How to Deliver high quality Internal Customer Service

how to deliver high quality customer service and how customer relationship management is helpful for business and how to deliver customer service with quality
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Prof.WilliamsHibbs,United States,Teacher
Published Date:28-07-2017
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MDHS DFCS Customer Service Workshop April 2012 – Original Development Date Introduction MDHS Family & Children’s Services believes….. • People are innately good and want to do their best work. • Building relationships in our workplaces, with our customers, and in our lives is a primary goal • We always have CHOICES in how we act and respond • Everyone can make a difference, no matter what their job or position in life. • Lifelong learning, creative thinking, and the gift of appreciation help us to be our best selves • Enthusiasm is contagious • We can all find meaning in our work and we are all here to serve Every day you provide a valuable public service that: • Benefits families and children • Demonstrates high standards of personal integrity and professionalism • Gains the trust and respect of our customers and co-workers You’re in a noble profession Be proud of what you do and where you work. At the Mississippi Department of Human Services, we work to create a culture centered on customer service that includes not only our external customers but our staff as well This handbook contains our customer service standards, customer service principles, and staff resources. We hope this information, along with this customer service workshop, will provide each of you with a variety of valuable customer service tools. Facilitator’s Manual 5 MDHS DFCS Customer Service Workshop April 2012 – Original Development Date Overview of the “Role of Customer Service” Large Group Verbal Activity – Allow a few minutes for participants to give verbal responses to the following questions. 1. What is good customer service? 2. Give an example of good customer service you received from anywhere – a store, a restaurant, etc. 3. What made it memorable? Show Video/Power Point: “Johnny the Bagger” MDHS defines customer service as: “The customers’ perception of the way they are treated, the responsiveness to the needs identified and the extent to which they are engaged and valued in teamwork to meet the needs of children and families.” In order to become a PRO (model from the National Resource Center for Recruitment and Retention of Foster and Adoptive Parents at AdoptUSKids) at servicing families and children effectively, you must practice the three core competencies of good customer service: 1. P – Processes a. Timely response and relevant services b. Consistency and efficiency 2. R – Relationships a. Building mutual trust and respect b. Family engagement c. Creating partnerships 3. O – Organization a. Customer service is a strategic priority and everybody’s business b. A culture that responds to staff & families’ needs Processes Relationships Facilitator’s Manual 6 Organization MDHS DFCS Customer Service Workshop April 2012 – Original Development Date Planning for Quality Customer Service Implementation So the question we must ask ourselves is: How do we implement a process for quality customer service? 1. Establish the vision for good customer service. 2. Assess the quality of our current customer service techniques and make recommendations for improvement. 3. Plan and design ways to enhance customer service quality for internal and external customers. 4. Pilot customer service improvements while striving for full scale improvements. 5. Consider ways to sustain your improvements. “Slow and steady wins the race” Who Are Our Customers? In order to decide how to best provide quality service to our customers, we must know who our customers are, because every child welfare employee interacts with many different types of customers on a daily basis. When defining who our customers are, we must consider both external and internal customers. External Customer Service is the way we treat the people we do business with and Internal Customer Service is the way we treat one another. Facilitator’s Manual 7 MDHS DFCS Customer Service Workshop April 2012 – Original Development Date Large Group Activity – Verbal Activity Have the group provide examples of external customers. Write their responses on chart paper and post around the training room. Next, have the group provide examples of internal customers. Write their responses on chart paper and post around the training room. Potential examples can be found below if the group needs help getting started. Who are the customers in child welfare? A. External Customers 1. Anyone we do business with including: -Clients (children and birth families) -Resource Families (during recruitment) -Collateral Contacts -Other Professionals (teachers, therapists, private agency staff) -Community Stakeholders -Legislators/elected officials -Law enforcement -Courts/Judges -Media b. Internal Customers A. Anyone within the Agency including: -Regional Directors -Supervisors -Field Staff/Resource