Any business that has customers must develop an attitude that focuses on delivering the best and consistent customer service. It is customer-centric thinking that needs to be embraced by everyone in the company from the senior managers right down to the most recently hired employees. When any staff member doesn’t embrace this thinking, it can hurt the entire workplace. So, it is critical for senior managers to create a culture of service in the workplace to ensure the long-term success of the company.
What Is Culture of Service in the Workplace?
A culture of service is the thinking that focuses on what customers want from a company. Every decision in the workplace is made based on how it will enhance the customers’ experiences. And everyone at work knows exactly how their roles and actions impact customer service.
When employees seek to solve a problem, they do so from the standpoint of putting the customers’ needs first. Service culture helps to develop customer loyalty and leads to success.
How do You Create a Culture of Service?
Service culture can be created in a number of ways, but the key to sustaining it is making employees understand what customers mean to the organization, and how they can help to improve customer service.
Customer service starts from inside the company, with everyone in the workplace treating each other like a customer. That means being respectful, helpful, and polite and creating a sense of camaraderie among team members.
When employees know that their leaders are working diligently to provide excellent service to the customers, they will strive to accomplish it as well. Here are the following ways to create culture of service in the workplace:
1. Lead by Example
Cultural change in an organization starts with the leadership. Setting a good example is the most important part of creating a service culture. When people at work see that the managers make excellent customer service a priority, they will too.
Allow the employees to see that you are gathering data on what customers want and then make decisions that focus on keeping customers happy.
As a manager, it is important to communicate about customers’ needs to every member of your staff in the workplace. It should be clear to everyone that the goal is to make customers happy and have them coming back time and time again.
Have regular meetings where you share both strategies for improving customer satisfaction with both products and services. This will help communicate to them that the entire company makes customer service a priority and that it is not something delegated to a department or a few individuals.
You also want to make sure that your staff understands how their jobs fit into the overall picture of customer satisfaction.
Make it known at your team meetings why good customer service brings benefits to everyone in the workplace including employees, managers and business owners.
3. Hire Service-Oriented Employees
When you interview prospective employees, be sure to find out whether or not service is a priority. You can ask questions about their former employer to determine whether they are suited to work for you.
Be upfront about your expectations and your company’s service culture philosophy. This will help to ensure that you start off with the right people working with you.
4. Let Employees Make Decisions
If you want to create a culture of service excellence in your company, you need to give your staff members the freedom to make customer-focused decisions.
When you allow employees this freedom, they are able to experience the significance of how customers respond to excellent customer service.
Also, they will be more committed to the thinking behind providing excellent service because they have a direct role in making it happen.
5. Have Training Sessions to Improve Service
You need to offer training sessions to everyone in the workplace to improve service. If you aren’t providing guidance, some employees may not know exactly what the company policies are for handling difficult situations.
It is important to provide direct training so that everybody knows exactly what their roles are and how to handle most situations that come up. Provide training so that everyone in the workplace is coming from the same point of view.
6. Provide Feedback
Make sure that you are providing regular feedback to your employees, both positive and negative.
If you need them to make a change or improve how they interact with customers, let them know. At the same time, be sure to provide recognition and acknowledgment when they do a good job.
When you provide regular feedback, your employees will work hard to follow the company vision and do their jobs well.
7. Give Recognition and Incentives
Show your employees the significance of their contributions to improving service with recognition and rewards.
Make sure that your expectations are outlined in their employment contracts and use raises performance assessments, and promotions to incentivize your employees to strive for more.
Words on their own are never as powerful as actions and by taking these actions, your staff will recognize your commitment to the development of a culture for service.
8. Create a Humanized Culture of Service
Unfortunately, it can be easy to start seeing customers as numbers or goals and at the same time forget that they are human.
With so much business being done online where there is no real human interaction, it might be difficult to remember that many people feel more confident when there is a human element involved.
Teach your employees to focus on the customer rather than the transaction. Let them know that the transaction will occur if the customer is satisfied and has confidence in the interaction.
Employees should learn to create connections with customers by listening. Instead of assuming what they want, ask them and listen to what they say. This creates human connections that make people feel better about the purchase.
Useful article: Why Managing By Influence Is The Only Skill Every Manager Needs
9. Teach Staff Members to Be Patient
Another important tip is to teach employees not to rush customers into a decision. They should act as if each customer is the only person in the room.
If you find that your employees are overwhelmed by too many customers, you need to hire more employees. Rushing the customers and making them feel unimportant is a sure way to leave a negative impression.
You can also have employees wear name tags and introduce themselves to customers. When customers are greeted with a name and a friendly smile, they are immediately put at ease.
They sense that they matter to the company and they will want to bring their business back there again. This culture of service delivery will go a long way towards engaging your customers and getting them to walk away feeling good about your company.
10. Why Is a Culture of Service Important?
A culture of service is more important today than ever before because customers have choices and if they are coming to your business, they want more from you.
12. Final Thoughts
When you want to create a culture of service in the workplace, you must make sure that the company’s policies support and promote the right customer experience. Everyone within the company needs to be aligned and conform to those policies so that it will succeed.
Your employees will rise to the occasion if the leadership has a customer-solution approach to solving problems. And, when employees see their managers make decisions that fulfill the needs of the customers, – they have a better understanding that customer satisfaction is a priority in the business.
Through training, feedback, clear communication, and targeted recognition and rewards, you can incentivize your employees to always strive for the highest level of customer satisfaction. This is critical if customer service is a priority for you.
A culture of service promotes the view that by focusing on customer satisfaction, everyone benefits. When you develop people to embrace a culture of service in the workplace, you will find it far easier to manage them and live up to your expectations.
How to create a culture of service excellence? Please leave your thoughts in the comment box below