Making positive, customer policy

When making policies for your various customer procedures what state of mind are you in? How are you thinking about your customers? Are you writing the policy to help them or is it really to help yourself/your business?

cross-lady

I have had an experience where I was part of a group of colleagues pulled together to write and agree a policy and procedure to stop customers cheating a system to get a perk they may not have been entitled to. The language being used in the meeting was like this ‘we need to stop them getting it when they don’t deserve it’, ‘lets make it harder so if they’re genuine they’ll pass the test’ and ‘maybe we should just say no and then its just tough’. Doesn’t sound too customer focussed does it and we really got lost in stopping the minority of customers who were abusing the system. This attitude then started to permeate into the policy and the staff delivering it followed suit. It was more about ‘policing’ the perk and catching out the undeserving rather than helping customers use it correctly to their benefit. Once we realised this and acknowledged it wasn’t right, the language and focus of the meeting became much more about ‘If a customer genuinely makes a mistake how will we address it’ and ‘let’s assume everyone is genuine and treat it case by case’. The policy naturally became more customer focussed and the staff who dealt closely with it regularly began to deliver it in a more positive and service-led light rather than in a rigid, severe manner.

Top tip: When discussing customer policy talk about the customers respectfully and keep reminding yourself that they are the most important thing so how will it make them feel? It can be useful to have someone in the group who you ‘assign’ to be the customer. Their role is to challenge aspects of your policy based on the needs and expectations and to really be the voice of your customers.

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