VTE Blog customer service

Four ways to improve customer service – Seth Godin 6/28/17

1. Delegate it to your customers. Let them give feedback, good and bad, early and often.

2.     Delegate it to your managers. Build in close monitoring, training and feedback. Have them walk the floor, co-creating with their teams.

3.     Use technology. Monitor digital footprints, sales per square foot, visible customer actions.

4.     Create a culture where peers inspire peers, in which each employee acts like a leader, pushing the culture forward. People like us do things like this. People like us, care.

You've probably guessed that the most valuable one, the fourth, is also far and away the most difficult to create. Culture is a posture that lasts. It's corroded by shortcuts and by inattention, and fed by constant investment and care.

Big company or small, it doesn't matter. There are government agencies and tiny non-profits that have a culture of care and service. And then there are the rest...

In 1996, when Steve and I bought Vermont Trophy & Engraving, we had a deep commitment to customer service (after years watching its decline in the corporate world) but we didn’t know the 4 options laid out by Seth above. Somehow, through blind luck, we stumbled onto number four.

Our staff is as passionate about customer service as I am. While service expectations often focus on the sales team, our production team is just as devoted. The sales group, in their interactions with our customers, communicate that they care about the outcome of the customer’s project by offering their expert suggestions and making room in our production schedule to meet need dates.

The production group frequently points out to each other ways to improve designs, remakes items judge below standard. They call customers with suggestions to improve the appearance of their product (even if it means the product will cost less).

Peer to peer customer service, it turns out, lets people show they care and thus they take more pride in their work, which adds to better work, happier customers, more customers – it’s a virtuous cycle.

Thank you Seth for explaining it!