If an employee is unhappy in the workplace, it is only natural for their performance to go downhill. This is the reason it is important to instill a strong customer service culture in the workplace. When you have this, your employees will feel more inspired to deliver great solutions to customers.
What is a Customer Service Culture?
According to customer service specialist Shep Hyken, there is ultimately only one reason an organization delivers bad or good customer service. It boils down to how things are done inside the company, which you may also call its culture. This encompasses a lot of things such as the values, mission, and vision upheld by the organization.
How to Create a Customer Service Culture
Here are several concrete ways to build and strengthen the customer service culture of your company:
1. Consider Culture when Hiring
Turn inwards and consider your values during the hiring process. Skills and experience are not enough to strengthen a customer service culture.
When you are interviewing prospective employees, ask them questions that can determine if they will embody the existing culture and possibly even improve it. This may include asking about their values, problem-solving skills, and previous teamwork experiences.
2. Treat Employees Well
You should also evaluate how you are treating your employees. Put yourself in their shoes by asking yourself if you would like to work there as an entry-level employee.
The happiest employees perform best, partly because they genuinely want to help out the company. It might be time to look at the benefits and ask yourself if they are enough to ensure the well-being of your employees.
A leadership style that embodies the values of the company should help the employees. Culture is, after all, top-down instead of bottom-up. It is ideal if you can ensure that your employees take pride in the place where they work. This has been identified as important when it comes to employee retention and talent acquisition.
3. Build Camaraderie among Employees
Customer-oriented service culture can only be achieved if the members of your team get along well. People will work best when they can enjoy the company of their co-workers.
This can be achieved by scheduling team-building and bonding activities. When you have an amenable environment, employees will be more likely to put the team ahead of their individual interests at work.
This can be difficult to achieve when you have a remote setup. In this case, you can always turn to virtual activities. They will be able to offer similar experiences, and they might even be less costly.
4. Provide Psychological Safety
Employees need to feel empowered to share great ideas or admit mistakes. It is important for an employer to make the office feel like a safe space.
Take your employees seriously when they share a concern with you to show them that you value their insight. We all learn through experience, so be forgiving with mistakes and use them as teaching opportunities instead.
5. Offer Professional Development
Do not be afraid to invest in training to ensure that everyone on the team is on the same page. Your employees are the ones who inhale the culture and practice your value every day.
It is important for them to be armed with the knowledge that they need to perform their duties properly. This will make them even more skilled and confident in the workplace.
6. Provide Feedback
It is a good idea to incentivize behavior that you would like to see more frequently. Offer rewards to employees who have delivered great customer service. Do not forget to clearly explain what exactly it is that they are doing right.
On the other end of the spectrum, you should give clear constructive feedback to employees who are doing poorly. As the employer, it is your duty to deliver this in a respectful way. Keep in mind that the goal is to improve their work.
7. Define the Culture
You might want to write down the customer service culture that you aspire toward. Both the employees and the customers of the company should understand them.
When you have the culture written down, it will serve as some kind of guiding philosophy when it is time to make decisions. On top of that, customers can offer feedback that might help in the long run.
Why Build a Customer Service Culture?
A customer service culture will change based on the values of your company, but it should always involve the happiness of your employees. As an employer, you must invest in the well-being of your employees.
By doing so, you can expect better camaraderie and higher productivity in the workplace. Your company will not function well without your employees so make sure to treat them well.