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Forget New Year’s Resolutions. Here’s a Better Way to Improve Customer Service:

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Be a kinder person?

Lose weight?

Quit smoking?

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. While people’s intentions may be good, the vast majority of them (92%, according to University of Scranton research) abandon their resolutions within just a few months.

I am, however, all in favor of developing great habits to improve oneself.

Habits are a much more effective way than resolutions to achieve a goal, because they focus on creating long-term change. Habit-forming is a slow, deliberate process (it takes time, people!). But once a more positive behavior takes hold, it occurs almost automatically – making it much tougher to break than a New Year’s resolution.

So, instead of setting a resolution to deliver better customer service in 2018, rally your team to create better service habits. If you need a little inspiration, here are a few great habits of high-performing customer service professionals:

  • Be patient. Your business may move at breakneck speed, but interrupting, rushing or skipping steps in your processes will only degrade the quality of service your team provides. Create an environment that helps your team to pay attention to the details and get things right the first time.
  • Listen more than you speak. When a customer is complaining, it can be incredibly tempting to stop them in their tracks (but it won’t do much to resolve their issue). A better option? Develop better listening habits. Effective listening skills help you and your staff prevent misunderstandings, strengthen business relationships and improve service recovery. In this post, I offer tips to help everyone in your office turn your ears into customer service secret weapons.
  • Personalize your service. “Personal service” may be an overused differentiator in the staffing industry, but it’s still incredibly important to your clients and candidates! In fact, people are more loyal to organizations when they feel like they’re treated as an individual – not a job order or a skill set. Look for ways to customize aspects of your service (e.g., communications, presentations, tours, assessments, orientations), so customers are treated like, well, PEOPLE.
  • Establish and share goals and metrics. What’s your response time? How easy is it for employers to work with you? What percent of your customers place repeat orders? High-performing customer service teams don’t strive to “do better”; they know their numbers in every step of their service delivery – from initial phone call through final invoice. What should you get into the habit of tracking? This post explains three key customer service metrics that will help you gauge and improve your service.
  • Empower your team. In truth, this is a cluster of habits that support a service culture. To give employees the freedom, authority and resources to make great customer-service decisions, start by adopting the three essential empowerment habits outlined in this post.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to shareworthy service, there’s always room for improvement – ways to make customers happier, more loyal and more savvy users of your staffing and recruiting services. If you want to really move the needle in 2018, skip the resolutions and use these ideas to develop better service habits.

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