIRE: Fairness, Integrity, Responsibility and Empathy. You will go a long way towards “building the enterprise you always envisioned.”