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What are your company’s customer service standards?

“Even in a negative economy, customer experience is a high priority for consumers, with 60% often or always paying more for a better experience.” In fact, “81% of companies with strong capabilities and competencies for delivering customer experience excellence are outperforming their competition.” But more importantly “Poor customer experiences result in an estimated $83 Billion loss by US enterprises each year because of defections and abandoned purchases.” (Sources: Harris Interactive, Customer Experience Impact Report; Peppers & Rogers Group, 2009 Customer Experience Maturity Monitor; Parature Customer Service Blog)

In short, delivering great customer service should be one of your top business goals this year.

If you are unsure where to start, think about the four C’s of customer service – Commitment, Completeness, Consistency and Communication.

Let’s take a look at each one.

1. Commitment

In order to deliver great customer service, there must be commitment from your organization’s leadership. Commitment must be visible through action. It’s easy to place posters and signs on the wall, but your commitment to customer service has to be infused into your company culture.

As a leader it is important for you to show commitment by championing the charge to determine what great customer service should look like within your company. Develop and adhere to core values for your organization and commit to finding ways to determine what’s important to your customers. Start by becoming your customer by utilizing your product or service in order to gain the customer’s perspective.

Most importantly, your commitment to improving customer service should be readily apparent to your employees. Regularly communicate you commitment to your entire organization– start with action!

2. Completeness

Once you are committed to delivering great customer service, ensure that everyone on your team is on the same page. Completeness means that everyone within every department understands their role in providing great customer service.

Take time to assess your company’s operations to identify areas of opportunity. All customer touch points should be evaluated for efficiency.

Ensure that what matters to your customer is identified and utilized in further development of your company’s product or service. Also, pay close attention to your internal customers ( stakeholders, employees, investors, etc.) in order to determine how to best meet their needs as well.

Everyone on your team should be aware of how their daily actions impact both internal and external customers.

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