Staff -Foster Care Reviewers -Office Staff (clerks, case aids, etc.) -Resource Families (once licensed) Facilitator’s Manual 8 MDHS DFCS Customer Service Workshop April 2012 – Original Development Date Mississippi’s Customer Service Principles These principles can be referred to as: The 5 R’s Responsive: Reacting in a timely manner to meet responsibilities to address identified needs. Reliable: Being honest and trustworthy in all interactions with customers and meeting commitments Respectful: Interacting with customers in a way that makes them feel valued and promotes dignity and self-worth Relationships: Valuing the role of every family, child, and staff member and working together as a team to achieve positive outcomes Recognition: Showing appreciation for the contributions of each team member openly and frequently Small Group Activity (35 minutes) Divide the participants into 5 small groups. Give each group one sheet of chart paper and assign the group one of the customer service principles. Give each group 10 minutes to come up with a brief list of “what this looks like in practice” and “what is unacceptable.” Have a spokesperson from each small group present their list to the larger group. Post chart paper around training space. Principle What this looks like in practice What is unacceptable Responsive Reliable Respectful Relationships Recognition Facilitator’s Manual 9 MDHS DFCS Customer Service Workshop April 2012 – Original Development Date We are Responsive Don’t make excuses, instead adopt the motto: “It’s my job.” Exceed expectations. What Responsiveness looks like in practice: • Phone calls are returned in a timely manner • Worker meets the customer’s needs- makes sure needs (if appropriate) are met • When worker’s don’t know the answer, they say they don’t know, but will find out (and do, and then answer later) • Worker answers person’s questions or tries to find the answer; tells the customer, “I will find out for you” We are Reliable Be honest. Make sure “everybody knows what everybody knows.” What Reliability looks like in practice: • Resource parents are given all known information about a child placed in their home • All available information is shared and done so in a timely and trustworthy manner • Be honest with potential resource families about characteristics and needs of children in care • Complete work timely and accurately (making referrals, mailing notices, etc) • Workers meet commitments (they do what they say they will do) Facilitator’s Manual 10 MDHS DFCS Customer Service Workshop April 2012 – Original Development Date We show Respect Every customer who interacts with us is entitled to fair and courteous treatment. Respect, concern, courtesy, and responsiveness in meeting the needs of our customers are the key to all interactions. What Respect looks like in practice: • Use a warm/polite tone of voice • Stay calm when dealing with angry customers • Do not use first names unless given permission from the customer • Workers pay attention to the customer • Ensure that both internal and external customers have the opportunity to be hear We build Relationships We always use good people skills such as smiling and using a pleasant voice. Make customers feel important and use the “golden rule” of treating others as you would want to be treated. Allow the customer to feel heard. What building Relationships looks like in practice: • All parties are involved in decisions on the front end- not simply informed about the decisions • Customers are included in the decision making and gathering of information as valued members of the team • Workers coordinate with the family, they adapt and negotiate when needed • All team members can voice a clear understanding of their own roles and responsibilities Points to remember: • Welcome your customers • Use their name • Acknowledge their emotions and empathize • Reassure customers you can help • Take care of their needs • Thank customers and leave them with a positive comment. For example: o “Thank you for bringing in all this information; it helps out when you keep me so informed.” o “Thank you for bringing the kids here to visit their family. I can help more families when I don’t have to spend so much time on the road.” o “Thank you for being on time” Facilitator’s Manual 11 MDHS DFCS Customer Service Workshop April 2012 – Original Development Date We Recognize Excellent Customer Service Skills Everyone needs to know when their work is appreciated and effective. Take the time to: • Watch for opportunities to recognize people doing well • Watch for opportunities to model excellent customer service skills • Share your compliments What Recognition looks like in practice: • County workers can explain and show value for what resource workers do and resource workers can explain and show value for what county workers do • Worker demonstrates energy in her work and expresses positive attitudes toward her job • Appreciation for what each person is doing is frequently expressed Points to remember: Maintain a positive attitude at all times. How you think about customers is how you will treat them. • The number