An Ounce of Prevention . . .

I’ve worked in customer-facing, service based positions since I was 16 – store clerk, receptionist, teacher, support, sales, consulting, and landlord / property manager; top notch customer service is extremely important to me.

In many cases, the most severe customer service “plagues” can be so easily prevented when an organization recognizes the early symptoms and takes proactive measures to prevent an epidemic.  However, if left untreated, these seemingly subtle diseases can slowly cause great damage to customer loyalty and company reputation.

Ignore – itis

Symptoms: 

1) Customer questions are not acknowledged or responded to

2) Prospects are lost in a void and cannot evaluate a product or service

3) Employee motivation and productivity decrease

Causes: Ignore-itis is caused by lack organization and communication.  The viral “not my job” mentality facilitates the spread of this debilatating disease.

Prevention:  Prevent ignore-itis by developing excellent communication systems.  Empower employees to resolve customer issues and reward the ones who own issues through to resolution, even if they are not the ones to provide the solution.  Encourage cross-departmental teamwork.

Procrastination Pox

Symptoms:

1)  Failure to commit to and meet deadlines

2)  Slow product or service advancements

3)  Problems are always going to be resolved “tomorrow”

Causes:  Procrastination Pox incubates in companies that are complacent and lack urgency.  The rash is caused by unaccountability and the absence of a clear plan, which,  in combination,  rapidly accelerate this contagious pandemic.

Prevention:  Innoculate your team for procrastination pox by defining and committing to a strategic plan, specifying individual position responsibilities and metrics, emphasizing individual impact within the strategy, and evaluating performance regularly.  Set goals and consistenly encourage growth and excellence.

Don’t Blow It !  An “ounce of prevention” is much less costly than curing highly communicable procrastination pox or ignore – itis epidemics.  Need a successful example?  Check out the Infusionsoft Blog!

Share your thoughts.  What do you think are the most costly, yet preventable, service epidemics?

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