Print Article I just got home from a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with my mother, sister, brother, niece and nephew in Franklin Park, New Jersey. The roads were slick from an early snow shower that turned to freezing rain.
In the same vein, if you want your customer support team to be successful, you need a customer service plan. They position it as the defining characteristic that separates them from big corporations that can afford to offer cheaper and sometimes more complete services.
It can certainly be a competitive advantage for businesses that have the ability to move quickly and decisively. In fact, the opposite is true.
If you want to be able to react to situations on the fly, you must have a customer success plan in place. This will be your anchor as you build and grow your customer service team. A lot of small and medium-sized businesses pay lip service to the idea that they can support their customers better than large faceless corporations.
The owners of these businesses might honestly believe that, but is it just wishful thinking based on an outdated mindset? Also, many large corporations have tightened their focus on customer service.
A large company with the proper structure in place can employ skilled customer service reps CSRs not only in the U. So if you claim that you can compete with these companies, you have to not only provide the same quality of service or better as they do, but also you have to add a personal touch to try and differentiate your approach.
For example, if you called Dell Computer a hundred times, could you get the same person on the line twice? But, if you own a small business, and you put the right plan in place, you could implement a system where customers speak with the same representative each time they interact with your CS team.
When mistakes happen and they willit helps your customers to know that there is a real human being on the other end of the line who understands their issue and wants to help. By speaking with someone who is invested in your company and not in a call center thousands of miles away, they will be less likely to run to your competitor at the first hint of trouble.
And that is what we call a competitive advantage. If you own a small or medium-sized business, you know there are always customer support fires to put out. With a customer service plan in place, you can maximize your problem-solving efficiency and minimize stress and confusion among your customer service team.
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The benefits of this effect on your company are tremendous: Your employees will feel more enabled to do their jobs. They will stop asking questions and take care of customers, and they will feel like management you actually cares about them as people, especially regarding their professional growth.
Ironically, if you can point to a pre-established plan for dealing with crises, employees will feel more liberated to do their jobs. Resolve Problems Quickly and Efficiently Sick of getting calls and emails every time a small issue comes up? With a strong customer service plan, you can minimize your involvement when it comes to minor problems with your products and services.
You can create a hierarchy to deal with unexpected issues and a set of principles by which your employees deal with those issues. This way, small problems can be solved at a low level, instead of interfering with the important revenue-driving activities of your high-level employees — you have enough to worry about!
Grow Your Business in a Healthy and Sustainable Way If you are expecting to expand geographically or think there is a chance your growth might spike at any minute, your customer service plan needs to be able to accommodate this expansion.
Anyone who has worked at a fast-growing business knows that if revenue starts flowing in without the proper structure, the results can be catastrophic for the long-term prospects of the business.
If you take on 50 new customers next month, but your customer service team only has the bandwidth to handle ten, then you will be in big trouble. Avoid this problem by having a comprehensive customer service plan that has built-in processes to handle growth.
This should account for the possibility of fast expansion or the contraction of business. You should know how you will ramp up if your sales team finally closes that big lead and your business takes off.
You should know how you will handle new hires and clients that might speak a different language, or how you plan to operate in a different time zone. An excellent way to provide superior customer service is to offer different channels on which customers can reach your team.
For example, you can support your customers through email, web chat, Twitter or text messaging. As you grow, will you be offering these new channels of engagement?
You will inevitably have to create layers of management as your customer service team grows. Will you be reorganizing your team?Article How to Create a Winning Restaurant Business Plan Joe Erickson. Hard work, great food, and the will to succeed are not enough.
You need proper training, established operational procedures, and a creative marketing plan, before you open. Real Estate Real Estate Business Plan Sample.
This detailed sample plan will assist you in drawing up your own business plan for any start up real estate company. Here’s how you and your business can benefit from a customer service plan: Minimize stress — If you’re dealing with customers directly, especially unhappy ones, some stress will naturally result.
Jun 30, · About the Author. Barbara Bean-Mellinger is a freelance writer who lives in the Washington, D.C. area. She has written on business topics for benjaminpohle.com, benjaminpohle.com, Harbor Style Magazine.
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