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Customer Service Is Everybody's Job
by Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE

Everyone in your organization must know how vitally important customer service is in your business. Good customer service starts with good training of your employees. Here are a few suggestions to help your organization keep your customers beaming and eager to come back for more. Sell your company to your employees.
If you have brochures explaining your products or services, make sure everybody in your organization reads them. Print them in as many languages as necessary to ensure that everyone gets the message.

If you have a mission statement or company philosophy, post it everywhere. Be creative in communicating what's expected. Consider audio or video tapes depicting your mission or cartoon strips or photo series illustrating how employees share in achieving the company's mission. Then be sure that you really live your mission statement. Lip service only will produce cynical and hostile employees.

2. Recognize effort.
Regularly salute employees who have gone the extra mile in serving your customers. Write up the incident for your company newsletter. If you have no newsletter, post the report in a special place of honor along with a photo of the employee.

3. Trade places.
Why not give your executive and administrative staff an opportunity for hands-on experience with customer service? Every few weeks have each of them spend a day working on the front lines serving your customers.

4. Talk to the front-line troops.
Hold regular meetings for employees who have the most contact with your customers and ask them, "What questions do our customers ask most often about our product or service?" "What complaint do you hear most often?" "What do customers find most beneficial about our product or service?"

©2004 Patricia Fripp. All Rights Reserved

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