Taken from the Pret a Manager and Zappos website
Having a Strong Customer Service Strategy:
A Bain & Company survey found that only 8% of companies truly deliver a superior customer experience. Why is this so low? Well, many don’t realize that a good customer service strategy stems from the top. Attentive employees with clear communication skills hired through a leadership that calls for strong performance and commitment. It may seem easy, but in order for customer service to be successful, every member of the business must be committed to making it happen. So lets look at some businesses with superior customer service and see why their specific strategies are so successful.
Pret A Manager:
Heard of the “Pret Buzz”? This is what Pret A Manager hopes every customer experiences upon entering one of their locations. They believe that this is directly rooted through strong customer service that comes form hard working and dedicated employees. Pret A Manager uses different techniques to achieve this, one significant example being a staff rewards scheme. Every store has a mystery shopper each week who is looking for strong engagement with an employee. If the mystery shopper says they had a good experience, the team members at that specific location get extra pay. The company also gives performance rewards for good customer service where they can receive “Outstanding Cards” up to fifty pounds.
Their #1 core value is “Deliver WOW through customer service”. But how do they go about this? Zappos strongly focuses on their employees and have therefore created a five week revolutionary training program. It’s focus is to give new hires unique experience enabling them to understand what it means to truly commit to a company and make customers happy. At the end of just the first week, Zappos offers their trainees a $2000 bonus to leave the company! These kinds of proposals stay throughout the entirety of the process to let new hires embrace the realities of committing to a business and creating the best customer service.
From these two examples we see that customer service can be strong regardless of the type of business you run. Pret A Manager delivers it through face to face hospitality, while Zappos delivers it through friendly actions and employees talking to customers over the phone. These companies have built a strong foundation to really teach their employees what it means to have strong customer service. It clearly involves strong training and the employees being both emotionally and physically invested. From this, we have also found that a strong customer service strategy starts with strong leadership in your business. If management does they’re job with this, then so will employees. Then, they will be taught and motivated to treat every customer as if they are the store’s favorite, making every experience a happy one.
By Katelyn Fletcher