This post is part two of last week’s “Should Your Organization Have a Customer Service Plan?”
Now that we’ve gone over the importance of getting buy-in and understanding your customers, let’s explore how to actually develop the customer service plan and see what strategies are right for your organization.
Develop the Actual Plan
As I’ve said in the Customer Service Officer’s Program, a customer service plan is not a “one-pager” and cannot be completed overnight. Also, a customer service plan cannot come from a template. Each department or organization needs to develop a customer service plan that caters to the needs of their specific customers. Taking the buy-in from your leaders and feedback from customers, you need to develop a customer service plan that intricately identifies and explains your customers and walks-through the steps of how you department can make them happy. And although all customer service plans are different, here are a few points worth considering in your development:
- Did you open as many channels as possible for the customer?
- Have you made provisions to establish an actual culture of customer service in your department or organization? (Providing real customer feedback to employees; newsletters; rewards-systems; etc.)
- Are your initiatives sustainable?
- Will your initiatives be valued from the customer’s perspective?
- Are your initiatives engaging? Will it feel like your organization is listening?
- How will you measure and mark success?
Developing Metrics and Accountability
After developing a customer service plan, you need to develop the metrics of how your success will be measured. Perhaps you will use customer satisfaction surveys, wait-time on the phone or number of follow-up calls. Like every other aspect of creating a customer service plan, these metrics need to be specific to your department or organization’s business.
Our customer service officers work with our PhillyStat performance management analysts to determine what metrics best convey customer service success, per their specific customer service plan. Once metrics have been developed, these officers are held accountable and asked to speak to their results at quarterly performance management meetings.
Use the Metrics, Improve
Once your first few months-worth of metrics come back from your new customer service plan, take the time to digest and open your mind to how your plan can be improved. The best customer service plans are, in their initial stages, a living, breathing document that embodies the voice of your customer. Make changes to some initiatives and scratch others if that’s what the customers want. Then use the metrics to actual benchmark and improve performance.
While I hope this post helped get you started in thinking about the key components and steps to developing a customer service plan, I am more than happy to offer you guidance along the way. Please keep me updated on your customer service journeys in the comments sections. Best of luck!
Rosetta Carrington Lue is the Chief Customer Service Officer and Senior Advisor to the City of Philadelphia’s Managing Director. Follow Rosetta on Twitter @Rosettalue or visit her blog at www.rosettacarringtonlue.com