Editor’s note: A version of this article appeared on Shep Hyken’s blog and is adapted here with permission.
Next week is National Customer Service Week, a national “celebration” mean to remind us why the customer service experience is so important to businesses. With that sentiment, here are a few of my favorite customer service concepts that business leaders should always consider:
Unless you run a one-person operation, you likely entrust employees with customer service. How can you ensure that they care enough to deliver a good customer experience in every interaction — or that they understand your company’s approach to service?
Organizational buy-in doesn’t happen by accident, but it is worth the effort. Employees who take pride in the company not only deliver good customer service, but they are also a boon to your marketing efforts. If you want customer service delivered by loyal employees who care, consider these four tips:
- Leaders Set the Example. To be successful, customer service cannot simply be delegated to the front-line employees. Leaders have to be role models for employees to follow. The customer-focused culture has to permeate the entire organization from top to bottom. Every decision that is made should incorporate the question, “How does this impact the customer?”
- Design Your Service. Take the time to thoughtfully consider what you want your customer experience to look like. What kind of special promise will you make to your customers? Do you promise to respond quickly? To be easy to do business with? To keep your promises? Once you define your brand of customer service, distill it into a few words that are easy for employees to remember and strive for.
- Communicate and Train. Share your customer service philosophy (and its short-form motto or mission statement) with your employees, and train them on how to practice it every day. This could involve mapping out the customer journey and identifying all the points of interaction he or she has with the company. Then, ensure that top-notch service is built into each of these touch points.
- Remember the Golden Rule. The best way for management to lead by example is by following what I call the “Employee Golden Rule”: Treat your employees the way you want the customer to be treated — maybe even better. When employees feel like their managers care about them, they are more motivated to do their jobs (including customer service) better.