Importance of a Customer Service Policy

customer service policy

Photo by Mikhail Nilov

“The starting point of developing an excellent customer service policy is to define how you intend to treat your customers. Start by defining the “ultimate customer service experience”. – Mark Thompson / Brian Tracy (the book – Now Build a Good Business)

When a company is ‘starting off’, it’s small, has few employees, and has a small customer base. It is easy for the company to keep a hold of the needs and expectations of the customers. However, as the company grows, the number of employees and customers grows too. Not only are there more channels for interaction but there’s also more room for error. It can lead to a drop in customer service. The growth of a company is necessary.

However, in order to ensure that service remains consistent, there must be a clearly defined customer service policy. Adherence to it should be mandatory for all in the organization. Since customers are the lifeblood of any company, by now most have understood the importance of a customer service policy. It ensures that customers remain happy and loyal to the company. Gaining a new customer is a lot harder and more expensive than retaining an existing one. Customer service staff can use product knowledge tools like interactive decision trees. They can also use the tool to deliver the right information to customers.

Employees provide consistent services

Most companies today provide a wide range of products and services and employ a sizeable number of employees. A customer service policy ensures that each person within the organization understands the importance of serving the customers consistently. They should provide the same high quality of service, irrespective of the department the employee works in or rank.

Such a policy ensures that the employees know that they must put the needs of the customers before their own. Providing empathetic, caring, and responsive service is everyone’s responsibility. A well-expressed and written-down customer service policy is like a set of rules and a path.

Following a customer policy empowers employees. It ensures customer satisfaction based on the company’s services. In the event that they do have a reason for dissatisfaction, the empowered employees can make spot decisions to smoothen out the problems. A customer service policy, therefore, must be lucid and simple.

Customers receive high-quality services

Every customer expects and demands to understand what they can expect from the company in terms of service. A company must ensure that its customer service policy is available to the customers. They should see your company’s commitment to high-quality service in practice. It helps customers know what to expect from the company. Also, how both parties can work together to ensure success for all. This policy provides the basis for an ongoing and sustainable relationship.

The customers and the company would have a common goal and vision. Despite the obvious differences between customers, a customer service policy ensures that every customer is treated with respect. All customers should receive the same high-quality service and effort. No one within the company should be exempted from adhering to the policy. Thereby, it ensures that irrespective of whom the customer connects with, they should receive the best possible service.

Leads to customer loyalty and profitability

The fact is that customers spend their money and time. Therefore, they should feel valued and treated with respect. Feeling important and valued leads to customer retention. It translates to loyalty and sustained profitability. When a company is able to do good business, its reputation soars, leading to high satisfaction and employee retention.

This leads to internal stability, raising the levels of service, and product quality. In turn, it attracts more investors and other stakeholders, willing to collaborate with the company. The customer service policy in effect determines the association with these vital ‘business partners’, insuring the success of a business. Does your company have a customer service policy and if yes, then what does it incorporate?

Customer service policy guides employees to excellence

A successful customer service policy is a support system that provides employees with unambiguous instructions for ensuring customer service excellence. It states how such a service should be put in to keep the company ahead of any competitor. It also gives customers more than they expect, proactively determining their needs, and ensuring that they have minimal problems.

In addition, the policy serves as a measure and yardstick that recognize and reward service behaviors. It thereby boosts the morale of employees to serve the customers even better. A customer service policy lets your employees know how service excellence leads to success and a bright future for them within the company. Thereby, it encourages them to perform consistently at their optimum. A defined and visible customer service policy ensures that the company makes every effort to live up to and exceed the commitment to service. Customers experience a positive difference as compared to other companies.

It’s a measure of success in customer service

A customer service policy is a reflection of the company’s understanding of what customers want. That is attention, trustworthiness, best in class, promptness, responsiveness, and other such traits. It is a statement of commitment that tells customers that the company would do everything possible to ensure their happiness. It is also a measure of the success (or failure) of the customer service teams.

They know exactly what is expected of them, making it easier for them to deliver. It is not possible to put something into action if one is not aware of the expectations. A customer service policy sets the guidelines and training of service for the customer service staff and across the organization. With the clarity that such a written-down policy brings, employees are better positioned to perform their assigned tasks without ambiguity.

Each person should know the company’s expectations in regard to customer service. Hence, they would be able to perform better. Employees are not stressed out trying to achieve some undetermined goals leading to reduced turnover and enhanced employee satisfaction. The company sets employees to help them reach their goals within a framework that allows them to feel empowered.

It acts as a guide for employees

Most companies also include guidelines for employees. How they should get information and solicit feedback from customers on an informal level. Such random ‘checks’ ensure that the company is able to detect problems that can potentially annoy a customer or disrupt the company’s functioning. Customers are happy to speak their minds. That’s, especially, if they know that their feedback is taken seriously with swift and effective amends. Of course, formal customer surveys are a requirement. However, given that they cannot be too frequent, gaining information from customers ad hoc ensures a swifter resolution of issues.

Customer service policy provides guidelines

The basis of a customer service policy is to ensure enhanced service to customers. It provides guidelines for the employees. Before putting such a policy in place, it’s prudent to seek advice and feedback from the employees that interact with customers directly. They are the ones with the most accurate information about what customers seek and where the company lacks. In addition, it is these frontline staff who put the guidelines into practice. Hence, involving them in the formation of the customer service policy would be a smart move.

In conclusion

Any policy is a strategic connection between the company’s goals, its employees, and its daily operations. A customer service policy serves the same purpose, only that it focuses on the customers and their needs. With a clear policy in place, employees know their responsibilities and domain with certain limits. It can function better without the need for constant supervision. It is visible why every company, irrespective of size must have proper documentation and a robust customer service policy in place.

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