Business owners and C-level executives are always looking for ways to grow their business and maintain business success in a constantly changing and increasingly global marketplace. Most are aware that excellent internal and external customer service is imperative if they want to remain competitive in today’s business world. In fact, studies show that customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that don’t focus on customers. This is why more and more companies are including customer service in their leadership and management courses.
Why is customer service so important? Because happy and satisfied customers become loyal customers. Loyal customers are not only more likely to bring repeat business and be the first to try out new products or services, they also take part in marketing by recommending their favorite businesses to others.
While some managers may embrace the importance of customer service, they may not have direct frontline customer service experience. They may not have the full gamut of customer-facing experience, but they can still be aligned with the needs and development of their workforce by being aware of:
- Customer Service Best Practices – Managers need to be cognizant of current customer service best practices so they can continually adjust to their customers’ needs and preferences.
- Customer Service Strategy– It’s important to be able to create and implement a customer service strategy that is in direct alignment with the corporate strategy and values, as well as addresses the customer’s current and forecasted needs and desires.
- Customer Service Challenges – Understanding, anticipating and creating solutions for any challenge or problem that may arise, so that service recovery is efficient, customer centric, and elicits minimal damage for both the company and the customer.
One of the ways this can be achieved is for leaders and managers to complete customer service training developed specifically for leadership roles, that includes relevant content based on real-life customer service case studies and scenarios, as well as work-place based activities. This training should ideally be provided to anyone in a leadership role, regardless of the company division or department they happen to work in.
Customer Service and Leadership
Customer service is the responsibility of the entire organization, not just the customer service department. The most respected and profitable companies around the globe realize that the customer experience is affected by every individual in the organization and that alignment is paramount. Every communication and conversation is led with the customer centricity at its core.
In other words, every manager in every department or division – HR, sales, product development, marketing, or finance – should have customer service included in their leadership and management courses, because everyone has a role to play in creating a positive customer experience.
Customer Service Management Training
Customer Service Manager training is beneficial for anyone in a leadership position, whether they reside directly within customer service or elsewhere in the organization. Here are some of the topics covered in customer service training that are integral for a best-in-class customer service offering:
1. Customer Service Advocacy – Customer service training courses first and foremost teach its participants how to become customer service advocates. This is important to be able to convey the importance of customer service to anyone in the company – whether frontline employees or key stakeholders.
2. Customer Service Trends – Customer service is not what it used to be. With the constantly changing environment of the digital age and the multitude of tools needed to effectively communicate with customers, on their terms, managers can’t afford to miss out on the latest trends.
3. Customer Service Strategy – As customer service experts reiterate, it is not price but service that wins the hearts, minds, and wallets of customers. Customer service training guides leaders in developing a comprehensive, company-wide customer service strategy that gives their business a competitive edge.
“If you are not taking care of your customers, your competitor will.” – Bob Hooey
4. Customer Journey Mapping – Knowing every touchpoint in the customer journey, and really caring about the customer, is essential if the goal is to create a customer-centric company. Manager-level customer service training provides the toolkit managers need to map out the customer journey.
Bottom line: If a company wishes to thrive, even survive, a culture of service excellence must span across all departments and divisions. Therefore, customer service management should be at the top of the list when it comes to planning and providing leadership and management training courses.