Accenture 2013 Global Consumer Pulse Survey found that:
- 51% of U.S. consumers switched service providers in the past year due to poor customer service experiences, up 5% from 2012.
- 81% said the company could have done something differently to prevent them from switching.
Are your customers switching to your competition? Are they getting ready to switch? Where do you start to improve customer retention at your organization?
Surveying your customers is a first step to obtain quality assurance and satisfaction measures. This can be a post customer service call questions and customer relationship surveys conducted periodically.
Improving customer service at your organization should include the review of business practices and the working relationships among internal customers. Everyone takes a turn being a “customer” or “provider” to another co-worker.
Realize that business processes and staff behavior does have an impact on co-worker relationships. This creates an image of your organization that is readily perceived by the external customer and community.
Trust me, your staff will have valuable insights and examples on service gaps and improvement opportunities. You will need to have the courage and thick skin to question your staff for their input on service. I do not suggest this unless you are really open-minded to what you will hear and are prepared to effectively respond with action. Ask them the following:
1) What causes poor customer service at our organization and your department?
2) What do you think our organization and your department can do to improve customer service and retain customers?
3) What do you think , that I as your manager, can do to improve customer service?
4) What do you think you can do to improve your own customer service effectiveness?
5) What do you see as improvement benefits?