This might be the most valuable how to guide I have ever written. It is impressive how companies keep hiring customer service staff to handle the increase in contacts. I get the chills when a customer service manager or a CEO hires more people because the number of contacts increased with 20 % last year. If an increase in contacts equals hiring more people, would it not be natural to work hard to prevent the number of contacts from increasing? Would it not be more important to save money?
First one important fact about customers: Customers do not want to contact your business after they have bought something from you.
Day 1 – 4.
Analyze the challenges.
What are the main drivers for customer dissatisfaction? Make a list with everything you can imagine as a reason to dissatisfaction. If you have a CRM system, analyze the data sort out why your customers are contacting you. Talk to your customer service staff, talk to customers, read complaints. If you run a shop try to be a customer yourself, how does it feel to enter the shop? How does it feel to use your website? Gather as much data as you can during these few days.
Analyze the data collected. Now you have a better overview. Now it is time to apply the 20/80-rule. There is a great chance that 20 % of your list causes 80 % of the unsatisfied customers.
Group the list into:
A: Easy to fix, Huge Impact
B: Hard to fix, Huge Impact
C: Easy to fix, Small Impact
D: Hard to fix, Small Impact
Throw away all data categorized as D. If you have 20 % of your list as A – throw away the rest. Or fill up according to the ABCD-list.
Create a plan, get approvals. Create teams and assign responsibilities. Create timelines and goals. Assign 1-3 tasks to each team. If you have few employees or are working by yourself, concentrate on one task at the time.
Day 8 – 18
Act – let the team work on solutions. On day 18, call in for a status meeting, how are they doing? Get reports. If you need to adjust or implement extra resources do so now.
Act – Let the teams continue with their solution. Make sure that the teams make time to complete these tasks.
Summarize analyze challenges, celebrate victories, or push unfinished task into the loop for the next round.
Repeat the loop.
If you can track number of callers per task or connect customer events to a single problem, make sure to gather data for a couple of months before you start, and measure again a couple of months after this cycle. If you can see a drop in contacts due to this problem – Congratulations!
Try to adjust your questions to be able to measure success, if you perform customer surveys. But if you don’t never mind; this will guarantee to improve your customer’s satisfaction. You do not need a working speedometer to know that you are driving fast, and if you do this, you will be driving fast.