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Creating a customer service culture

Mark Smith, expert trainer & curriculum writer, People 1st International

Now more than ever customer impact is a critical part of business decisions. And in a strong service culture, everyone understands what customers need, and what they value.

“The reason an organisation can deliver good or bad customer service comes down to one thing; what is happening on the inside of that organisation. To sum it up in one word: culture.”

- Shep Hyken

To create a service culture, customer service needs to be interwoven into every aspect of the business. So what are the top 5 principles to achieve this?

  1. Measure customers' satisfaction as a routine way of doing business and make sure that everyone in the organisation knows the results
  2. Clarify the standards of customer service that employees are expected to deliver and explain why customer service is vital to the organisation's success
  3. Connect good customer service to the goals of the organisation and create a sense of communal responsibility for creating good customer service
  4. Train employees as soon as they are hired in the importance of customer service and accept that it is everyone's responsibility
  5. Communicate examples of people who carry out good customer service and reward employees who deliver good customer service

Setting the right standards in customer service is crucial for performance. Service standards let staff know what is expected from them, policies and procedures let staff know how to meet these standards, and key performance indicators measure their success.

However setting service standards becomes irrelevant if these aren’t communicated effectively with your teams. If they don’t know what is expected of them how can they possibly achieve them?

Selecting multiple media to communicate your service standards and ensuring there are frequent reminders will help keep them at the forefront of people’s mind. You should not only communicate what the service standards are, but what people’s role is in delivering these successfully, highlighting and accentuating the benefits of meeting or exceeding the standards.

Supervisors and managers are critical in ensuring your teams deliver outstanding customer service, every time, so it’s important to give them the vital skills they need to recognise the value of excellent customer service, and how to coach their team members to deliver it.

The new WorldHost Supervising Customer Service training programme is designed for those supervising customer service at an operational level, and can help you to instil a culture of customer service excellence. Find out more about the 2-day programme here.

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