Customer Service Innovation: How to get there

In a recent blog post at Creativity At Work, they highlight ten ways to stay in the game when it comes to service innovation and keeping your customers at the center of the customer service strategy. The ten reasons listed were: 1. Approach Service as if you were the customer – See what part of your business customers are having the most trouble relating to, or the most difficult part of the shopping process you put them through. Fix those parts of the process.
2. Create a process map and identify service bottle necks ‘ What are the steps, processes and people that a customer comes to your business? If you see the whole process, and identify the troubled points, the whole company can see what they can adjust to make the service better.
3. Work backwards from the ideal state to a solution. Find where you want to be, and work from that solution down to fix the service in your company. If you start a beginning point, it’s very easy to get off track and not end at that solution.
4. Benchmark to establish standards and reference points. See what other companies are doing to measure and make their service better throughout the company. Strive to be like those best companies.
5. Copy the innovations of industry leaders: Customers look for consistency when shopping with companies. See how other companies are finding and keeping customers through the consistency with their services.
6. Measure and monitor current levels of service: Survey the customers to find their levels of satisfaction, and this will also show where the company is not pulling their weight in certain categories of service.
7. Solicit ideas from employees: Brainstorm with your employees to find out what they know the customers to want. They’re in constant contact with the customers and could have a potential solution to that one thing you’re having trouble with.
8. Solicit ideas from your customers: It’s your customers you’re trying to please, so find out what you could do to make them happy through market research, customer surveys and other means.
9. Seek an outside perspective: Look to other who have no idea of the situations your dealing with. Their clear view could help you find the solution.
10. Employ performance tools like a Balanced Score Card: Find a way to link your service measurement to your company strategy. This process needs to be measured in order to know if you’re making progress.