Revco Drug Stores instituted a customer service improvement program based on the slogan, "Every customer, every time." In order to make this slogan come to life, they asked themselves, "What do we want to happen to every customer every time in order to promote good customer service?"

The whole process was distilled down to three behaviors that Revco thought everyone could deliver:

  1. Greet customers every time they enter the store.
  2. Every time a salesperson sees a customer searching for a product, the employee asks the customers if they need assistance.
  3. Make eye contact with customers every time you speak to them.

Then they distributed a two-page training guide to each store manager for use in implementing this strategy. The training guide was to be used at an employee meeting. Each store manager was responsible for conveying the information to their employees and making sure with observation and coaching that everyone was practicing the new behaviors.

Next, Revco set about measuring how well the standards were being implemented. They sent paid "mystery shoppers" into the stores to check for the use of the three behaviors. The shoppers reported compliance about 90% of the time.

Revco also measured whether the number of complaints to their customer service representatives rose or fell, and found that they were falling, while a number of comments from satisfied customers went up. From these measurements, the program was deemed a success.

"Every customer, every time" became more than a slogan; it became a way of doing business because the service standards were specifically stated and then measured on a regular basis. Each store manager was responsible for reinforcing the specific service standards in his or her employees.

This material was excerpted from Customer Service -- the Key to Your Competitive Edge, a common-sense guide to establishing a customer service program, by Peggy Morrow. Morrow is a speaker, author, consultant, and president of Peggy Morrow & Associates, a training and development firm specializing in highly customized speeches, seminars, and workshops.

Copyright © 1995 by Peggy Morrow