Management expert Ken Blanchard put it best when he said, “In the past a leader was a boss. Today’s leaders must be partners with their people, they no longer can lead solely based on positional power.” Good business practices start from the top of the organization and trickle down. This rule holds true when it comes to good customer service practices as well. If the management treats customers with respect then employees will treat customers with respect as well. Managers that show that they appreciate employees by making themselves available will inspire those under their authority to make themselves available to customers. This overall approach to exceptional customer service will benefit the entire company and help to keep customers loyal. How can this approach be implemented successfully within an organization?
Management Should Be Visible
Management should be viewed as part of the team. Is this the perception that both employees and customers have of the management of your organization? Do customers always need to request the manager, when they have an issue? Is it not better to have the manager, out and about in the store, easily identifiable, and forming relationships with customers just as other employees? Perception is incredibly important when it comes to management visibility.
Management Should Be Approachable
Do employees feel that they can approach their managers with suggestions for possible improvements to customer service? If they do not feel as if they can, it may result in missing out on some of the suggestions that can help to keep loyal customers around, and bring in new customers. Not only should management be approachable by employees, customers must also feel that management is there to help them. One of the worst impressions that can be left is that management is intimidating, when a customer is trying to solve a problem. Management should be there as a partner to help reach a resolution as quickly as possible.
The top down approach may require some refresher customer service training for management. It is important to be reminded every now and then that the customer is the most important part of any successful business operation. Once management has this idea firmly ingrained in their business philosophy, the customer service culture can really flourish within an organization, and the company will reap the rewards of improved customer relationships and better employee morale.