Your most profitable accounts determine the survival of your business. These critical accounts require dedicated resources and responsive service. Even if you pride yourself on customer interactions, your top-tier, A+ service is not for every customer. Instead, concierge customer service is a tool. Used properly, concierge customer service improves internal efficiency, customer and employee satisfaction, and, ultimately, the retention of your very best customers.
In a recent conversation with Randy MacLean, president of WayPoint Analytics, I outlined the two fundamental steps necessary for establishing a concierge customer service team: clear systems and the right people.
The name “concierge customer service” may conjure concerns about cost and implementation. A functional and successful concierge customer service team isn’t necessarily costly or difficult to get running. However, it is an investment in customer satisfaction and retention.
Step One – The Systems
The first part is putting the systems in place. Assemble the resources necessary and detail the process so this new concierge customer service team is ready to “wow” folks when customers reach out to them.
Your concierge team takes ownership of problems. They document the issues and follow-through on the solutions. This requires clear job descriptions detailing what is expected of them and what they are empowered to do. Your team needs defined responsibilities and the authority to identify and address the issues of your top customers.
The concierge customer service number should be unique – after all, it is special. These customers are special. There’s no auto-attendant queue or directory for these customers. No customer at this level of service should get a busy signal or be stuck on hold. When they call, the concierge team answers.
This system requires – to start – at least two people fielding calls. If one is busy, the other steps up. Whenever your best customers call that special number, they know a person will answer and that person is empowered to solve their problem.
Step Two – The People
As the primary point of contact for your best customers, it is important that your concierge customer service team members are professional, patient, and “other-oriented” (or customer-oriented). They listen to the issue, document it thoroughly, solve it if they can, and if they cannot, then they keep the customer up-to-date on how the issue is being solved.
Finding the right people for this team can be a challenge. A member of the concierge customer service team should be a quick-start, an implementer, a fact-finder, and focused on follow-through.
For a good external culture, there must be a good internal culture. This is more than morale. A clear division of labor within the company prevents the muddling of priorities and responsibilities. Internal discipline is reflected as external confidence.
The Bottom Line
Excellent service isn’t the only goal. Remember always that concierge customer service serves many measurable ends. Concierge customer service has a role in improving internal efficiency and clarity, managing employee stress and responsibilities, and driving customer satisfaction and retention.
Dr. Jeanne Hurlbert, President of Hurlbert Consulting is an expert in sociology and survey research. After spending more than 25 years in academia, she now uses her extensive behavioral science expertise to help companies like yours distinguish yourselves through customer service. What sets her approach to customer service apart is that she begins by helping companies meld research and marketing to find out exactly
(a) what their customers want and
(b) how well they’re succeeding in giving customers what they want.
You can schedule a consult with her by going to www.ConciergeCustomerService.com; you can call her at 888-590-9677; or send an email here. And, if you’d like to complete her complimentary assessment to see how well you’re doing in knowing and serving your customers well, just go to www.FixYourService.com.