Customer service is arguably one of the most underrated areas of leadership and management. It is an area of sales and service that is often overlooked when starting a company. But building a customer service culture within your organization will ultimately increase profits by improving customer service and enhancing a brand.
But how do you create a customer service culture? And are there specific things to do to build a successful one?
Collaborate with the rest of the organization
Being part of an organization can help build your customer service culture. People may think that management is where the best customer service ideas emerge. But one area where it can feel like an outsider is the place where you place your own initiatives. But at some point in every company, the likes of staff and the rest of the team must show interest in doing better customer service. People must see that they have the power to make their employer and colleagues more responsive to them. Where senior personnel are happy, it means that the rest of the team feels comfortable making recommendations. These recommendations are built on a strong culture of collaboration, transparency, and a pro-active approach to resolving problems that may arise.
Building a customer service culture is one thing, but getting everyone on board is another thing entirely. Of course, training and development should be a priority of every department of a company but the culture at your workplace must also be a part of this. It’s not enough for your employees to learn to provide customer service. You must demonstrate how you intend to put the training into effect. For example, do you go into them asking them to help with their daily tasks? Or, do you send a message to them that your department team members want to work alongside them? This will send a message that your company is serious about its customer service program. It demonstrates that if you invest in people that you care them. And employees won’t fully cooperate if they don’t feel cared for and appreciated.
Instead of assuming that employees are skilled at customer service, you should provide them with training and coaching. Give them the knowledge and ability to handle situations them give them a chance to handle those situations. Whether it’s taking order for a team on sales or as a customer service representative, employees in every department need to get hands on experience as best they can. You can arm them with proper training but good customer service is better learned through actual practice.
Establish a strong direction for your organization
You need to establish a strong direction if your organization wants your employees to have a winning customer service culture. Staking out a stand of strength and support for your employees should be your mission statement. That’s the first thing you can do to help your team ensure success.
Be clear in what your objective is. And having that clarity allows you to create your work environment in a way that enables that focus. If you have a clear goal for your role in the company, that makes it easy for your employees to fit around it. And it also allows you to have collaboration, as you create your success and you get to higher levels of your company.
Train your employees
Second, you need to find the resources to train your employees, including on-site courses or virtual training opportunities. You need to empower your employees with online learning capabilities – tools such as online training portals and a solid knowledge base. Don’t forget that training doesn’t have to come from a textbook – online lectures and interactive flashboards allow you to do this. It will make your job easier if these employees are constantly on the move learning new things and uncovering new techniques and know-how.
Give them the opportunity to grow
And third, you need to make sure your employees have the opportunities to learn and grow. They need the opportunity to practice their skills and the “chance” to improve the skills they are already proficient in.
When disseminating information to your employees, choose an easy, non-intrusive way to get the message out to them. Allow them to talk, ask questions, and provide feedback. This way, they can learn and grow.
Don’t expect them to be experts right away, don’t forget that your employees are just starting to learn. Encourage them to read articles that are relevant to your industry, to learn lots of new things. This lets them grow and advance their skills without the pressure of being judged on something they have not done before. And this is an active process, not a passive one where you only start training when you think they do.
When your employees get used to the process, they should initiate their improvement themselves. And once they demonstrate their ability for self-development, you should further encourage them and provide the coaching they need to expand further into the field. The goal is not to show the development, but to prepare an experience where you believe your customer will find useful. Your goal isn’t to create a wonder worker, but to empower them in a way that allows them to discover their gifts and use them to make your customers’ lives easier.
Wouldn’t you want your employees to be a part of the building of a great place where your customers thrive and grow? Does that appeal to you, too? Don’t leave the learning for your employees. Start your own learning collaboration. Help your employees get better. Connect with them, be a partner, and contribute to what they do. Connect with them and their opportunities, and join in on the learning together.
They will engage and grow as much as you and when that happens, there will be a lot to share with their customers. I think these are the three key things that you can do to unleash their potential.
Smart workers must have a purpose. Some companies create no purpose, and they leave an empty boardroom with no people.
Build a company culture. Anything outside of that purpose isn’t going to be going to make a difference to the company’s performance. People who are not bringing their vision and their purpose into the realm of life inside of the company, and uniting around that aspect, will be working up against that wall and not getting the growth or the success. Not all of the ideas have to create a big splash, but maybe they help a few customers, then they’re still ideas that can be considered for implementation. Your culture must have that purpose.
Let’s say you have a restaurant. Do you or your staff have a set of skills and talents that help you create that magic? Do you have any retail skills, or any type of front office experience that can help you make dining in your restaurant easier for your customers? Or do you have marketing skills and sales skills? Do you have anything else you can bring to the table? And would customers enjoy it and benefit from them? Are customers complaining, or are they saying there’s no reason to come to your restaurant? If your establishment does not have a customer service culture, you’re only going to get poor reviews and poor sentiment, and in the end, a failed business.
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