Each year the American Customer Satisfaction Index compiles the results of 70,000 random customer interviews to identify customer satisfaction in 43 industries and 10 economic sectors.
The top industries for service: Televisions & Video Players (score 86), Credit Unions (score 85), Internet Retail, Internet Brokerage, Full-Service Restaurants, Automobiles & Light Vehicles, Personal Care & Cleaning Products, and Soft Drinks (6-way tie at 82)
The bottom three for service: Federal Government (score 64), Internet Service Providers (score 63), Subscription Television Service (score 63)
And while industry averages are important benchmarks, the more important question is “Where do you currently stand with your customers?”
For Kathy Cuff, asking that question is the start of doing something about it. Cuff is co-author, together with Ken Blanchard and Vicki Halsey, of the book Legendary Service: The Key Is to Care. Cuff believes that improving customer service is a five-step process that begins with identifying what an ideal culture of service looks like and then taking action steps to turn that vision into a reality.
Looking to improve your customer service scores? Here are five areas to explore:
- Ideal Service. Do employees recognize the importance of service and focus on performing tasks with the customer in mind?
- Culture of Service. Do employees use the organization’s vision and values to guide decisions in daily interactions with customers?
- Attentiveness. Do employees treat internal colleagues the same way they treat paying customers? Do all personnel strive to create lasting and positive first impressions?
- Responsiveness. Do employees demonstrate a willingness to serve and maintain a positive attitude even in difficult situations?
- Empowerment. Do employees look for ways to do their job better, provide the “extra touch” for customers, and share ideas for process improvement?
A little bit of work in each of these five areas can have big results. Customers notice when organizations truly care and value their business.
You can learn more about this philosophy in Legendary Service: The Key Is to Care—or check out a webinar Cuff is conducting on 5 Keys to Creating A Customer-Focused Company. Even if you can’t attend live, the event will be recorded and all registrants will receive a copy of the presentation and handout. Learn more here.