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Marketing Donut Customer Service Manifesto

Marketing Donut Customer Service Manifesto

October 06, 2009 by James Ainsworth

At some point in time there was a shift in customer care in British retail and services. From the days of being ever-so British and polite, we now only talk about customer service in the positive when it is good — as a bonus, not a standard.

As the various political parties are in full conference swing and talking policy and proposals, here at the Marketing Donut we thought we’d produce a manifesto of our own.

This week is National Customer Service Week and to that end we want you to help us draw up a Customer Service Manifesto by sending your suggestions to us. At the end of the week we’ll turn your ideas into our golden standard of customer care and, of course, give credit where it is due to you the contributor.

What would you add to a Customer Service Manifesto to be the minimum level of practice for small businesses all the time and not just in exceptional circumstances?

Please keep your contribution brief and to the point and send it to us by:

Update: The results are in and YOUR manifesto can be found here

Comments

Think about how you would wish to be treated in the customer's position - and do that! Would you want someone to say 'I haven't got a clue' - or 'let me see if one of my colleagues knows that'. And for goodness sake be pleasant, be nice, in a good mood. Remember that customers understand that things go wrong - but it's how you fix it that they really care about.

Three ideas for your manifesto:

Deliver bad news in person

If you're going to have a problem delivering your service, do all you can to speak to each affected customer. Blanket mailers, perfunctory text messages and robo-calls are customer service catastrophes.
(Random example: "I'm a disembodied robot voice yet, inexplicably, I am very sorry for the delay this will cause to your journey.")

Don't let your guard down

If a problem occurs which is no fault of your own, your customer service team is NOT automatically absolved of its responsibilities. You may not have caused the problem, but that doesn't mean you no longer need to guide your customers.
(Random example: "I know it's cancelled, but I've no idea how you'll get to Wandsworth Common now, mate. I'm just the ticket office bloke and they're not telling us anything.")

Be consistent

If your service delivery requires face to face interaction, make sure your customers' experience of it is consistent across your workforce. Customers' perception of your entire team can be let down by the actions of one rogue operator.
(Random example: "I am not opening the barriers despite the sheer weight of human traffic attempting to squeeze through; I don't care how they manage it normally.)

Some great responses coming through on Twitter. Keep them coming and we will reveal the perfect list on Friday.

Have just spoken to Derek Williams who runs the WOW! Awards for customer service and he says integrity is the key to good customer service.We'll be featuring his thooughts on the blog tomorrow.

Treat every customer as an individual.

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