one thing that really matters to customers is how they are treated • Keep your focus on what you can do to solve a customer’s problem • Exhibit a “glad I could help” attitude when dealing with customers • Smile It is important to remember that many of our customers are in crisis when they come into our office or call us on the phone. In order to be effective, we need to respect their assessment of the crisis. Take the time to listen carefully and understand their viewpoint. Even if you have listened to the same type of crisis or complaint time and time again, each customer deserves to be heard. We can’t always fix everything, but keeping a few “customer service tools” handy can help in a pinch. Facilitator’s Manual 12 10 Minute Participant Break MDHS DFCS Customer Service Workshop April 2012 – Original Development Date Delivering Quality Customer Service: L.A.S.T Can’t always think fast? Remember to use “L.A.S.T” Listen Listening is one of the most important- and underrated- skills we possess. It’s one thing to hear what someone is saying. It’s another to truly listen. Don’t interrupt Apologize It’s hard to apologize- especially if something isn’t your fault But, it comes with the territory and can help customers who may be angry or upset. Solve Solve the problem by working together- the important thing to demonstrate is that you, personally, are going to take responsibility to work with your customer to try and resolve whatever you can. Thank Leave your customer with the feeling that their problem (and your shared experience of solving it) has been worth it. Using constructive words that are solution-based rather than blame-based is another valuable customer service tool. Large Group Activity (Verbal) – State each of the “Instead of Saying” phrases below and ask participants to think of alternate “How About Saying” phrases. Write the participants responses on chart paper. Give the following “How About Saying” phrases as examples if needed. Instead of Saying…. How About saying… I need (want) you to… Would you be able to? You have to… Are you willing? I’ll try. I will personally look into your situation. We don’t do that here. Let me give you a number… Sorry. I apologize for… (be specific) I can’t do that. I’m unable to because… (give a reason) Facilitator’s Manual 13 MDHS DFCS Customer Service Workshop April 2012 – Original Development Date Delivering Quality Customer Service: Pay Close Attention Quality Customer Service Means Paying Attention To: • Personal Space- This is the distance that feels comfortable between you and another person. If another person approaches you and invades your personal space, you automatically move back without thought. You are uncomfortable. Leave adequate distance between you and your customer. Adequate space is important to making customers feel secure and unthreatened. • Posture- Slumping in a chair or leaning against a wall while interacting with a client are sure signs you are not interested in him/her. Your pose or posture should express attention, friendliness, and openness. Lean forward, face the customer, and nod to let them know that you are interested. • Observation- Notice how your customer behaves and what he/she reacts positively to while you are providing services. We must keep in mind that seemingly small, interpersonal actions mean a great deal in the area of customer service. They can change customer perceptions and ultimately affect the success of your customer service efforts. Notes: Facilitator’s Manual 14 MDHS DFCS Customer Service Workshop April 2012 – Original Development Date Phone & Email Etiquette It’s not what you say - It’s how you say it. The moment you pick up a telephone, body language and non-verbal communication disappears and your tone of voice becomes dominant. Almost the entire message you project to the customer over the phone is derived from tone of voice and attitude. For example: • A flat tone of voice says to the customer, “I don’t like my job and would rather be somewhere else” • Slow pitch and presentation say, “I am sad and lonely- don’t bother me.” • A high pitch, rapid voice says, “I’m enthusiastic and excited” • A loud voice says, “I’m angry and aggressive.” Phone Etiquette The telephone may be the first and last place some customers come into contact with an organization or company. Being telephone friendly is one of the least expensive ways to deliver better customer service. Answering the Phone How a company answers the phone depicts how they treat customers and employees. The correct phrase said in the right order and in a positive tone leaves a good impression and builds a successful agency-client relationship. Pick up the phone in three rings. More than three rings signals chaos in your office and possible inattentiveness of the agency. Greet the caller with a phrase such as, “Good Morning/Afternoon.” Good manners demonstrate that you respect the caller. Give your name, i.e. “Hi, my name is Emma.” This is a courtesy that serves to personalize the customer service experience as well as allow the customer to hold you accountable for your level of service. The customer now has a