Thursday, October 5, 2017

Wow Customers by Going Above and Beyond

By Sean Hawkins

Going beyond what is required is one of the greater acts of service that one can give. It's great when you provide amazing service, but when that level of service surpasses what is required, not only do you show customers that you value them, your commitment to service becomes legendary. Many companies speak of the importance of customer service, yet it is not always evident. Even worse, built in metrics and SLA's may prevent it from occurring with regularity.

Exceeding expectations and going beyond the basic requirements, speaks to a higher level of service. It implies that the basics are done consistently well. Additionally, suggests good being good enough is not good enough. Service that goes beyond acceptable suggests authenticity. You can't fake a high level of service. Many are proving that on a daily basis, when what they say, fail to align with their the things they are doing. 

One of the failures many organizations make is to pattern their service after other brands. Sadly, those of us in positions of influence are guilty of suggesting this practice. It's easy to do it like others until you actually have to do it. However, what those organizations have in common, and what CAN be replicated is going further than is required.

How can you encourage your team to go above and beyond what is expected, and provide a level of service that reaches WOW?

On the spot recognition: When someone does something exceptional, or out of the norm, highlight that in real time. As part of your live monitoring, encourage supervisors to look for those WOW moments and congratulate the efforts made by team members.

Include 'Above and Beyond' in your QA scorecard: As part of the QA process, define

what an "above and beyond" moment looks like, and reward additional points to the agent. Obviously, you'd want to ensure it is in alignment with the overall objective of your QA program.

Make it a part of the culture: Much can be said on how to adopt a the culture in the workplace. In my experience, the best way to change the culture is two-fold. First, leadership must practice the behaviors they expect. Leaders are the example that everyone will follow. By going the extra mile for their teams, engaging in authentic ways, and being inclusive, the tone is set at the top.

Secondly, hire for the culture you desire. As part of your hiring process, be certain your focus includes protecting your culture. My primary decision in extending an offer to someone is based on how they fit with the team. This is not to suggest that everyone should be the same. On the contrary, diversity is important. Diversity that improves and enhances culture and morale is even better. 

I have over 15 years of progressive call center leadership and experience in the public, private and government sectors.

I have led or consulted contact centers of various sizes across numerous industries. Additionally, I’ve implemented new technology and products, while maintaining award-winning contact centers.

Connect with me on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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