Customer service can be described as a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction, and to ensure that the service or product has met the customer’s expectations. New Signature’s Extreme Customer Service is an approach where the customer service activities are as important as the actual service or product provided. This approach focuses on personalized attention, constant communication, immediate action, and follow through. New Signature consistently provides extreme customer service to our clients through a focus on six core areas:
- Technology and Process
- Solutions, Not Fixes
A company is only as good as its people; therefore New Signature only hires friendly people who can communicate extremely well on the phone and in-person. This may sound like a no-brainer, but it is amazing how many people are hired despite the fact that their “people-skills” are sorely lacking, and only because they have technical or professional expertise. The first round of our interview process focuses on communication and we heavily stress that every person at New Signature is a customer service representative. The people we hire are the ones that are excited about helping others.
Once hired, New Signature’s staff members are immersed in our organizational culture. They are assigned a mentor, work as part of a dedicated team and sit in close proximity to their teammates. In this system they quickly integrate into the customer service culture. One key component of this culture is the ability for each individual to exercise their own judgment when handling customer requests. Each person within New Signature is empowered to take any action necessary to ensure that every customer receives the highest level of service possible. Another important element is transparency and honesty. If a mistake is made, every staff member is empowered to immediately identify the issue, bring it to the client’s attention, apologize, martial the necessary resources to immediately correct the issue and then alert management to ensure that we make it up to the customer.
Technology and Process
Extreme customer service is powered by more than just people and culture. Recent advances in technology have automated many processes — freeing up our staff to work with the customer. It is important to implement technology in a way where it does not de-personalize the customer experience, or create barriers to communication. New Signature’s extreme customer service approach utilizes the strategic advantages provided by technology to improve communication and education, reliability and security, accessibility, simplicity, and humanization of the customer service process.
The backbone to extreme customer service is communication, both internally and with the customer. Team members are encouraged to interact to solve larger problems collaboratively so that the problems are solved more quickly. Clients receive frequent updates and we see it as a failure if a customer has to initiate contact with us to get a status update.
Solutions, Not Fixes
It is easy to “fix” the symptom of a problem so that it no longer appears to impact the client. However, in many cases, problems have two levels of resolution. The first level is the superficial, and immediate, solution that solves the customer’s apparent problem. But New Signature’s extreme customer service approach asks our staff to dig deeper for a solution-a way to prevent this particular problem from ever happening again. We reward our staff for identifying and solving issues that have not even been reported.
Many firms make two mistakes in asking for feedback. First, companies ask for feedback infrequently. This creates a situation where problems are forgotten by the client, or an upset customer is discovered far too late. Frequent requests for feedback help ensure that if an issue is bothering the customer, the firm is aware of this issue as well. Second, when feedback is received it is not acted on-increasing the customer’s frustration. Extreme customer service, as practiced by New Signature, means that we frequently ask for feedback from our customers, listen to their comments, and then quickly make changes based on this feedback. This approach allows us to continuously innovate, adapt and improve.