An effective customer service culture is when a company's efforts are focused on the customer. It means that the entire company, even departments that don't usually interact with customers, are focused on the needs of the customer.
Brands that exhibit a strong customer service culture enable better communication within the company. For example, executives may relay brand goals to the rest of the organization, while managers achieve those goals through in-depth training and mentoring of the customer service agents.
A strong service culture is when all of your team members agree upon and care intensely about the values when it comes to customer service, it will drive everyone to work towards that common vision. When you can accomplish this, it serves both your company and your customers in the long run.
A service culture includes training and rewarding an organization's employees for creating a culture that puts customers first. In an organization with a service culture, employees who communicate with customers prioritize the customers' needs, and other employees work to improve customer service.
Service Marketing Triangle is a dynamic model where three interlinked groups work together to develop, promote, and deliver services. These key components are the points of the triangle – Company, Customer, and Employees.
The leadership team must create the said culture. Then, you must hire employees with not only the skills to do the job but also the ones that have the right mindset to fit in with your customer service culture.
Before you can empower people to do the right thing, they must have the basic knowledge of the concept to work from. Therefore, everyone must have basic customer service training, so they know your vision for delivering good service.
Once your employees are trained in customer service and know the guidelines in which they need to operate, empower them to make their own decisions.
Take advantage of customer service achievements and failures as opportunities to give feedback to individual employees, and use success stories as case studies to educate and motivate them.
So, whether you are just beginning or already on your way to establishing one, remember that a customer-focused culture has to involve everyone – all leaders and all employees must be on board, in alignment. With everyone pulling together to achieve the customer service vision and all decisions made with the customer in mind, the outcome should be a thriving base of new and retained customers.
Create a customer service vision statement or mantra. It should be short and to the point, something that everyone can remember and understand, and it should inspire and motivate your employees to deliver great customer service.
You have to hire someone with the technical knowledge and skills to perform the job, but it’s also necessary to consider a candidate’s personality and attitude and whether or not they share your customer service vision and blend with the customer-focused culture.
Start training from the first day, focusing on soft skills, customer service expectations, and your core values and ethics. The training applies to everyone, including leadership. Otherwise, employees will have the impression that customer service isn’t as important as you say it is.
Everyone, but leaders, in particular, should work as role models for others to follow. Treat employees with the same respect and dignity as you would customers.
Once employees are trained in your customer service vision, don’t burden them with rules that get in the way. Give them the ability to do what it takes to meet and exceed the service standards. Trust them to do the right thing.
Recognize and reward others when they do well. Letting people know when they are doing a good job maybe the motivation they need to continue or, better yet, take it to the next level. Also, if someone is not in sync with the customer service standards, consider it as a teaching opportunity and use it to help the employee get better and be more successful in the future.
Employees love to be recognized and rewarded, so do not forget to celebrate a job well done. That doesn’t have to mean a celebration every week. It could be recognized at a weekly meeting or a mention in the company newsletter.
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