Every company that aims to deliver great customer service must answer this: Is there a strong service culture in place? Without one, customer service becomes a vague endeavor with no clear strategy. By setting company goals and engaging with employees regularly to establish a clear path to success, a company can establish a strong service culture that naturally leads to great customer experiences. Here are five key terms at the heart of a strong service culture that every company should consider.
Every brand needs to communicate its mission clearly. What values does your brand stand for? What accomplishments do you hope to achieve in the near and distant future? Communicating these beliefs to employees and engaging them in a conversation are essential to building a successful service culture. It’s also important to highlight examples of your brand’s greatest customer service experiences to motivate employees and set a clear model of what to strive for. Showcase stories through posters around the office, in newsletters, and during meetings and training sessions to inspire and inform your employees.
When communicating with your team, clarity is key. Are your brand goals properly outlined to demonstrate how employee behavior will lead to great service? Are service processes clearly outlined? Employees should know exactly what their roles are, and a hierarchy chart can help indicate whom to turn to when support is needed. In addition, clarity also involves informing the organization as a whole when difficulties arise, such as a product recall or technical issue on a certain channel. Sharing such information on a global level keeps everyone informed and empowers employees to offer their input on how best to resolve such problems.
Educating employees gives them the tools for customer service success. Establishing protocols ahead of time for complex situations can empower agents to perform their best and satisfy customers, such as enabling agents to make discounted offers when customers consider leaving your brand or goodwill gestures after a frustrating service issue. Education should also be ongoing and may take the form of seminars, training sessions, informational newsletters, and professional development opportunities. The better informed your employees are, the more confident they will be when delivering service.
Being a responsible brand means keeping employees accountable for their work on an individual basis. All employees should have clearly defined roles with mentoring and management support to help them do their best. Employees should be given the power to correct their own mistakes and larger service issues, such as granting a customer discount when a billing error has been made or apologizing for a chat delay or inaccurate response. Taking immediate responsibility and rectifying the error are essential to customer loyalty. Employees should also be rewarded for superior performance, as their behavior sets a great example for a strong service culture.
The human touch is always essential to customer service. Brands that practice empathy and make an effort to offer an authentic human touch not only win loyal customers, but brand advocates as well. Service agents should allow customers the time to explain their situations and offer the respect and support they deserve. Using a friendly yet professional tone is essential, and relating to a customer’s frustrations can rebuild confidence in your brand. Empathy can also mean sending compelling brand messages such as supporting charitable or environmental causes. The more powerful the voice of your brand, the more your customers will listen.
Building a strong customer service culture is all about sending a clear, consistent message to your employees and empowering them to succeed with an efficient system in place. To deliver the very best in customer service, learn about Vocalcom, a global leader in cloud-based contact center software solutions and premium omnichannel customer interaction platform for great customer experiences.