New survey results from more than 560 business leaders and human resources and training professionals identified the top nine most important customer service issues.
By combining the ratings of issues rated as very important or extremely important, researchers at The Ken Blanchard Companies were better able to rank the issues presented.
For example, 69 percent of respondents identified “Developing systems and processes that make it easy for clients to do business with the organization” as either very important or extremely important.
The complete list is below.
Most Important Customer Service Improvement Issues
- 69% Developing systems and processes that make it easy for clients to do business with the organization
- 64% Improving skills to diagnose the customer issue or need
- 64% Developing empathy for the customer’s feelings and situation
- 59% Improving listening skills
- 58% Improving problem-solving skills
- 57% Understanding the appropriate communication style to use with the customer
- 56% Empowering people to utilize their authority to make decisions about how to support the customer
- 56% Training people to be polite to the customer
- 43% Making product improvements
To address these issues, Kathy Cuff and Vicki Halsey, co-creators with Ken Blanchard of The Ken Blanchard Companies’ new Legendary Service training program, recommend that senior executives focus on three critical areas.
Define a Service Vision. If your organization doesn’t articulate clear standards, guidelines, and a picture of how they want employees to interact with the customer, your customer-facing employees will be left to define this for themselves. This undermines the organization’s ability to create a consistent and cohesive customer experience.
Measure Customer Loyalty. According to our survey, 12 percent of respondents said their organizations do not measure customer service and another 16 percent said they didn’t know if their organizations measured customer service. This leaves the organization blind to customer needs and opinions, unable to make improvements to current products, and lacking information necessary to innovate with future products and solutions.
Train Employees. Training employees teaches them how to communicate effectively, become proactive problem solvers, and take ownership for creating a stellar customer experience. Without training, people aren’t always clear on what’s expected of them or what good service looks like. That can undermine the customer experience and your organization’s profitability.
“Service is an organizational culture issue,” says Cuff. “Our goal is for everyone in the organization to see customer service as their job. Whether you’re an individual contributor, a manager, or the CEO of an organization, you must recognize that you can make a difference within your own realm of influence.”
“That begins by being committed to customer service, setting a vision, measuring results, and offering widespread training,” adds Halsey.
You can download the research and learn more about Halsey and Cuff’s recommendations at a free resources page on The Ken Blanchard Companies website.
About the Author
David Witt is a Program Director for The Ken Blanchard Companies. He is an award-winning researcher and host of the companies’ monthly webinar series. David has also authored or coauthored articles in Fast Company, Human Resource Development Review, Chief Learning Officer and US Business Review.More Content by David Witt