Company culture has a huge impact on customer service and customer service impacts company culture. They are interrelated and we’ll explain why it is important to understand the connection between the two in the information below.
What is company culture?
Company culture is the shared values attributes and characteristics of an organization. Culture can be expressed in how: associates interact with each other, vendors are treated, contracts are written to protect the environment, and what’s best for the customer decisions are made. It is essentially the whole ecosystem of a company and the results from the accumulation of decisions made over time through the employees of all levels.
The relationship between company culture and customer service.
To simplify it, company culture is your ethics, values, goals, vision, expectations, and mission altogether. Having a strong customer service initiative should be top of mind when establishing your company culture because it’s all about servicing and treating your customers. At the end of the day a strong company culture aims to please all customers through strong customer service that makes them feel valued, heard, taken care of and respected.
What happens through your customer service can affect your company culture and how your customers perceive you. The main link between these two is with employees. Your employees will reflect the company culture when interacting with customers. This is why it is essential to train your employees on strong customer service tactics. If customers are not “given a seat at the table” when decisions are being made it will show through in many ways, including the way associates treat customers. Additionally, if associates are not treated fairly and respectfully, their attitudes will be impacted and customers will feel their unhappiness.
In order to have happy customers, you have to focus on creating a culture that makes happy employees. Statistics show that 12% of people are more productive when happy. All customers have a way of feeling either the presence or the absence of company culture through employees.
At the end of the day, your company culture is what defines your company and sets you apart from your competitors. The way your company treats its employees and makes them feel is what defines its brand and creates a positive customer experience.
Respect increases productivity and positive company culture
A person is most likely to perform their best when they feel they are treated with respect compared to someone who is unhappy at work and feels as if they have not been treated fairly. Let’s say we put an unhappy employee on the phone with a customer their unhappiness will show through the tone of voice and the way they service the customer. So the best way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to create a company culture that values both the customers and employees together.
How to create a positive company culture
A great way to create a positive company culture is to think about what the employees may need to be successful brand ambassadors for the company.
Consider the following:
- How do we encourage ownership among every employee?
- Have we provided a career path that is clear and simple to understand?
- Do our current employees understand the rewards that go with high-quality work?
- How do we treat our current employees?
- Are position descriptions written in a way that reflects the respect and importance of each role?
- Have you used SMART goals when setting goals for associates?
Ways to create a strong customer service culture
With a positive customer service culture, your employees will feel empowered to put the customer first always. This will create a strong company culture for your company so here are a few tactics to accomplish this.
Define and share your customer service culture amongst your employees
Start by writing down your customer service culture. Seek buy-in from the team – do they agree with what you believe it is? An honest and frank discussion with frontline employees will tell you if what you believe is accurate. If not, well, we will address this in a future article. This should include the vision of how customers are to be treated in every instance – not just when there is a problem. It should be stated in a way that can be clearly communicated to employees and customers. This means that everyone in each role should clearly understand.
Reward and provide feedback for employees
Incentivize your employees to follow through with your customer service culture values by providing rewards for employees who provide excellent customer service.
Teach your employees
Your employees are the main point of contact with your customers so you have to make sure they are properly trained on how to provide them with excellent customer service. This means you have to create a system in place where you are consistently teaching and guiding employees on how to best represent your company through excellent service. Working shoulder to shoulder with your employees is a great way for them to see how you treat customers and learn from you. It also builds a bond and trust with associates as you get valuable experience living a day-in-the-life in their role.
Your employees need to feel empowered enough to do the right thing for a customer. This builds trust with your employees and allows them to deal with customer situations quickly and improves the chances of maintaining that customer. If an associate handles a situation differently than you would have liked, have a timely and respectful conversation to talk about next time and what could have been done differently.
Treat your employees well
One of the best ways to build a strong customer service culture is to make sure your associates want to perform well for the company. This means you need to do right by them. Anyone in the leadership position has an obligation to embody your values and make the employees feel heard and respected. At the end of the day, you want each employee to feel like an important asset to the company.
Hire the right people
Hire people that will be the right fit. Make sure when you’re hiring people you hire the ones who have the right experience skills and personality for the job.
Company culture is an important aspect of every company. A customer centric culture with happy, empowered employees will result in more positive experiences, increased customer retention, higher productivity and increased profits. It’s easier to reach a goal when everyone on board is reaching towards the same thing. Upon reading this blog post what is something that you were going to try and do to create a strong company culture where customers take center stage?