Creating a Customer Service Culture that Sticks
So, you are focusing on customer service for your team. Awesome! You have the Customer Service standards and invest in training the team. Now – how do you make a Customer Service Culture stick for your team?
That is what we are talking about today in part four of a four-part series on customer service in October.
I’m Jennifer Roberts, and I'm the owner of Back Porch Communications – so far this month we have talked about:
1. Why some businesses are known for customer service and others are not.
2. Understanding Customer Service Standards and tips on creating them for your team.
3. Creating a training day for the team to learn the new Customer Service Standards.
These are all critical steps, but it's important to remember, you can’t create a Customer Service Culture with one day of training. It has to be reinforced repeatedly, and the team must be held accountable to the new standards.
Customer Service Tips
I have five ideas on how to help you make the Customer Service Culture you want – stick.
1. Post Customer Service Standards where everyone on the team can see them. This could be as easy as putting up a poster in the break room or making small cards that team members can post at their workstations.
2. Praise team members, privately and publicly, who deliver the standards successfully and those who are really trying to go the extra mile.
3. On your customer surveys, offer customers an opportunity to talk about how a specific team member exceeded the customer's expectations. Offer a small reward or recognition for team members who are mentioned by name on the survey.
4. At team meetings, talk about customer service wins and have team members share how they handled sticky customer service situations. In this way, everyone can learn from each other.
5. Add a customer service component to your team members' annual evaluations. When the team understands that you will focus on their customer service performance in their evaluation – they become more motivated to give those Customer Service Standards a try.
All of the steps that we have talked about over the last month are very important to focus on customer service with your team. But this area is where I have seen organizations fall short.
Without regular follow-up, discussion, and review with the team – the efforts you made to create the Customer Service Standards and teach them to the team – won’t have staying power. It will be another organizational mandate that people give lip service to but don’t actually execute.
Customer Service Baseline – Bonus Tip
One final tip as we wrap up this series on Customer Service. Interesting data could be gathered by doing a pre and post-customer survey on customer service. For example, before you train the team and attempt to create a Culture of Customer Service, do a customer survey to establish a baseline of how your team performs with customers.
Then after the training is complete and you work on establishing the new Customer Service Culture, survey the customers again and see how the results have changed. This can be great for your team to see their hard work and effort make a difference for the organization. Having this type of data can also be a great way to give the teams goals to improve the customer service feedback they receive from your customers.
That’s a wrap on our month about customer service. I hope the tips have been helpful to you as you look to build meaningful relationships with your customers.
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