Although it may sound counter-intuitive, the way to create a culture in your business that eats, sleeps, and breathes customer service and appreciation begins with creating a good environment for your employees.
Whether they’re manning a register or working the lines at a call center, your employees are your company’s direct line of contact to its customers. Create a positive environment that nurtures employees and encourages them to have positive interactions with customers, and the battle is already won. Businesses with a culture where employees aren’t valued trickles down to the customers in terms of unenthusiastic service and even outright complaints about the company from workers to customers.
For companies seeking to build a strong employee culture that teaches workers to value customers, these tips may help:
- Hire to the culture – Make sure you have the right people in place. Hire employees who have constructive, customer-friendly personalities.
- Communicate the culture – Develop buy-in by explaining your customer service expectations. Don’t just give orders. Explain the whys behind the importance of the culture you’re establishing. Make sure your expectations are clear and unambiguous, and give plenty of concrete examples when explaining concepts to employees.
- Incentivize performance – Make providing top notch customer service worth your employee’s time and effort. Bonuses, raises, or even occasional gift cards recognizing superior service can go a long way toward encouraging the culture you want to take root in your business.
- Teach the culture – When employees fall short of your customer service goal, don’t berate them. Use the situation as a teachable moment to explain how they can improve service next time.
- Lead by example – Managers should exhibit the behaviors they wish their employees to adopt regarding customer service. Employees do not respond well to leadership that doesn’t practice what it preaches.
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