Creativity is key to problem solving, and problem solving is key to good customer service.
Do your customers come to your with problems and expect solutions? Of course. They don't expect delays, or more problems. They're busy people who want solutions as fast as possible so they can get on with their busy lives.
Sound familiar? What's the reality in your organization? Are your employees equipped to solve problems? The best solutions are not only fast, but occur close to the customer.
Ensure your employees know what they can and cannot do to solve a problem, and help them find creative solutions that cost little if anything.
One of my financial services clients purchased car washes from one of their clients, a car wash business they had financed. When problems occurred, they gave customers a free car wash--a win/win for the bank, the customer and their business customer. A very simple idea that worked very nicely.
What partnerships can you develop or do you already have that you can leverage as part of your own
"mea culpa" for customers? That's a bit of creativity that helps make the problem go away with a bit of promotion and fun.
"A problem is a chance for you to do your best.”
I would add: A problem is a chance for you to build customer loyalty.
Dee Dee has helped create and coach "customer care" programs and cultures for healthcare, government, travel, financial services, plumbing, retail, publishing, automotive and entire communities.