The guiding rule when it comes to customer service is setting and maintaining high standards.
These standards apply to all the rules discussed in later chapters, and for this reason some of those rules will be touched on here as well.
It is important to be able to measure the quality and accuracy of your service standards.
This can be done by comparing them with those of your competitors, matching them to industry standards or looking at improvements and consistency in your own standards over time. Some of the aspects which can be measured easily are speed and accuracy.
All the standards discussed in this chapter can be measured in one way or another.
A standard means the degree of excellence you want to achieve when it comes to customer service.
The standards can be categorised under the following headings:
as soon as possible, answering the telephone promptly, making appointments for customers to minimise waiting
times, removing extraneous and pointless tasks from your processes.
Convenience—having opening hours which suit your customers, being available to hear complaints, offering
a variety of ways of ordering or paying, ensuring your customers only have to make a request once.
Positive action—dealing willingly with anything that goes wrong as quickly as possible.
Communication—listening to your customers (especially when they have a concern), making sure customers understand what you are saying, ensuring your message gets across to customers.