point of reference and someone to contact when he/she calls back. Ask the customer if or how you can help. Asking to help tells demonstrates to the customer that you are there to assist him solve any issues. This also leaves the customer with a positive impression. Combine the above pointers and you have a good example: “Good morning. Thanks for calling Family and Children’s Services, my name is Emma, how may I help you?” The greeting is crucial. It sets the tone and style of entire interaction. Facilitator’s Manual 15 MDHS DFCS Customer Service Workshop April 2012 – Original Development Date Customer Service: Troubleshooting Some things which may upset a customer are simply unavoidable. Here are some tips on how to best handle these situations. Putting a Customer on Hold Ask the customer if you can put them on hold. Wait for them to say “yes” or “no” and then explain it will only be for a short period of time. Explain to customers why you are putting them on hold. Thank customers for holding. Transferring a Call Ask the customer if he minds being transferred; wait for him to say “yes” or “no” and explain why they are being transferred and to whom. Example: “Would you mind holding for a moment while I transfer your call to Veronica’s extension?” Taking a Message Explain your co-workers absence in a positive light but do not be too specific. Explain that your co-worker is in a meeting, conference, briefing, or training. Do not say he/she is gravely ill, too hung over to come to work, never called in today, can’t be found, that you do not know where he/she is, or that he or she “was just here.” If you are able, give a reasonable estimate of when the co-worker will return. If you are unsure, give the caller the name of the worker’s supervisor in case he or she needs to call back. Offer to help the caller, take a message, or transfer to another staff member. If a co-worker is on vacation and will not return to the office for some time, it is permissible to say that he or she is on vacation. However, avoid details such as, “Raymond is at the beach and I am sure he is having a great time.” While such details may seem innocuous and even humorous, they give the wrong impression to those seeking services. Ending the Call A good customer service representative ends the call on a positive note, repeating any actions agreed to be taken and what is going to be done to help or serve the customer. Example: “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I will be forwarding your concerns to my supervisor.” Facilitator’s Manual 16 MDHS DFCS Customer Service Workshop April 2012 – Original Development Date Quality Customer Service: E-Mail Respond to your business emails quickly Answering your business emails promptly should be a priority for all businesses. Not only is email an important communication line with your customers, it is often used by them to gauge that you are trustworthy. If a customer sends you an e-mail with a simple question, and you delay responding to him, what does that say about the rest of your agency? The customer should never feel like he is not a priority as a result of our inefficiency. Business e-mail should be answered within one business day. No exceptions. If you really want your customer service to shine, you should consider answering your business e-mail a minimum of twice per day with a 12 hour interval. Be cautious of addressing sensitive issues via email. Tone of voice and body language are not included in electronic messages. Others may easily misinterpret your tone, message, or intent through e-mail, especially when difficult topics are being addressed. Large Group Activity: Have 3 participants come to the front of the room. Have one be the ‘clerk,’ one be the ‘worker,’ and the other be the ‘customer.’ Have the ‘staff’ participants model excellent customer service for the rest of the group. The ‘customer’ is to play the role of a potential resource parent calling the Agency to get an update on the status of her resource application. The Scenario: Someone calls the office inquiring about the status of their resource application. The caller cannot remember the name of her Resource Specialist. The resource workers are all out of the office, so the clerk transfers the call to a county worker to assist the prospective resource parent. Notes: Facilitator’s Manual 17 MDHS DFCS Customer Service Workshop April 2012 – Original Development Date Delivering Quality Customer Service: First Impressions Making a Good First Impression The reality is we prefer doing business with people we like and trust. The impressions that we make are key to developing trust and confidence with the customer. As the old saying goes, “You will never get a second chance to make a first impression.” This is why the first impression is extremely important and can set the tone for all future interactions. Many times you may be meeting a customer for the first time as you are assessing a report of abuse or neglect. Choosing a positive attitude and making a good first impression may enhance your working relationship with the customer, should services be required. Here are some