I found this to be an interesting story in the Wall Street Journal today about how good companies use customer complaints to go beyond the specific service failure to prevent the problem from cropping up again. While this seems like common sense, it can be difficult to implement within organizations. The article describes the need to provide an integrated solution which involves the customer, the manager and the front-line customer service employee. Given the tensions that naturally arise among these three groups, it suggests five strategies for success:
- Create a "service logic" that explains how everything fits together.
- Draw attention to the successes of customer-service groups.
- Give customer service staff as much freedom as your business strategy allows.
- Collect as much data as you can and share it widely.
- Use meaningful measures of employee performance --rewards and demerits.