How to Build Customer Confidence: Routines Rule

Routines rule our lives — for good or for bad. At work, positive routines build customer confidence. But sometimes even good work habits can lead to bored, disinterested customer service responses. Here are 3 tips to help you redefine your routine job activities in order to find overlooked opportunities to serve your customers better!

Routines Rule Customer Confidence & Perception

1. First, write down the routines in your job, especially the ones you dread or dislike.

Every job has routines — processes, procedures, things that have to get done to keep business moving along. Many of these tasks are almost mindless drudgery. And even our good work routines, if we’re not careful, can cause us to lose sight of the real reason we’re in business — customers!  The obvious customers — people who buy our products or use our services. And the less obvious customers — like other departments we work with, vendors who supply our parts or the co-workers on our teams.

How we perform the most common, repetitive parts of our job can have an immense impact on the perception and confidence customers have in us, our products and our companies. Here’s an example:

In the course of a typical shift, traffic patrol officers make a lot of stops. I was contacted by a  major sheriff’s department to lead customer service training (or as they called, a “Finishing School for Motorcycle Cops”) because citizen complaints of rude or uncommunicative behavior from officers during routine traffic stops became extremely high.

The agency knew they had a problem and recognized that improving their approach to routine activities, such as traffic stops, could have an immediate, positive impact on customer confidence and perception of the force.

Fresh Eyes Refresh Routines

2. Next, put a fresh set of eyes on these routine activities.

Get with the most creative person you know and describe these activities to them. (And if you’re brave, ask some of your favorite or least favorite customers!) Then ask them to suggest new ways to complete these routines with the end goal of building greater customer confidence in your service performance. Ask questions like: how would you like to be greeted? How would you want that supply request made? How would you improve my part of that internal workflow?

Get Outside

3. Then spend some time on the other side of your routines.

Volunteer to do the job of a subordinate or a co-worker, or “shop” your business like a customer. Walkthrough the process of placing an order or requesting the service you provide. Getting outside your normal, sometimes insular, operation can provide fresh insights and energy for the routine actions you take.

As you follow these 3 steps, I predict you’ll be amazed at what you learn from your customers’ perceptions. And I expect you will uncover many new opportunities to build customer confidence and deliver even better customer service!

By the way — how many “routine” traffic stops will a 10-year veteran patrol officer make in a major tourist destination city?? I was shocked at how many! The number along with the rest of the “finishing school” story, are both in my book, Willie’s Way: 6 Secrets for Wooing, Wowing and Winning Customers and Their Loyalty.

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Phillip Van Hooser
Author: Phillip Van Hooser
Phillip Van Hooser, CSP, CPAE is committed to helping organizations transform their business outcomes by transforming the talent of their people. He is an award-winning keynote speaker and author on leadership, service and communication. His popular book, “Willie's Way: 6 Secrets for Wooing, Wowing and Winning Customers and Their Loyalty” re-releases September 3. Connect with Phil on LinkedIn and Facebook.