ways of creating positive impressions, some of which have already been discussed: • Thoughtfulness in meeting a customer’s needs • Personal responsibility for the customer • Quick problem solving for the customer • Offering immediate assistance • Friendliness • Using the customer’s name in conversation • Pleasant tone of voice • Polite and courteous manners • Neatness • A genuine smile Here are some factors that create a negative impression: • Making the customer wait • Not answering the phone promptly • Not saying “please” and/or “thank you” • Speaking loudly or condescendingly to customers or colleagues • Making faces, frowning, acting distant, not smiling • Looking disheveled or like you do not care about your appearance • A poor handshake • Focusing on another task while addressing or servicing a customer Remember, impressions stay with those you meet, especially customers, and once registered, negative impressions are difficult to overcome. Facilitator’s Manual 18 MDHS DFCS Customer Service Workshop April 2012 – Original Development Date Delivering Quality Customer Service: Do’s and Don’ts Ten Major Do’s and Don’ts of Customer Service Every day, customer service representatives face situations when what they say makes or breaks a service interaction. Below are ten phrases that should never be used because they frustrate and anger customers, especially clients and resource families. • “No.” • “I don’t know.” • “That’s not my job/That’s not my unit” • “You are right- that is bad” • “Calm down” • “I’m busy right now” • “Call me back” • “That’s not my fault” • “You’ll need to take that up with my supervisor” • “You want it by when?” “No” No one likes the word “no.” It is de-motivating, discouraging, and disinteresting. You will hear this word throughout your life as a customer and as a service provider. “No” is equivalent to “bad service.” “No” is easy, cheap, unproductive, and negative- it means failure. Unfortunately, “no” is the word we most often hear when a new idea, new request, or new concept is introduced. Admittedly, there are times when you will have to say “no,” but focus on what you can do for the customer; accentuate the positive and not the negatives of the situation. It is better to say, “What I can do is…” and demonstrate that you care and want to provide quality service despite your current limitations. “I don’t know” Good service means never saying, “I don’t know.” When a customer hears, “I don’t know,” they hear, “I don’t feel like finding the information you need.” It is better to say, “I’ll find out” or “Let me look into this and get back to you ASAP.” Facilitator’s Manual 19 MDHS DFCS Customer Service Workshop April 2012 – Original Development Date “That’s not my job/That’s not my unit” When a customer asks you to do something that you do not know how to do or do not have the authority to do, become a catalyst by leading the customer to the person or department who can help him/her solve the problem. It is better to say, “Let me transfer you to the person who can immediately help you with this problem.” “You’re right- that is bad” Many inexperienced customer service representatives think that by empathizing with the customer’s plight, he/she will win the customer over rather than actually do something to solve the customer’s problem. If a customer expresses annoyance or frustration, do not make it worse by commiserating with the customer; rather, seek to solve the issue. Likewise, it does not do the Agency any good to criticize co-workers or other units within the Agency to the customers. All interested parties end up looking unprofessional and inept. Try your best to accommodate the customer. Do not promise anything you cannot deliver but do try to serve the customer well. It is better to say, “I understand your frustration; let’s see how we can solve this problem.” “Calm down” When customers are upset or angry let them vent (within reason), and they will eventually calm down. Telling them to “calm down” is belittling, and often serves only to infuriate them further. It is better to say, “I’m sorry.” This is one of the ideal phrases for customer service- it helps to placate the angriest of customers and allows you to begin the process of solving a customer complaint or request and meet the client half way. Apologizing does not mean that you agree with the customer, but it is a way to validate the customer’s feelings and move beyond the emotion of the moment. “I’m busy right now” It is not easy to juggle customers. You are often helping one customer when another calls or visits. Asking a customer to be patient or politely asking them to wait is very different from putting them off and telling him/her that you are too busy to help. Leaving the customer to wait or be put on hold are two of the mortal sins of customer service. “Being too busy” is equivalent to saying that you do not care and that the customer is not important. Let the customer know that he/she is important and that you are aware of his/her presence. It is better to say, “I’ll be with you in one moment” or “please hold and I’ll be right with you.” Facilitator’s Manual 20 MDHS