How to Gain a Competitive Advantage by Updating your Customer Service Culture
Customer service plays a very important part in every business. Service provided to the customer is what differentiates a successful organization from others. Providing great service enhances the customer experience and provides a definite competitive advantage for businesses. For that to happen, it is important to have a customer service culture in the organization. Customer service should not be looked upon as an additional activity to be carried out but should be inculcated into the values of the business. This will help in providing great service to customers.
While every organization would have a customer service department, providing good service is not the job of the customer service department alone. Every single employee should consider himself as a customer service rep and think of the customer while he does his work. That will ensure a true customer service culture and help to enhance customer experience. Customer service culture also helps to motivate employees to work better and deliver better results.
So, how can an organization ensure that it not only adopts but also keep updating its customer service culture? Let us look at some of the ways this can be done.
- Define and propagate the customer service philosophy
Every organization needs to have a customer service philosophy. This is the organization’s basic core outlook towards customer service and what they want to achieve. They need to decide how they would define customer service. Is it quality? Is it speed? Is it cost-effectiveness? Once this question is answered, they then need to define a service philosophy and propagate it in the organization. Every employee needs to be made aware of this philosophy so that it becomes a part of a customer service culture. This can be done through regular training and upgrading the customer service skill sets.
- Communicate the service philosophy
The customer service philosophy must be communicated not just to the members of the organizations, but also to the outside world. This ensures that everyone knows what the service philosophy is and what they can expect. This can be done through newsletters, posters, and orientations. A constant reminder of this philosophy helps employees to focus better on service.
- Recruit those committed to your philosophy
When you recruit employees, make sure you hire those people who are committed to your philosophy. You should be able to define your requirements in terms of what you expect from an employee. While recruiting, make sure you confirm if the new recruit would meet those requirements. There is no sense in hiring someone who does not meet your expectations. Such people would not be able to provide effective service. So hire those who can adapt to your customer service culture.
- Orient, train and retrain
All new employees should be oriented towards customer service culture and made to understand how they should focus themselves to provide better service. Apart from the initial orientation, there should be regular training to keep updating employees on customer service culture. They should not be just given theoretical training but must get practical experience on how to provide great service. This would ensure that they get adopted to a good customer service culture. Retraining is necessary to ensure customers remain focused and also to update them on new products, technologies on processes that are needed to provide a great service.
- Reward performers
Those employees who adapt themselves to the customer service culture and provide great service must be rewarded. This is very helpful as rewarding performers motivates them to work better and it also motivates others as they realize that the company rewards and recognizes those who focus themselves on customer service. Rewards are thus a very important aspect of encouraging a customer service culture. Recognition always acts as a motivating factor. Apart from financial rewards, providing awards like best customer service provider can also be very helpful.
- Create policies that build a service culture.
A good organization creates robust policies that help in creating a strong customer service culture. When the policies and procedures promote this culture, then it becomes a part of everyday work. This is a very easy way of promoting and updating customer service culture.
- Adopt a suggestion program to improve service
When you call for suggestions to improve service, it allows everyone to participate in the process of creating a customer service culture. Suggestion system encourages every employee to think about how they can provide better service to customers. This encourages them to think out of the box and be proactive. Rewarding best suggestions can be implemented to make this system effective. Suggestion system is a very good way of bringing in a customer service culture.
- Find out what the customer has to say
Understanding the voice of the customer is very important. Talk to the customer regularly and find out if he is happy with the service provided. This is the best way for you to know if your customer service culture is working. Taking regular feedback and treating complaints seriously helps to have a clear understanding of the customer’s mind.
Adopting and updating customer service culture in the organization helps to get a competitive advantage as providing great service becomes a part of the organization’s daily routine. This helps to provide a great experience for customers.