The Customer Service Pocketbook

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THE
CUSTOMER SERVICE
POCKETBOOK
By Tony Newby & Sean McManus
Drawings by Phil Hailstone
Comments on the 1st edition
"Down to earth practical guide ... what I would expect from your work with us on Customer Service. It removes a lot of the mystique and concentrates on the real issues." Mr. L.J.G. Purdie, Chief Pensions Manager, Scottish Widows.

Comments on the 2nd edition
"We will certainly continue to use the pocketbook with all our new starters. It really helps to make people realise that everyone has customers, and that internal customers are also important."
Carolyn Whitesmith, Training Controller, Avon Insurance plc.

Published by:
Management Pocketbooks Ltd
14 East Street, Alresford, Hants SO24 9EE, U.K.
Tel: +44 (0)1962 735573 Fax: +44 (0)1962 733637
E-mail: sales@pocketbook.co.uk
Website: www.pocketbook.co.uk

MANAGEMENT
POCKETBOOKS

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publishers. First published by Management Pocketbooks Ltd in 1991. This edition published 2002. © 1991 Tony Newby (1st edition) © 2002 Tony Newby & Sean McManus (2nd edition) British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data – A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

ISBN 1 903776 00 7
Printed in U.K.

CONTENTS
WHY CUSTOMER SERVICE MATTERS
1
Fulfilling personal and organisational needs,
the importance of how you do things,
customers buy experiences, repeat business,
the lifetime value of customers, the silent
complainer, the company ambassador
WHAT'S DIFFERENT
13
ABOUT GOOD SERVICE?
Putting customers first, what you need, quality,
attention to detail, delivering great service, case
studies, taking responsibility, remembering
good and bad service
EFFECTIVE CUSTOMER
27
COMMUNICATIONS
Communications you depend on, good
communication, listening skills, written
communication, the Readability Index, how
technology helps, when technology fails, using
e-mail
TURNING COMPLAINTS INTO
OPPORTUNITIES
Benefits of complaints, customer needs,
common causes of complaints, handling
complaints, dealing with angry customers

55

EMPOWERING GREAT
67
CUSTOMER SERVICE
Everyone plays a role, corporate
culture, internal customers, when the
internal customer chain weakens,
strengthening the internal customer
chain, passing on work
MEASURING
81
CUSTOMER SERVICE
Setting standards, using internal
indicators, customer satisfaction,
mystery shopper programmes, rewarding
team members, case study
PERSONAL ACTION PLANNING
The pay-off, reviewing the lessons,
overcoming obstacles

91

APPENDIX: NOTES FOR
TRAINERS

95

RECOMMENDED FURTHER
READING

Customer is King!

W HY

C U S TO M E R S E R V I C E
M AT T E R S
1

WHY CUSTOMER SERVICE MATTERS

CUSTOMER CONTACT
Customer service matters because everybody in every organisation: ●


Either helps customers directly
Or helps colleagues (internal customers) who serve the paying customer

This book is for people who work in:





Commercial companies supplying goods or services
Public sector utilities
Central and local government departments
Voluntary organisations

… because they all have customers.

2

WHY CUSTOMER SERVICE MATTERS

YOUR PERSONAL NEEDS
The benefits to you personally of delivering good customer service to your colleagues and external customers are:


You’ll get more satisfaction at work, knowing that others enjoy dealing with you and respect you and your work



Others will be friendly towards you, and will
be more understanding of occasional
problems and willing to help



You’ll have less re-work if you get it
right first time



So you’ll waste less time
fire-fighting problems



And will have more control of
your time and workload
3...
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