How to set up a customer care programme
- 1 Learn as much as possible about what your customers want; encourage them to provide feedback and make it easy for them to do so.
- 2 Demonstrate that you understand your customers: for example, by only offering them products which suit their needs.
- 3 Design sytems which suit your customers, such as easy ordering and fast delivery.
- 4 Set clear service standards and train employees to meet them.
- 5 Keep your promises and exceed expectations; provide advance warning of any problems or changes.
- 6 Ensure all employees understand their role in satisfying customers; consider offering incentives for good customer care performance.
- 7 Regularly contact customers; personalise letters, provide information useful to them and express your appreciation for their business.
- 8 Make it easy for customers to contact you by providing a named contact or account manager; answer phone calls and reply to letters promptly.
- 9 Delegate authority to customer-facing employees to allow them to make decisions and resolve problems.
- 10 Handle complaints promptly and effectively.
- 11 Keep records of all customer contacts and use them to improve your understanding of individual customers and their requirements.
- 12 Use technology to ensure that all customer-facing employees have easy access to customer (and product) information.
- 13 Analyse the profitability of different customers or market segments; provide superior care to your most profitable customers.
- 14 Consider offering valued customers extras: for example, first choice on special offers, loyalty bonuses, a service helpline, or entertainment.
- find out as much as possible about customer requirements
- tailor your service to individual customers
- design systems to make life easy for your customers
- set and achieve service standards
- communicate regularly
- assume all customers are the same
- make unrealistic promises
- waste expensive care on unprofitable customers