Encouraging excellent customer service is the key to ensuring repeat business and word-of-mouth advertising. Training alone doesn't instill customer service values in your staff, though. You should also make sure they are rewarded for their efforts to go above and beyond the call of duty. The following are a few methods that will allow you to implement a successful award plan.
#1: Make it a team effort
A team effort will help create a culture of good customer service. There are several ways to encourage team work:
Implement an inter-staff recognition program where staff members fill out recognition cards whenever they "catch" another staff member providing good customer service.
Provide special treats, such as catered staff lunches or a casual day, when the staff reaches customer service goals together.
Plan and encourage fun team-building activities, such as bowling nights or staff parties.
#2: Get the customer involved
Customer surveys are an excellent way to pinpoint your most service-savvy staff members while encouraging engaged customers. Remember—an engaged customer is a repeat customer.
The simplest way to get the customer involved is to encourage them to complete a survey on their customer service experience. This can be done via phone, online, or through a form they leave in a survey box in the store. Providing a discount, even if small, for each completed survey makes them more likely to do so.
The key to getting customers to respond is to make it easy. Online and phone surveys should contain a single, easy-to-read code that will detail who the staff member was that helped them. Then, keep it short and to the point so taking the survey isn't tedious—a question on how the service was, whether they will return, and whether they will recommend your business is usually sufficient, although you can request a few more details or provide a comment box.
#3: Celebrate your super stars
Having a goal to work for and then being recognized for it also keeps your staff shining in the customer service arena.
Always provide immediate recognition for any staff member that is given a good review by a customer or other team member. This can be as simple as a bulletin board listing the "stars of the week," or a contest between staff to earn rewards for the most positive reviews.
Another option is an awards ceremony, held quarterly or annually. Plan for a banquet-style dinner or lunch, and then honor your super stars with engraved crystal awards. These awards exude class while remaining dignified and never looking dated. Encourage staff members to showcase the awards at their work stations so that customers know they are being helped by the best that your business has to offer.
For more help in recognizing staff for their accomplishments, talk with an award supplier like Trophy Awards in your area.