DFCS Customer Service Workshop April 2012 – Original Development Date “Call me back” This expression conveys little interest on the part of the customer relation’s employee for the needs and wants of the customer. You should always call the customer back because you want their business and are responsive to their requests. Being proactive is part of good customer service. “That’s not my fault” If an angry customer accuses you of creating a problem, right or wrong, the natural reaction is to defend oneself. However, this is not the best course of action. The customer has a problem that needs to be solved. By resisting the need to defend yourself and focusing on the needs of the customer, you can resolve the problem faster with less stress and confrontation. It is better to say, “Let’s see what we can do about this issue.” “You need to take that up with my supervisor” This cliché of bad customer service has angered and frustrated customers for decades. Clients often ask for things outside the scope of your work or authority- maybe even outside the services provided by your agency. While passing off these requests to your manager is a tempting option, it is better if you attempt to solve the problem yourself or go to your supervisor directly to find a solution. You become a service hero for the customer and the supervisor. It is better to say, “Let me find that out for you.” “You want it by when?” Clients often make unrealistic demands, especially when it comes to time. Your first reaction may be annoyance and you may want to make a snide or sarcastic comment. However, the best approach is to hold off on displaying a negative attitude and making a poor impression. It is better to say, “I will call you right back after I find out if that is feasible.” Delivering Quality Customer Service: Helpful Reminders for Polite and Friendly Responses and Unsatisfied Customers Wrong Approach Polite Alternative “I don’t know.” “I’ll find out” “No.” “What I can do is…” “That’s not my job.” “Let me find the right person who can help you” “You’re right- this is bad.” “I understand your frustrations” “That’s not my fault.” “Let’s see what we can do about this” “You want it by when?” “I’ll try my best” “Calm down.” “I’m sorry” “I’m busy right now.” “I’ll be with you in just a moment” “Call me back.” “I will call you back, what is your telephone number?” Facilitator’s Manual 21 MDHS DFCS Customer Service Workshop April 2012 – Original Development Date Communicating with the Unsatisfied Customer How many times have you as a customer run into the problem of excuses? You have a problem and the sales person, technician, or customer service representative is making lame excuses. Namely: • The computer system was down half the day • It’s the clerk’s fault • I never got the message • That’s out of my control • I just do as I’m told • That’s just the way it is Sometimes it feels as if nothing is anybody’s fault or is in anybody’s department. This is poor customer service. Good customer service means accountability, responsibility, and taking action to satisfy the customer. Delivering Quality Customer Service: Helpful Reminders for Polite and Friendly Responses and Unsatisfied Customers cont. Having discussed the importance of knowing how the customer feels and what NOT to say, let’s address the notion of how to communicate with an unsatisfied customer. If your customer is unsatisfied (understandably or not), you will have to use some of the many techniques of customer services to win their support and continued loyalty. When coming into contact with a customer, communicating with him/her, or analyzing problems, do not forget to use the following methods or qualities of the customer service professional. Facilitator’s Manual 22 MDHS DFCS Customer Service Workshop April 2012 – Original Development Date Methods for Dealing with the Unsatisfied Customer Listen: It is of primary importance when dealing with an unsatisfied customer to listen attentively to his/her complaint, frustration, or grievance. Be patient, attentive, and friendly. Express your apologies: “We are sorry for this mistake/problem.” “We are terribly sorry for this inconvenience.” “How can we work together to solve this problem?” “I can imagine how frustrated you must feel.” Do not argue and do not interrupt: This will only worsen the situation, especially if the customer is angry. Let the client speak before you try to discuss the issue. Do not lose your self-control: If you remain calm, clients will calm down. Point out the facts: Listen carefully- and write everything down. Do not make any comments until the customer is finished talking. Admit the problem: If you can suggest a solution, do it. If not, tell the customer what actions you will take and what actions you will follow. Never make the mistake of promising something you are not able to accomplish. Involve the customer in problem solving: Suggest to the customer alternative solutions, if they exist. Customers appreciate the opportunity to choose the ways (methods) of problem solving. Notes: Facilitator’s Manual 23

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