5 levels of Customer service skill

Just like all humans and animals have a different level of skill in all areas of life and employment, so to, do companies have a different level of customer Oriented quality service to their customers. Generally there are five different levels of service. Not all companies will easily fall into any of these.

Ready for the bankruptcy Sale

These companies, management and hourly alike, are so far out of touch with their customers, not to mention each other, they are ready to go out of business and most of them don’t even know it!

With many security companies & their officers this is a big problem. Mainly because management, and clients, expect officers to do whatever is pushed at them, even if it is unworkable at their pay grade. You can’t be expecting a degreed graduate to work for minimum wage.

Clients seem to enjoy playing one company off the other to get a better rate. That doesn’t work for anyone except the bottom line of the client, with the officers and client both suffering.

In the pursuit of mediocrity

These are the companies that are in business for the long term, but customer service is not a part of their strategic thinking, or worse it’s a secondary, third or fourth concern. Most governmental agencies operate this way as well as a great many other companies today.

A quote that I heard more than 3 decades ago says; The Pursuit of Mediocrity is always successful, Mark Sanborn. To be mediocre you just have to maintain. And with the dangers in the world today being mediocre in security is not beneficial but it still happens.

Hey there!

These companies know the basics of quality service, but it doesn’t play a big enough role in their overall plan of success. The changing of attitudes has started, but it hasn’t hit all levels of the company yet.

Again they know the basics but don’t train their employees in how to conduct quality customer service. Training in customer, especially for many service organizations is wasted money. And this goes doubly true for service companies, of all stripes.

We’re over here! Here! Here!

These are the companies that are forging their customer oriented quality service plans and turning them into formidable weapons. They defy conventional wisdom and pushing to do better than the competition.

They have an immense amount of risk taking and a huge amount of organizational focus about COQS. The trouble with some of these companies is that COQS becomes a buzzword for a few months and then is forgotten and they slide backwards. Their processes are weak or complicated and therefore it is all too easy to slide.

The lesson with these companies is to not make the plan complicated, verbose, or hard to understand or implement. The simplest plans can be put into less than 5 – 10 pages. The text for training you, like this guide is necessarily longer.

Customer Heaven!

These companies are both legendary in their fields and have forged the weapons to push aside the competition. They are constantly, literally, set up as examples. They go to great, sometimes extraordinary, lengths to satisfy their customers.

Disney, Nordstrom’s, Starbucks, Facebook, Amazon, & many much smaller companies are in this category and as long as they continue to do so they will be, even if their prices have to be raised to do it.

Very few companies are at this level, mainly because it can be expensive and it actually forces human resources and management to hire good employees, not succumbing to warm body syndrome, &follow-up to ensure that the corporate culture of service is being followed.

Not every company will have every employee at the ready to serve their customers all the time. You will run into the occasional bad attitude at every company, no matter what the overall reputation is. You will have a few positive customer service oriented employees at a level 1, Ready for the Bankruptcy Sale, company. Consequently, you’ll find a few level 1 employee – no concept of quality customer service – working for a level 5, Customer Heaven.

The main issue here is to decide where you compare to these and find out which level you are at. Your company may be Level 1 yet your department or branch is a level 5. The one thing you have to consider and remember is this quote that I learned decades ago and still applies The Best isn’t and Good Enough never is, Mark Sanborn.

And it is true. There is no such thing as the best. That’s because there is always someone out there who is doing it better than you. If you are that good, then let your customers say it not you. And if you settle for good enough… But this means you have to reprise the commercial for a car rental company from 30 and 40 years ago “We’re #2 so we try harder”

(This is an excerpt from my book Customer Oriented Quality Service: The COQS Method, It is due out spring 2017)

Facebook.com/oneistoomany or Twitter: @robertsollars2

                               I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear

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