1. Define the desired performance. Show your agents what an excellent performance looks like and set clear expectations.
2. Educate, educate, educate. Make sure your employees understand the business from the customer's perspective. Help agents understand the consequences of their performance on the customer's satisfaction level.
3. Create a culture of excellence. Put significant emphasis on recognizing and rewarding top performers and people who go above and beyond. Make it clear to everyone that you run an "excellence or nothing" operation.
4. Remember the customer. Use technology to minimize the customers needing to repeat who they are and what their problem is.
5. Personalize. In everything you do, make sure the customer feels like he or she is the only one that matters. Use the customer's name, refer to personal information and congratulate a customer on his or her birthday. Make them feel at home.
This was first published in July 2007