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Delivering exceptional service to customers starts from within. You can have all the best plans, policies and procedures in the world, but if your employees aren’t 110% committed and onboard, they won’t do you an ounce of good. The key to mastering customer satisfaction is to make it a part of your underlying company culture. After all, as they say, customer service is everyone’s job.
If you’re not sure where to begin, here are seven steps to creating a culture that’s devoted to customer experience, from the top down and from the bottom up.
Define your philosophy.
Customer-centricity actually begins with the end in mind. What do you envision the perfect customer experience to be? Spell it out. Make a script. Define and document your vision. This will become the foundation upon which you’ll build and nurture your culture.
Communicate that philosophy.
In order to become customer-centric, everyone must understand and embrace the company culture. Once you’ve defined your philosophy, it’s time to share it with the world. Communicate, communicate, communicate and then communicate some more. Ultimately, every employee should know exactly where your company stands and what their role is in the big picture.
Hire the right people.
As mentioned, having all the right policies and procedures in place won’t amount to anything if you don’t have the right people in place to execute them. In order to accomplish this, you must hire individuals who are a good fit for your culture. Skills are important, but attitude and passion are even more critical.
Arm your team.
If you want your employees to embody your philosophy of customer-centricity, you have to arm them with the training they need to do their jobs most effectively. Educating every team member on your culture is an essential first step. Everyone should know what your core values and expectations are. And remember, since customer service is everyone’s job, everybody – from top leadership to front line employees – should participate in training.
Model the behavior.
When it comes to creating a customer-centric culture, the old adage, “treat others as you would like to be treated” couldn’t be more appropriate. If you want your employees to treat your customers with dignity and respect, make sure everyone within your company is modeling that behavior with one another. After all, happy employees make happy customers, so start from within.
Empower your team.
Once you’ve defined your standards for customer service, resist the urge to micromanage. If you’ve hired the right people and trained them well, you should have full confidence in their ability to excel in their roles. Make sure everyone knows your expectations and then step back and let them do what it takes to meet and exceed those expectations. Nine times out of ten, they will.
People love to be recognized and rewarded. When your team is doing a great job, tell them! Showing respect and appreciation can provide motivation to continue on the right path. It might even inspire them to bring their service to the next level. Whether it’s a formal awards dinner or a simple ‘thank you,’ always look for ways to celebrate a job well done.
If you’re looking to create a customer-centric culture within your company, the key to success starts and ends with your employees. The seven steps listed above should set you on the right path toward developing, implementing and maintaining a culture that will keep your customers coming back for more.
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