Creating a Customer Service Culture

Question:

Being in a service-based industry, I have heard some complaints about poor service from my clients and customers. How do I create a great customer service culture?

Answer:

Customer service is the cornerstone of any business, but it is especially important in a service-oriented business. Customer engagement and satisfaction have more impact on your business success than any advertisement or marketing campaign could ever hope to have and it all comes back to creating a team of customer service advocates. Remember, every employee has a customer they are servicing whether it is an external customer or internal. So, it is important that all employees receive effective customer service training.

You’ll need to set the expectation of how your business expects employees to treat their customers.  On a given day, some of the customers we serve are an absolute pleasure. Others can be extremely frustrating. Both types of individuals deserve the best possible service your employees can provide. The training you provide your employees, will help prepare them for both types of customers.  Key topics you’ll address include:

  • Why is exceptional Customer Service so important?
  • What is each of our role in Customer Service?
  • Who is the customer? What do they want?
  • What are the basics of Customer Service?
  • How do you handle issues with tact and diplomacy?
  • Discussion or role play industry related scenarios.

Training your employees is important to ensure everyone is working off the same playbook and has the tools and resources to do it.  But you also should evaluate if you have a culture that supports customer service and are you recruiting individuals that have a customer service mindset?

It starts with creating a culture of outstanding service by emphasizing the mission of the organization and making the mission people focused instead of product/service focused. Employees who look at each of their actions as being an essential part of the whole organization’s success and mission, feel more fulfilled and that carries over into stronger customer relationships.

Next, when hiring, you want to focus your interview questions and candidate screening on previous roles and responsibilities that demonstrate empathy and patience, being flexible and adaptable for client’s needs, feeling confident in their expertise to explain the company’s product or service and always be able to have positivity under pressure. Focus on candidates who can show you that they have taken the time and made the effort to learn the business and their customers in their previous roles. Ask for specific examples of times when a candidate delivered excellent service; focus on the details of their answer and the effort that was required to meet their customer’s needs. Then once hired, you can provide them with training on how you expect them to provide customer service and educate them on your business and services. With the right background and attitude, your training will be more successful.

Lastly, make sure your team knows that you are there to support them so they can help you maintain the culture and level of service that you have worked so hard to cultivate. Build rapport with your team and meet regularly, whether that is for a brief one on one or a daily team meeting or a quick huddle. Constant positive emphasis on the mission and values of the organization will create a ripple effect and carry over into all other areas of your organization including customer interactions.

Training and Development of your employees is a key factor in remaining competitive. Not only does it keep you up-to-speed technologically with your competitors, but it also gives you the edge when recruiting or retaining employees. strategic HR inc. has experience in developing training programs to keep you on the leading edge. Visit our Training and Development page to learn how we can assist you with your training and development.