From a management perspective, we need systems because they make output and input neat and organized. Business runs smoothest when everybody is following the manual, step by step.
However, when we consider that employees must also take care of customer management, the systems—keeping inventory, managing the register, stocking supplies, accomplishing timesheets, expense reports, and hundreds of other minutiae—inevitably get in the way.
First Secret: Go beyond the routine.
Systems are based on routines, which reduce friction. They minimize effort which is useful for repeated processes. But good customer service is not a routine. It is a relationship, which requires more energy, and more effort to sustain.
Second Secret: Keep the face—eyes and ears—open to the customer
Customer management that makes a difference is face-forward, beaming its attention on each customer. Being tuned in and attentive is something that most employees will say they are. But keeping eyes and ears open means actively searching for the needs and concerns of the customer. Keeping alert to the customer’s needs means understanding that each customer is different, not a step in a routine, and each one requires different levels of assistance.
Third Secret: Be an expert on your own product.
Once you have mastered keeping your face oriented towards the customer, you must be able to respond fully to your customers’ needs. Knowing your company’s services or products really well translates into better presence, faster customer service, and customers that return for the excellent service and customer management.