Building Strong Customer Service That Fits YOUR Business!
The practice of customer service has a long-standing history of “This is how you SHOULD provide customer service” ways, and practices, and seminars, and training! Whew. It can be exhausting. The reality is that the best practices of customer service should match how you run your business. Customer service is vital for business, but that does not mean there is a one size fits all instruction manual—you must cultivate your own customer service culture.
Here’s why creating a customer service culture is vital: an influential culture—in which all of your team members agree upon and care immensely about—will keep everyone accountable for the common business goals. It should be a challenge but embraced by everyone to achieve.
Every single company has its own unique culture made up of employees with different personalities, individual systems implemented, skills and products offered, branding, and, most importantly—their customers.
Imagine if you were trying to copy another business’s customer service plan. A company that doesn’t have the same culture as you do. Do you think it would work in your favor? My guess is no. Instead of trying to force another practice of customer service, ask HOW a company cultivated the practice. How did they conclude that a specific practice would be successful within their business? It takes years of work, trial and error, and persistence. The companies that succeed in building an excellent customer service culture work hard every day to take what they have and develop their own culture—and you’ll have to do the same.
Entering Your Next Staff Meeting
Take a look at the data your business is hitting and how much of that is influenced by customer service. The bottom line is that in order to build a unified vision, your team needs direction, to know what is expected of them, and what the team wants to achieve as a whole. I wanted to present you with questions to ask your team in order to build the best customer service culture:
- How do you define outstanding customer service?
- As a team, what is the ultimate goal that we would like to achieve with our customer service?
- What are the systems in place that do fit our customer service culture? Why are they working?
- What are the systems we can improve on to focus customer service to better suit the business?
Think proactively and critically. Anticipate what questions the customer might have to ideas and how they would react. You really have to be honest with each other and find the roots of the culture.
Gather all your notes and create a customer service philosophy and revisit it frequently with your team, especially when any aspect of your culture changes. If you have a new hire, stick to the philosophy designed with your current team and see if they are a match! If you have a product launch, make sure the same rules can be applied. Then, and only then, when your team is all on board and invested in how they operate, will your customer service flourish. Not because of a canned practice but because your team dynamic is acknowledged and held accountable. Combining the team with the service goals will help you really get to know how your customer service efforts are benefiting your company when it comes to the bottom line.
Trial and Error and Repeat!
Now is the time to roll up your sleeves and get down to business! Unfortunately, it’s all too common that part of a customer service philosophy sounds excellent on paper, but often, in practical practice, it made not always hold to expectations. No stress! Adapt! You tried it, it didn’t pan out exactly how you hoped, but now you can improve it from there. You may even stumble upon a better practice that fits your team in the process of implementation! Providing significant support to your customers is first and foremost about investing in a relationship with them. But that doesn’t mean that your company and its interests should fall to the background, so be honest with yourselves and own the humility to be better.
My suggestion: start small. No one is asking you to turn the world upside down. Start small and find a best practice one trial at a time while still holding the already perfected systems true. Excellent customer experience and investing in it to improve it even further is an ongoing journey and being patient will help the process smooth out.
That was A LOT of information thrown at you! Think you are ready to tackle cultivating your own customer service culture? While it’s going to take multiple steps to build a well-oiled machine, you can accomplish establishing a culture that thrives between your team and customers. I have designed a customer service standard that helps guide your team to answer these questions. I’ve broken down the essential pieces that build a customer service culture to jump start your journey to success.
I wanted to take the trouble of spinning your wheels and help you enter this process with a solid base. Download my Customer Service: Writing Standards, there is a human behind every product, and how you treat them can make or break your brand! PDF.
Final ThoughtsMy passion has always been supporting small businesses and making sure they get the help they need. We would love to work with, but more important to me is that you get someone to help you. None of us should be doing this alone. With QBR, you get the skill set of an agency with the personal touch of a high-quality virtual assistant. We can take those energy-draining and time-consuming tasks off your plate and help you better focus your energy where you need it in your business. Give QBR your to-do list and put yourself to work where your business needs you most. Contact us today.