Every business needs its own customer service manifesto. This manual describes the company’s philosophy and guiding principles of customer service. Good customer service isn’t something you come up with on the spot. It needs to be clearly planned and organized. Your manifesto makes it obvious and easier to guarantee the best service possible.
Why You Need a Manifesto
The main purpose of a manifesto is to keep everyone in your company on the same page. They all understand the company’s vision. It also sets out specific guidelines on how to handle customers with specific systems and practices. This includes both how to deal with customers in regular day-to-day operation, and what to do when there are unusual problems, complaints or situations.
Of course, not all situations are cut and dried. Your manifesto isn’t something you simply plug and play. It always requires personal judgment on the part of your staff. However, a set of guidelines is still essential. Here are the basic things your customer service manifesto needs to cover.
Your Company’s Unique Selling Proposition
Your customer service manifesto is a good place to spell out your company’s unique selling proposition. In other words, state clearly what your company offers its customers and what makes it stand out from other similar companies. This philosophy should be in harmony with the way you treat your customers and serve as the guiding principle in all interactions with them.
Your Core Values
What does your company consider to be ‘good customer service?’ State this as clearly as possible. You might include things like speedy response to customers, the competencies your employees must show, good communication both internally and with customers, and putting the customer first.
Do’s and Don’ts
Include a simple list of do’s and don’ts. These are simple rules that apply to any dealings with customers. For example, you may state here that employees are never to blame the customer for conflicts. Your list might include things like, ‘Do apologize but don’t admit to wrongdoing, saying it’s the company’s fault.’
The Ideal Customer Experience
Imagine an ideal experience for a customer with your company. Create a flowchart that walks your employees through the entire transaction from start to finish. Show it all from the customer’s point of view and what they are seeing and feeling at each step. It’s easy to do this because we’ve all been the customer before. Put yourself in their shoes.
Protocols and Procedures
Your customer service manifesto should cover the basics and give you general guidelines. However, it’s good to create other flow charts or systems for dealing with each situation that might arise with customers. Brainstorm all the possible interactions you could have and create a process for handling each.
Not Just for Companies
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a solo entrepreneur running your own business or a large company with a number of employees; you still need a customer service manifesto. If you deal with customers in any capacity whatsoever, whether business-to-business or business-to-consumer, you need a document that sets your standards and expectations.