9 Shep Hyken’s Customer Service advice you need to hear Now
Shep Hyken is recognized as one of the world’s preeminent customer service gurus. When companies experience difficulty keeping their customers happy, they reach out to him for help. His list of clients includes American Express, Morgan Stanley, Monsanto, Kraft Foods and hundreds of other household names.
Hyken emphasizes that companies need to do everything possible to amaze their customers. Without a group of eager customers, no business can reach its full potential. He gained fame for this perspective in books like “Amaze Every Customer Every Time”, “The Cult of the Customer” and “The Amazement Revolution.”
Reading Hyken’s books will introduce you to the most effective customer service strategies. Of course, you may not have time to consume all of his material; he is a prodigious writer who always has something insightful to say. You can, however, get the gist of his philosophy by learning these Hyken quotes. They will put your business on the path to better customer service and brand loyalty.
1. Clearly Define What Customer Service Is for Your Company
Hyken makes it clear that excellent customer service starts with the company’s management. When describing this, he aptly said that “the number one way for a company to improve service is to clearly define what customer service is for the company. That is where it all starts; at the top with leadership defining the customer service vision.”
This quote emphasizes the importance of writing effective policies that define how customer service professionals should behave. Without meaningful policies, each employee has to follow his or her own idea of what customer service means. That leads to inconsistency that can harm a business’s brand.
2. Customer Service Becomes Reality Because of Employees
Hyken’s recent article boils down to a simple maxim that “customer service cultures are defined by leadership. They become reality because of employees.”
3. Exceed Employee Expectations to Get More From Them
Hyken often asks businesses to improve their relationships with employees. In one of his most popular Twitter posts, he writes, “If we consistently exceed the expectations of employees, they will consistently exceed the expectations of our customers.”
He also mentions some best practices that help executives understand employee needs. As long as your company has disgruntled employees, your customer service will fail.
4. You Can’t Treat Employees Poorly and Expect Them to Work Harder for You
Hyken drives the point further when he says that “you can’t treat your employees poorly and then expect them to go and do something nice for the company.”
It’s common-sense advice that a lot of major companies don’t seem to understand.
5. Every Member of Your Team Can Become a Customer Service Rep
Hyken’s website is full of gems like “at any one given time, any one of us represents the entire company.” He’s right. You never know who a customer will interact with. It could be the receptionist, a salesperson, a customer service rep or an executive. They all need to know how to exceed customer expectations.
6. Don’t Just Solve Problems. Astound Your Customers.
Hyken advises that companies should “keep an eye out for opportunities to astonish your customer after you’ve solved an initial problem. To their satisfaction.”
Solving a problem may satisfy a customer. Taking the extra step to astound him or her, though, earns you a customer for life.
7. Turn Disgruntled Customers Into Brand Evangelists
In a Twitter post, Hyken says that a “complaining customer can be your best opportunity to show how good you are… and to create a customer evangelist.”
When a customer complains, you have an opportunity to show that your business knows how to do more than solve problems. It knows how to make the situation right by offering discounts, freebies, and extra services. It’s a worthwhile investment that can turn complaining customers into brand evangelists who tell their friends about their positive experiences.
He emphasizes this again by saying “when you treat customers right, they come back… and they tell others.”
8. Don’t Focus on the Sale. Focus on the Person.
One of the most insightful quotes from Hyken advises that you “don’t focus on the sale. Focus on the person.” This is smart because it encourages businesses to focus on building relationships that lead to long-term interactions. Making one sale today will net you a small profit. Forming a confident relationship with a customer, however, could create a life-long relationship with multiple sales, not to mention the good PR you’ll get from the happy customer.
9. Customer Service Is Not a Department, It’s a Philosophy
In 2015, Hyken wrote bluntly that “customer service is not a department, it’s a philosophy.” Businesses cannot rely on a single department to handle every customer. Instead, customer service needs to permeate every level of the organization. When engineers are developing new product features, they should think about how it will improve customer services. When executives are deciding what shipping providers to use, they should consider how that change will affect customer service.
If every member of your organization isn’t focused on customer service, then your business will fall short of its loftiest goals.
You can start improving your organization’s customer services within five minutes by signing up with Unbabel. The customer service software makes it possible for your existing team to communicate with customers all over the world, even when they speak different languages. Fast, high-level translations give your business a chance to build relationships with people from multiple demographics. After all, people don’t want to deal with companies that cannot communicate with them well. By adopting Unbabel, you can focus on customer satisfaction and make them feel respected by communicating in their native languages.
Originally published at blog.unbabel.com on June 23, 2016.