The following steps will help ensure that employees

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The following steps will help ensure that employees provide excellent customer service: Communicate goals, objectives and expectations about customer service to your employees. Train employees to be knowledgeable about the products and services offered. Train employees in how to answer telephones and give simple, accurate directions to your business. Help your employees develop a sense of pride in their position and praise them for specific efforts. Empower employees to responsibly manage customer problems. Treat your employees with care and respect. Recognize and praise employees immediately. Tell employees specifically what they did well. These steps may be implemented through employee training meetings, one-on-one training, job shadowing sessions, role-playing exercises and everyday interaction. Describe how you will train employees to implement your customer service policies. Employee Training Policies
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54 Customer Service Evaluation A customer service plan is not complete without methods to evaluate its effectiveness. The evaluation methods chosen will depend upon the components of the plan. The following are some examples of methods you can use: Create a means for employees to communicate problems or suggestions to you, such as a suggestion box or regular meetings. Periodically observe employee performance to determine how well their actions match your expectations. Ask customers for feedback or suggestions or ask them to fill out a short survey about their experiences at your enterprise. Review customer comments and complaints. Continue to monitor sales and inventory data. Continue to evaluate wait times. Hire a secret shopper to visit your operation undercover and report on the customer service experience. Describe the methods you will use to evaluate the effectiveness of your enterprise’s customer service plan.
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55 Once an evaluation is complete, you should determine whether Your customer service policies are effective in meeting your customers’ needs, desires and expectations Your customer service policies need changes or adjustments Your employees are properly trained to implement your customer service policies Your employees are motivated to implement your customer service policies Chapter Review P roviding excellent customer service based on the needs, wants and expectations of your target market is important in retaining customers and gaining positive word-of-mouth referrals. Excellent customer service, however, starts with a specific customer service plan that should include these steps: 1. Research your customers needs, wants and expectations 2. Establish customer service goals and objectives 3. Develop customer service policies 4. Train employees to implement the policies 5. Evaluate the effectiveness of your customer service plan Additional Resources 1001 Ways to Reward Employees written by Bob Nelson (Workman Publishing, New York, 1994) provides some creative ideas on how to reward your employees. FISH! (New York. Hyperion Press, 2000) and related books by Stephen C. Lundin, Ph.D.; Harry Paul; and John Christensen. A philosophy of choice for creating a team of alive, joyful, passionate and fully present employees. More information is available at . Chapter 5 Authors Megan L. Bruch, Extension Specialist, Center for Profitable Agriculture Ramay Winchester, Economic Development Specialist, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
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