Aide-mémoire: Musings on Customer Service
After reading this I was chatting with my pal Peter over lunch and we agreed that Australian customer service is generally pretty poor. There are only three organisations here that would inspire me to recommend them: Cliftons, Entity Solutions and Members Australia Credit Union.
Peter and I have both used Cliftons over a number of years in multiple locations with staff in diverse roles and levels of experience. Every time we have found them helpful, very committed to solving problems, empowered to get to the solution and a pleasure to work with. The service is not cheap, but is worth every penny. To create such a team means that you must recruit the right people, train them to be empowered and provide affective processes and support to help them do their do the job. What is impressive is that Cliftons have done it consistently over several years in diverse locations -- I'd love to know their secret sauce. I suspect it's just plain hard work on the part of the senior management team to continually improve, review and manage.
Perhaps they could run a training course on how to do it.
(BTW the point of this post is not to provide puff for Cliftons but to get people started thinking how to create and maintain great teams as judged by your customers)
Updated Dec/2008: Added Members Australia Credit Union, with apologies to their hard working staff for not remembering them originally.