October 10, 2013
It’s National Customer Service Week, a week-long initiative set up to inspire businesses to take a step back, look at their customer relations and promote excellence in customer service amongst their teams. Across every business in every sector, excellent customer service is key to gaining and retaining custom, and this is particularly the case when it comes to the serviced office industry. Average customer retention rates are just eight months in the officing sector, so addressing this through improved customer service can have a huge impact on the bottom line. I believe the serviced office industry can do more. There is a danger that low retention rates cause companies to place a greater emphasis on winning new businesses, with existing clients’ needs coming second place.
This is not acceptable; not least because it perpetuates high customer turnover, but because it does nothing for all important word-of-mouth referrals. There are many ways customer service excellence can be promoted within the office industry, but for me, investment in staff training is perhaps the most important. Essential training can equip employees with the skills they need to deliver an exceptional service and meet customers’ requirements. Be it front of house professional guidance or tips on how to make clients feel welcome in their rented office space, appropriately targeted training can work wonders to ramp up the levels of customer service within a company.
Organisations should also implement a form of customer consultation whereby the serviced office provider engages their clients with the company’s customer service goals, asking for feedback on what works for them, and what doesn’t. They can even ask clients terminating their contracts if there’s anything they would have liked to see, that they didn’t in their customer service.
Customer service week consists of five themed days addressing key aspects of customer service, ranging from complaint handling and leadership skills through to the recognition of excellent customer service professionals.
Service companies should use this week as a time to assess their own customer service credentials and address any issues. Better still, they should use it as a time to look at ways to ensure any improved level of customer service is maintained.