Improving Customer Service by Trailing Employees

Small businesses can learn a lot about their customer service from employees. One way to do so is for you to spend a day shadowing an employee and performing his or her job. This offers you a from-the-ground-up view of both the service that customers receive and the needs of your employees, to deliver world-class customer service. The exercise will give you an inside look at necessary policy changes, as well as processes that will increase your service experience, employee moral, and bottom line. The following are steps for a successful evaluation:

•Before you start the exercise, write down your interpretation of employee tasks. •Assume the full role of your frontline employee in all areas, including wearing the uniform. •Do all employee tasks, from opening to closing. •Follow all processes that are in place without influencing protocol. Work as they work and observe as you go. •Compare your work experience with the formal job description and note the necessary improvements that will enhance your service experience.

Once your business understands the approach, infuse your customer service strategy with this new-found knowledge. You will be armed with information that will aid you in creating an environment that your frontline employees can be passionate about and your customers will notice. Michael D. Brown, MBA Customer Service Consultant Author of "Fresh Customer Service" Los Angeles

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.