Customer Service Culture and Your Business
Why Cultivating Strong Customer Service Culture is Important
(and How to Do It!)
Company culture is so important regarding the inner workings of your business. Customer service culture is no different since it’s how your customers perceive your company. Building culture is no easy task and involves a lot of effort on each employee’s behalf. When we don’t know how to tackle an arduous task, we look for inspiration from successful business role models.
Inspiration is just that—inspiration. Culture must be built and not copied. Something that has worked for another business will not work for you. Each business has its own unique needs, standards, and employees. Employees with their own unique skill-sets and processes. Therefore, it is important to understand how they got there so you can craft your own course of action. The reason a business is able to deliver good or bad customer service comes down to one thing; what is happening on the inside of that organization (A.K.A. Culture).
Customer service varies drastically between a retail store vs. a software company vs. a grocery store vs. a medical office. If your company (and customer service) culture is amazing, your employees love working for you and everyone has the same exact level of passion for providing am outstanding customer service experience, your customers will feel it and will stay!
Building a strong culture is a challenge for any business, but that’s the appeal—if you do it correctly, it’s a challenge that everyone will embrace and put forth the determination every day to achieve. Companies such as Apple, Disney and Nordstrom didn’t build their customer service culture overnight—they made it happen over years and years of intensive work and dedication. If you don’t cultivate your customer service culture, it’ll affect your customers. If your customers are negatively affected, they’ll leave you. If they leave, your customer satisfaction levels will drop, which will affect the rest of your business.
So how do you build this culture? Keep your customers happy! Okay, it’s a little more complex than that but being able to maintain this will benefit both your company and your customers in the long run. We realize it’s impossible to please everyone. However, it’s important to keep in mind that for every one angry customer they tell sixteen friends; for every one happy customer, they tell nine.
Customer service culture must be an open discussion between all team members within the company. The only way you can build a unified vision is by providing your team with direction, expectations and outlining goals and achievements desired by the entire team. Your customer service culture is extremely important and it should be an ongoing discussion.
Talk to your team and establish how the individuals you’re working with think about customer service in general and how they see their role in customer service. Do this before you take advice from anyone else. Sit down with your entire team and ask for their input on the following points:
- How would you define outstanding customer service?
- How would you define bad customer service?
- What is the ultimate goal that you want to achieve with customer service—the thing that every initiative we pursue will strive for? (Is it treating people like we like to be treated? Is it to reduce customer effort? Is it to provide valuable information and teach your customers?)
- What is the one clear message about how you serve your customers that you think everyone in the company agrees on?
- What do you want our customers to feel first when they think about the service we provide?
- What are some examples of companies that you have had a great customer service experience with?
Customer support team:
- Do you think the process for measuring success in your customer service team is well-thought out, or could there be improvements?
- What do you think are the most important qualities for a customer support representative should have?
- How do you feel about workload and task management in our customer support team? Do you think there could be improvements?
The company as a whole:
- How dedicated do you think the entire team is to improving customer service in your company?
- Do you feel like the customer service goals are aligned with the company’s goals as a whole?
- Why do you think people choose our company’s products or services?
- Are there any issues on the customer service department level that you feel like need attention?
- Are there any issues on the company level that play into customer service that you feel like need attention?
Write all of this down. Create your own customer service philosophy document, and come back to it regularly. Hire people to work for your company based on these values. I wish you the best in building your customer service and company culture. As always QBR is here to help and you can contact me here.