Meet Sarah. After a tough week, she enjoys her holidays with friends. Favorite joggers, tasty coffee, what could be better? A small gift for yourself. Thus, she wandered into a luxury jewelry shop.
Unfortunately, the first thing Sarah saw wasn’t a Tiffany&Co necklace. It was an evaluating glance of a consultant basically screaming, "What the hell are you doing here?"
The only thing that saved that day was her fav coffee shop. The cappuccino of its old owner Stefano is far from the best, which cannot be said about a great mood after a small talk while he makes your coffee.
Now guess what place Sarah will never visit again?
That's all about customer service culture in a company. It takes time, effort, and commitment on behalf of the entire organization to create an atmosphere where service excellence is not just something that management expects but also something everyone wants!
In this post, we'll explore five steps to cultivating a service culture in your business to provide the best customer experience.
What is a customer service culture?
It is a business management style in which employees agree upon and care intensely about your company values when it comes to customer service. Thus, they show care in solving customers’ issues first instead of convincing visitors to purchase.
Here are elements reflecting this approach:
- Business decisions and day-to-day activities are focused on customer needs.
- The company is aimed to get clients' feedback to learn from them and improve its service.
- A documented version of the company's strategic vision and processes covers all service delivery aspects. Each of the team members knows it and agrees on that.
- The customer service team is valued and respected.
- There is a feedback system for employees to show how their work affects the customer experience.
- Even if it is a small business team, customer support reps have relevant solutions for delivering great services.
To have a better understanding of how it works, take a look at these two retail companies:
What does it mean for a business? Keep reading 👇
Why is having a strong service culture vital for your business?
One satisfied customer will tell five friends how fantastic your company is. But on average, ten people will know about the bad experience of an irate one.
By cultivating positive customer service culture, in addition to happy customers and brand buzz, your business gets
⬇️ emotionally comfortable work environment;
⬇️ better employee engagement when handling customers’ situations;
⬇️ growing team productivity;
⬇️ increasing number of loyal customers;
⬇️ improved customer service metrics.
🌟 Excellent customer service experience that leads to repeat purchases, larger cart sizes, frequent upsells, and 4% to 8% more revenue.
Sounds good. Time to develop a service culture to achieve such results within your company.
5 simple steps to building a unique customer service culture
Let’s start with a theory and move on to the more practical part.
1. Identify clear statements of your customer-focused service
There is no need to sacrifice your revenue for the sake of customer happiness. When everything is done for a customer, sales growth is inevitable.
To make a customer the most important part of your service, you should:
- Determine what is essential for you and your team.
- Brainstorm a list of values that will inspire your team to bring positive change to customers daily. Here is an example from Apple:
- Listen to what customers say. Launch chatbot surveys, usability tests, and customer interviews, or provide email/contact forms to gather candid feedback. Here’s an example of a customer satisfaction survey:
Or send your current client personalized emails with a feedback request. Here are examples of the best practices in this field:
- Sum up your new values in a document to share with everyone in your company and customers. It can be two variants, a long and a short one. There is an example of the latter on the Atlassian website:
But it is better to have an in-detail document explaining each statement saved in an internal knowledge base.
It is one of the knowledge base examples business use to share valuable info within a team.
2. Deliver your service goals to employees
When your values, mission, and vision are written out, it is time to make them public.
Each team member must know your customer philosophy to decide how to assist your customer's needs, interests, and pain points. So share every new fact about customers and relevant solution scenarios with the entire company regularly.
- Schedule a company meeting. Don’t forget to record your screen during a team call and add a relevant video to the team knowledge base.
- If you don’t have time for a live meeting, record a video of you explaining each statement from a customer service goals document and share it in the team chat.
Read also: How to Make Employee Onboarding Videos
Ensure that the customer service team is one of many who use it. The excellent service mission should also be at the core of sales, marketing, and product departments' decisions.
Once everyone is on the same page about service excellence, time to achieve it.
3. Make a commitment
Your newly created customer service philosophy will only become part of your company culture once your employees know why customer service matters to them personally. For instance, support managers should understand how client retention affects the bottom line.
The solution? Make customer satisfaction a part of their routine:
- Add variations of customer service goals and metrics in the KPIs of each team;
- Carry out relevant training;
- Provide relevant tools;
- Tack results regularly;
- Reward employees who meet your goals.
Without personal profit, your team will take these new ideas as extra tasks and ignore them on every possible occasion.
4. Train your team
The market develops new methods of customer service daily. Therefore, ensure that every team member gets regular training on implementing these best practices next to the statements of your customer philosophy to make your clients happy.
For example, you know Disney as the happiest place on the planet. To keep this image, the company provides its staff with regular development courses and business solutions.
Here are some ideas to start:
- Create an onboarding workflow.
- Role-play different customer situations among your staff.
- Collect customers' feedback on your customer service regularly. Analyze results together.
- Record videos or audios of your agents communication with clients to analyze them in terms of what’s good and what could be better. Make sure you use safe video hosting to protect customer data.
- Listen to other team members' calls with customers.
- Hire an expert to practice innovative customer service methods with your team.
- Pay for a third-party course on customer service.
Remember to review employees' performance, for instance, twice a year or every quarter to provide feedback on what's good and what they can do to grow.
5. Take care of your team members’ emotional comfort
Money and knowledge aren’t enough to make employees a part of your customer service culture. The last thing is recognition from teammates and C-levels when they go the extra mile to help customers.
For instance, celebrate meeting the KPI in returned customers to show how much your team's efforts in customer service matter. Or reward employees who excel at delivering excellent service.
Let people see the results of their work to understand how important it is. Thus, you’ll create psychological safety within the staff and increase their productivity.
To sum up
So many companies start out with a strong focus on customers' needs and lose it for some time. The most challenging part is to keep your customer service culture working in difficult situations.
For example, a case when a manager's decision doesn't adhere to your team's values. How should company reps share their concerns with you? How will you react to customer complaints? What if there are employees who struggle with your statements?
Be ready for such questions and look for answers together with a team.